Tensions in Honduras will inevitably flare up in the near future if what the former foreign minister under ousted President Manuel Zelaya, Patricia Rodas, says is true. Rodas said, “Our president will be in Honduras at some point and a some moment. He is already on his way. God protect him and the people of the Americas who are with him.” Interim Honduran President Roberto Micheletti said there were reports that Zelaya planned to secretly enter over the Nicaraguan border Saturday.
Negotiations were set to begin that same day in Costa Rica, but a return by Zelaya would make matters more impossible than they already are. Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who is mediating the talks, said that any plan that guarantees Zelaya will not be reinstated is not acceptable. Latin American leaders seem hell-bent on overruling a Honduran government that seems eager to accomodate most requests save for the one their neighbors cannot live without – reinstalling a leftist President who it appears was taking the first steps at setting up an electoral dictatorship a la his mentor Hugo Chavez. And it’s no accident that Zelaya’s return is rumored to come from over the border of Nicaragua, a nation run by a fellow leftist in Daniel Ortega.
I have a sinking feeling that bloodshed is going to come to Honduras. Zelaya will likely find a way to sneak back into the country and agitate his supporters into rebellion. How successful they would be is uncertain, as Honduras’ military remains against Zelaya, although Zelaya would likely enjoy the material support of Ortega and Chavez. Fortunately, his support among the American Congress seems to be waning.
I hope this crisis resolves itself peacefully, and I hope Honduras is able to maintain its sovereignty and independence. But I see the Latin American country on a collision course with those who want to put back a President it doesn’t want and dictate what leadership would be acceptable to the world community.