I was disappointed to see that President Obama immediately backed the wrong horse, supporting the leftist Zelaya, who is an ally of Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. It seemed especially odd that Obama came out so forcefully on this issue after his (let's be charitable) muted response to the crisis in Iran.
He may want to take a second look at what's going on down there, for two reasons:
First, the negotiations going on in Costa Rica are going nowhere, mainly because Zelaya was demanding to be put back in the presidency without having to answer the charges against him. And since he isn't going to get his way, Zelaya is now planning to come back and start a rebellion:
The ousted Honduran leader said the midnight deadline for his return to the presidency was not negotiable.
"If at that time, there is no resolution to that end, I will consider the negotiations in Costa Rica a failure," Zelaya said at a news conference Friday night at the Honduran embassy in Nicaragua. "I am going back to Honduras, but I am not going to give you the date, hour or place, or say if I'm going to enter through land, air or sea."
Zelaya's wife, Xiomara Castro, implied the return was imminent, telling demonstrators in the Honduran capital Saturday that "President Zelaya will be here in a few hours despite the bayonets."
Zelaya did not say what steps he would take once on Honduran soil. But earlier this week, he said Hondurans had a constitutional right to rebel against an illegitimate government.
Here's the thing: the reason Zelaya got the boot is because he was trying to get a plebiscite that would change the constitution to allow him to run for a second term, something he is barred from doing by the Honduran constitution. And this brings us to the second thing we learned today.
Zelaya had every confidence that his planned plebisicite would work. Why is that? Well, this report from the Babalu blog explains it pretty well:
A(Strike is in the original post.) How would this work? Behold the rough translation that Babalu offers, which seems pretty accurate to me based on my knowledge of Spanish, from the paper:
SpanishCatalan newspaper is reporting that Honduran authorities have seized computers found in the Presidential Palace belonging to deposed president Mel
Zelaya. Taking a page right out of the leftist dictator's handbook, these computers, according to the news report, contained the official and certified results of the illegal constitutional referendum Zelaya wanted to conduct that never took place. The results of this fraudulent vote was tilted heavily in Zelaya's favor, ensuring he could go ahead and illegally change the constitution so he could remain in power for as long as he wanted to.
The National Directors of Criminal Investigation seized various computers from the Presidential Palace that had recorded the supposed results of the referendum to reform the constitution that the deposed leader, Manuel Zelaya, was planning to conduct on July 28, the day he was removed from office.
The official investigation now deals with the possible crime of fraud and falsification of documents due to the fact that some of the certified voting results had been filled with the personal information of individuals that supposedly participated in the failed referendum that did not take place because of the coup.
One of the district attorneys that participated in the operation that took place this Friday showed reporters an official voting result from the Technical Institute Luis Bogran, of Tegucigalpa, in which the specific number of people that participated in table 345, where there were 550 ballots, 450 of which were votes in favor of Zelaya's proposal and 30 were against, in addition to 20 blank ballots and 30 ballots, which were nullified.
The seizure took place on the third floor of the building attached to the Ministry of the Presidency that had been rented to the ex-minister of the Interior, Enrique Flores Lanza. The deputy district attorney, Roberto Ramirez, declared this area as a "crime scene" and, although he did not want to provide further details, said that further evidence had been found that could be categorized as crimes of fraud, embezzlement of funds, falsification of documents, and abuse of authority.
I suppose it's possible that the new government forged these computer records to frame Zelaya. But if Zelaya had reason to know what the results of the plebiscite would be before it took place, it would explain why Zelaya has comported himself in the manner that he has. He expected to win.
Maybe the Obama administration has a better explanation of what's going on in Honduras than what I've posted here. So far it hasn't been forthcoming.