Interim Honduran leader Roberto Micheletti says the country’s ousted President Manuel Zelaya may get an amnesty if he agrees to face justice at home.
Mr. Micheletti told the Reuters news agency in an interview Sunday Mr. Zelaya would have to appear before Honduran authorities “peacefully” to receive an amnesty. But the interim president again ruled out the possibility of Mr. Zelaya regaining his post as he demands.
Translation: you can show up and be tried, but you'll be tried as 'the prisoner', not as 'President', because you're not and WILL NOT BE that ever again."
And, covering why the Legislature and Supreme Court had to act,
Honduras is facing something that has happened before, in many times and many places. But to recognize what’s been occurring there and what it signifies, one must know something about history, most particularly about how such power grabs occur. Then the patterns become clear.
I’ve written about those patterns before, here and here. If you go back and read both of those pieces—the first is about Chavez and Venezuela, the second is more general—you’ll see how very relevant they are to what Zeleya has been trying to do in Honduras (and see this for the very best summary I’ve seen so far of that situation).
The way is clear: tyrants very often use “democracy” as an excuse to get the people to override a constitution and grant them what turns out to be dictatorial, or near-dictatorial, powers, as well as the ability to extend or abolish term limits and stay in power longer than the constitution says (and in many cases indefinitely). Once the rules are changed about term limits, and power is consolidated and the voting apparatus compromised, staying in power is a relatively easy matter, really a trifle.
Most dictators of recent history have gone this route; the path is well worn and the methods tried and true. Zeleya was attempting to follow in the footsteps of compadre Chavez, and the government and people of Honduras knew it.
Obama knows it too, or should know it. So we come down once again to the choice of whether Obama is a fool or a knave. I vote the latter, but the former doesn’t comfort me either.