Developments early this week in Honduras appeared to bring the promise of an end to the country’s political crisis and the restoration of democracy there. The media reported globally that a U.S.-led effort had succeeded in reconciling the demands of deposed President Manuel Zelaya with those of de facto President Roberto Micheletti.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Honduran congress was supposed to vote on whether to restore Zelaya to office and the November presidential elections would then be recognized and held without either Micheletti or Zelaya as candidates. A unity government was to have been formed by last night that would govern until the new president took office. The U.S. and the rest of the international community would then recognize the new administration and democratic governance would be restored.
In a stinging rebuke to widely disseminated comments by senior U.S. officials that the crisis was over, today’s reports out of Tegucigalpa indicate that the deal has collapsed. The Honduran Congress has yet to vote on Zelaya’s reinstatement and Micheletti has announced the formation of a unity government without Zelaya’s representatives. According to the ousted president, “The accord is dead.” AQ Editor-in-Chief Christopher Sabatini says that the U.S. strategy for resolving the crisis has apparently backfired and U.S. diplomats “may have put themselves in a bigger pickle than if they hadn’t” taken a diplomatic role.
Meanwhile, in Nicaragua, regional events appear to have overshadowed President Daniel Ortega’s bid to push forward a constitutional reform to allow himself to run for re-election in 2011.