US, Costa Rica booed at Honduras inauguration

posted at 2:45 pm on January 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Hondurans inaugurated a new president yesterday after a tense standoff between former president Manuel Zelaya, deposed by order of the Honduran parliament and Supreme Court, and Roberto Micheletti, who acted as interim president until previously-scheduled national elections could be held.  For Hondurans, it was a day to look towards the future and put Zelaya’s crimes and later attempted rebellion behind them.  That didn’t keep the crowd for showing its appreciation for the countries that tried to force Zelaya back into power:

Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, sworn in Wednesday as Honduras’s president, called for national reconciliation as his ousted predecessor, Manuel Zelaya, left his refuge in the Brazilian Embassy and flew into exile. …

Mr. Zelaya’s ouster, widely condemned as a coup, plunged Latin America into a diplomatic crisis. No country recognized the new government, the Organization of American States suspended Honduras, and governments and international financial institutions canceled aid. But neither sanctions nor intense diplomatic negotiations were enough to return Mr. Zelaya, a close ally of Venezuela’s populist President Hugo Chávez, to power.

The crowd attending Mr. Lobo’s inaugural booed mentions of the OAS, U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens, and Costa Rican President Óscar Arias, all of whom tried to arrange for Mr. Zelaya’s return to power.

The Honduran crisis also created tensions between the U.S. and Brazil, Latin America’s emerging heavyweight. Brazil strongly criticized what it said was U.S. reluctance to apply tougher sanctions against Honduras, which depends on U.S. trade and remittances from Hondurans living in the U.S.

Llorens is especially ripe for booing at the inaugural.  It was Llorens who rejected the idea of a national election last year as a solution to the crisis in Honduras.  He said as much to Senataor Jim DeMint when the Senator traveled to Honduras to see whether the Obama administration had correctly analyzed the situation.  In fact, Llorens’ presence at the inauguration seems singularly inappropriate, since he pushed to cancel the elections entirely until the US, Venezuela, and Brazil had forced Zelaya onto a Honduran government that had legally ejected him from office.

Lobo’s first act as president was a wise choice — a grant of amnesty to Zelaya and the Honduran military.  The latter’s grant takes them off the hook for the arguably criminal act of exiling Zelaya instead of simply arresting him and holding him for trial or impeachment.  Zelaya has apparently agreed to leave the Brazilian embassy, where he is still hiding, and plans to live in Mexico as long as Honduras agrees not to pursue charges.

It goes without saying that given the proximity of the national elections to the crisis, this solution was not only obvious but would have kept regional tensions at a minimum.  Instead, the Obama administration inexplicably sided with Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers and punished our ally in the region for ridding itself of a man plotting to make himself a president-for-life.  This is an embarrassing diplomatic failure, and the booing in Honduras indicates that our regional allies won’t forget it any time soon.

Update: I have not been able to post about an excellent IBD editorial about Hugo Chavez and his conspiracy-mongering regarding Haiti from last week, so I’m going to link it here.  Be sure to read it all, but this is the key passage:

Haitians are vulnerable now and seeking to make sense of the catastrophe. Chavez’s words try to tap into an existing Caribbean cultural undercurrent of paranoia about CIA influence to discredit U.S. help. That’s important to Chavez because U.S. aid is building vast reservoirs of goodwill in Haiti and beyond and it will come at the expense of his own.

For Chavez, the U.S. aid contrasts sharply with his own promises to Haiti he never delivered on. The sight of U.S. troops delivering aid swiftly exposes him as a blowhard who runs his mouth and breaks his word.

Domestically, it’s even worse for him: Venezuelans still remember that during 1999′s mudslide disaster on their Vargas coast President Clinton launched a disaster response similar to the one seen in Haiti, but Chavez turned away the U.S. aircraft carrier and rescuers as they were halfway there.

Any remembrance of these events burns Chavez’s influence.

Chavez is playing long ball in Latin America, and Obama should have known better than to abet it in Honduras.


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It’s Bush’s fault of course!

HondaV65 on January 28, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Alienating our friends, while our enemies take advantage of our naivete.

David Shane on January 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Is that guy wearing a Nixon mask?

dont taze me bro on January 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

It’s good to know that Obama is improving our image around the world.

Doughboy on January 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Who is the dude with the chest full of medals? He has more battle rattle than Patton ever did.

Johnnyreb on January 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Zelaya has apparently agreed to leave the Brazilian embassy, where he is still hiding, and plans to live in Mexico as long as Honduras agrees not to pursue charges.

Actually, he left either yesterday or the day before.

notropis on January 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Jeered by Central American countries, for acting like a Banana Republic.

B+ President Toonces.

MNHawk on January 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

I thought Obama was going to fix our image in the world.

Enoxo on January 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Put this in your Obama file under “Restore

J_Crater on January 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Most of the time you see people in a foreign country booing the United States, it makes you angry. Not this time — the current administration deserves all the credit for earning this round of scorn.

jon1979 on January 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

As an American citizen, I have to admit honestly that the booing offered was well deserved. Our national leadership screwed this one up from the get-go.

My admiration for Honduras is high. Let’s hope Honduras can show the rest of the Western Hemisphere how things are done under Law, under a lawful Constitution, and for the betterment of their nation, not just the benefit of those who would use their personal power to usurp the law.

Washington? Are you listening? [Probably not.]

coldwarrior on January 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

We deserved the booing for the position this administration took.

I hope Brazil’s 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics fail.

WashJeff on January 28, 2010 at 2:52 PM

OT: But WHY did Obama ignore the two individuals who brought down the Ft. Hood TERRORIST in his speech? They were SITTING NEXT TO MICHELLE. Yet, no word of them.

Enoxo on January 28, 2010 at 2:52 PM

agree. BHO shouldn’t have abetted the propping up of corrupt regimes that usurp the will of the people of that country.

ted c on January 28, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Washington? Are you listening? [Probably not.]

coldwarrior on January 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

He’s dead Jim!

WashJeff on January 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

The crowd attending Mr. Lobo’s inaugural booed mentions of the OAS, U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens, and Costa Rican President Óscar Arias, all of whom tried to arrange for Mr. Zelaya’s return to power.

You guys weren’t the only ones booing yesterday.

Knucklehead on January 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

“Instead, the Obama administration inexplicably sided with Hugo Chavez…”

It was the most -EXPLICABLE- “siding” EVER. Obama hates the US and always sides with tyrants and would-be tyrants, as long as their favorite color is red.

-ALWAYS-

ebrown2 on January 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Alienating our friends, while our enemies take advantage of our naivete.

David Shane on January 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

And soon they can take advantage of the bribe money we give them!

SouthernGent on January 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

For Hondurans, it was a day to look towards the future and put Zelaya’s crimes and later attempted rebellion behind them.

Finally, ed. Thank you … though it was really an attempted coup, but close enough.

The crowd attending Mr. Lobo’s inaugural booed mentions of the OAS, U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens, and Costa Rican President Óscar Arias, all of whom tried to arrange for Mr. Zelaya’s return to power.

Good for the Hondurans. Lorens should be sitting trial in US federal court for the sh#t he pulled. And, we shouldn’t forget that, at the big UN meeting, The Precedent refused to allow the legitimate representatives of the Honduran government to enter the US and, instead, gave visas to Zelaya’s junta to have an old Honduran terrorist bomber from the 80′s parading around as the “:Honduran” representative. I guess he was taken with the Honduran Bill Ayers. The Precedent might need help writing a book in Spanish some day …

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 2:54 PM

I love the Honduran people! I don’t blame them for booing that jerk ambassador for the US. I hope the Honduran people realize that there are good Americans that sided with the good people of Honduras. We boo Obama and his administration as well.

cubachi on January 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Yeah, I really hate what we did in Honduras. Sometimes I think the root problem with Obama’s foreign policy is that he confuses humility (good) and weakness (bad). But I feel like we actually went out of our way, stuck our nose where it didn’t belong, to punish an ally in Honduras.

David Shane on January 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM

The ministry of propaganda(Axleturd) must be spinning faster and faster every single day.

daesleeper on January 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM

I would like to apologize to the Honduran people for our hapless administration. We are going to correct this at our earliest opportunity.

d1carter on January 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Instead, the Obama administration inexplicably sided with Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers

Nothing inexplicable about it.
Obama was siding with his natural allies against the rule of law.

MarkTheGreat on January 28, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Why can’t Obama pull a Zelaya-style screw-up so we can arrange an early exit for our resident marxist???

Rovin on January 28, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Good for them. The Obama/Clinton Marxist screw job on Honduras was a total disgrace. It’s one of the very few times I actually felt ashamed of my country.

Django on January 28, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Behold – the jaw-droppingly awesome fruits of SMART POWER!

johnnybgood on January 28, 2010 at 2:57 PM

The one time he should NOT be meddling in another countries affairs, he does, and it’s in favor of socialists, of course.

Narutoboy on January 28, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Dear Liar: uniting the world — in hatred of the US.

Epic fail.

rbj on January 28, 2010 at 3:00 PM

And Mrs. Clinton is nowhere to be found.

kingsjester on January 28, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Congratulations to the people of Honduras for preserving the integrity of your government and sovereignty in the face of overwhelming foreign opposition!

FloatingRock on January 28, 2010 at 3:02 PM

BHO shouldn’t have abetted the propping up of corrupt regimes that usurp the will of the people of that country.

ted c on January 28, 2010 at 2:52 PM

What? You want he should behave any differently toward Honduras than he does toward the US?

Pavel on January 28, 2010 at 3:04 PM

How many people are freer in the world due to Obama’s presidency?

You go little Honduras!

Schadenfreude on January 28, 2010 at 3:04 PM

I wonder if the one will visit there soon?

thmcbb on January 28, 2010 at 3:04 PM

If I were advising President Lobo, I would send U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens home.

Give me someone that actually understands my country and my constitution or don’t send anyone at all.

barnone on January 28, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Good for Honduras.

Best wishes to them and their new President.

They’re gonna need it since Oobaka is still being an a-hole over the matter.

Viva Freedom!

Viva Honduras!

CPT. Charles on January 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Is that guy wearing a Nixon mask?

dont taze me bro on January 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

I think he is. Where’s Keanu?

strictnein on January 28, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Well, he’s improving our standing in the world among dictatorships. With our allies? Well, soon, very soon, we they probably won’t even be on speaking terms with us.

Way to go Obummah. The ol’ gray commie just ain’t what he thinks he is.

capejasmine on January 28, 2010 at 3:08 PM

kingsjester on January 28, 2010 at 3:02 PM

That’s an excellent point. Think back to the Bush years, and all of the times and places Condi Rice was present for inaugurations following democratic elections.

You’d think it’d bother Hillary to realize, “Wow. I’m not even welcome there.”

notropis on January 28, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Viva Honduras. Congratulations to all Hondurans on a successful election and the continuation of democracy!

Red Cloud on January 28, 2010 at 3:09 PM

I wonder if the one will visit there soon?

thmcbb on January 28, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Maybe they’ll revoke Barry’s visa.

Knucklehead on January 28, 2010 at 3:11 PM

BUSH’S F…oh, wait.

That one really IS all Barack Obama’s fault.

Good Lt on January 28, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Instead, the Obama administration inexplicably sided with Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers and punished our ally in the region for ridding itself of a man plotting to make himself a president-for-life.

Is it really inexplicable?

Rob Taylor on January 28, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Is it really inexplicable?
Rob Taylor on January 28, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Sadly, no, not at all.

marybel on January 28, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Sorry but this is going to be the dumbest questions. Is that really a picture of the new president or a joke of someone in a Nixon mask?

Cindy Munford on January 28, 2010 at 3:41 PM

OMG! What do I have to do to get Costa Rica to love me???

I will bear any burden, pay any price to regain the love of Costa Rica.

I don’t know if I can go on knowing that Costa Rica does not love every American. Life no longer makes sense.

snaggletoothie on January 28, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Any remembrance of these events burns Chavez’s influence.

Cue the wearing of “Chavez” t-shirts by college professors and gullible students.

mankai on January 28, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Nixon?

portlandon on January 28, 2010 at 3:43 PM

And you know what I say to Honduras…FUERA DE NUESTRA VIDA! GET OUT OF OUR LIVES!

BobAnthony on January 28, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Barry deserves to have this nailed to his forehead along with the word “STUPID”.

GarandFan on January 28, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Is that guy wearing a Nixon mask?

dont taze me bro on January 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Yes.

It’s a long standing Honduran tradition for the newly elected president to wear one during the inauguration.
Don’t ask me why. I have no idea.
Strange, isn’t it?

justltl on January 28, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Chavez is playing long ball in Latin America, and Obama should have known better than to abet it in Honduras.

Chavez is also claiming that the US caused the Haiti earthquake via HAARP.

Let’s see here…

Barry hires 9/11 truther as czar (Van Jones)…yeppers.

Rolls with crackpot dictator (Chavez) on the Honduras issue, who spouts anti-US truther-esque theories…indeed.

Fuels his own “birther” conspiracy issue by pouring gas on the fire with his latest Republican litmus test…check.

Mmm…mmmm…mmmmmmmmm.

Dang. Well surfing in Costa Rica was fun while it lasted.

selias on January 28, 2010 at 4:05 PM

justltl on January 28, 2010 at 4:02 PM

thanks for answering that, as you will see at 3:41 p.m. I asked the same crazy question. I blaming poor resolution.

Cindy Munford on January 28, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Sorry but this is going to be the dumbest questions. Is that really a picture of the new president or a joke of someone in a Nixon mask?

Cindy Munford on January 28, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Yes.

(And that is not a dumb question at all.)

justltl on January 28, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Sorry.
Simul-post.

justltl on January 28, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Thank goodness Obama has repaired our image around the world.

hawksruleva on January 28, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Zelaya has apparently agreed to leave the Brazilian embassy, where he is still hiding, and plans to live in Mexico as long as Honduras agrees not to pursue charges.

Mexico? We sure could use a power-hungry would-be Marxist dictator stirring up trouble in that failing border state.

Not.

Maquis on January 28, 2010 at 4:31 PM

When Zelaya leaves Honduras, their tin-foil market is going to crash.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Thank God.

Let’s see how they are treated by the U.S. now. Obama has shown a spiteful demeanor.

archer52 on January 28, 2010 at 4:35 PM

“Smart power” sure is dumb. Obama should have made Carter his Secretary of State, the administration’s policies could hardly be different.

Socratease on January 28, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Don’t blame them one bit, but we’ll make it up to them once we kick the enemies of liberty out of Congress in November.

Dusty on January 28, 2010 at 4:45 PM

This has been a really shameful, shameful, performance by this government.

It provides a stark example (if any more were needed) of Obama’s radicalism and incompetence which confused and magnified the normally feckless foreign service into a full blown foreign policy fiasco.

Hugo Llorens needs to be recalled or thrown out by Lobo. His support of Zelaya’s coup and attempted rebellion has compromised his ability to perform his duties.

Jim Demint needs to be congratulated for lowering the boom on Obama and Zelaya.

Kudos to the Honduran public, military, judiciary, and legislature for upholding their Constitution in the face of leftist assault from Venezuela, Cuba, and the US.

you lost this one FU Chavez and FU Barry

elduende on January 28, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Let’s see how they are treated by the U.S. now. Obama has shown a spiteful demeanor.

archer52 on January 28, 2010 at 4:35 PM

That’s exactly what I’m worried about. Hondurans are being d**n ballsy right now, but I would hardly put it past Obama to cook up something very nasty to avenge his wounded pride.

Dark-Star on January 28, 2010 at 5:06 PM

It’s a long standing Honduran tradition for the newly elected president to wear one during the inauguration.
Don’t ask me why. I have no idea.
Strange, isn’t it?

justltl on January 28, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Ummmm, no…..I’m pretty sure that’s his actual face.

Narutoboy on January 28, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Jim Demint needs to be congratulated for lowering the boom on Obama and Zelaya.

elduende on January 28, 2010 at 5:05 PM

Big time. DeMint has been a rock, in so many ways. And thanks to Greta Van Sustern, too, for being the only one on TV who really pushed the Honduran side (DeMint was on with Greta a couple of times) and told the whole story.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 5:23 PM

I am glad for Honduras that their people are enjoying the fruits of their stamina as they insisted on the true application of their Constitutional governance, despite the USA, Brazil, Venezuela, the UN, and everyone else bearing down on them.

The Hondurans made a blunder by exiling Zelaya. Had they kept him in custody, very little of what followed would have occurred. Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega would have screamed about it, but the US and most of the rest of the OAS — including Costa Rica, where Honduras dumped Zelaya — would have probably remained on the sidelines. That action clearly violates both the Honduran constitution and the notion of due process.

Retract that old “blunder” yet, Ed? Feigning that no problems would have occurred had Zelaya been prosecuted, found guilty and imprisoned completely ignores the violence that Zelaya’s thugs produced so long as they did not get him back into office. Thinking that Obama wouldn’t have sent troops or the CIA at least, siding with Zelaya if Zelaya were imprisoned, is another fallacy given who Obama is.

Lobo’s first act as president was a wise choice — a grant of amnesty to Zelaya and the Honduran military.

Zelaya being granted amnesty may or may not be wise. There’s the issue of Micheletti’s family member having been assassinated by Zelaya’s thugs. Charging Zelaya with terrorism against his people seems the wise thing to do, I’d say off the cuff. Whether or not prosecution is actively pursued is beside the point of holding criminal charges over Zelaya, should he keep up his terrorist antics in effort to bring about his own internationally sponsored coup that he nearly got before this election.

Granting Zelaya amnesty may only empower him to keep up his saboteur work against Honduras’ Constitution. As he has said himself, it is Zelaya’s mission to rewrite it; just as Obama sees it his right to ignore the US Constitution. And that dissolution of our Constitutional Governance began in earnest when the US Constitutional prerequisite that every POTUS be a natural born citizen was overtly ignored with the authority figures’ refusal to address this breach since the beginning of Obama’s potus campaign through the present. This is not the -ism conniption, to demand the Chief Executive to measure up to the letter of the law.

maverick muse on January 28, 2010 at 5:38 PM

elduende, well put.

maverick muse on January 28, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Narutoboy on January 28, 2010 at 5:17 PM

He was teasing.

Cindy Munford on January 28, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Ed’s held up on a criticism.

maverick muse on January 28, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Zelaya is going to … Mexico? Seems there is a nasty bit of business there with some druggies and the army. Civilians occasionally get caught between them. Hhhhuuuummm

Wonder if he was able to steal enough to keep the bigger fish away?

Caststeel on January 28, 2010 at 6:54 PM

On behalf of all citizens of the United States I would like to apologize to all Hondurans for the criminal acts of the Obama administratin and the Democratic party in this matter. Their actions in supporting Zalaya were criminal and inexcusable. I hope after our new president is elected in 2012 that he/she goes to Honduras and apologizes personally for the criminal acts of Obama and the Democrats to you. That is one American apology tour I can support.

MeAlice on January 28, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Democrats refuse to understand that part of the reason the world hates America are due to the actions of Democrat administrations.

- The Cat

MirCat on January 28, 2010 at 8:16 PM

It’s good to know that Obama is improving our image around the world.

Doughboy on January 28, 2010 at 2:50 PM

You beat me to it. :) :) :)

Theophile on January 29, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Instead, the Obama administration inexplicably sided with Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers and punished our ally in the region for ridding itself of a man plotting to make himself a president-for-life.

Inexplicably? How could Obama doing what Obama does be inexplicable? He LOVES dictators. He ENVIES dictators.

Squiggy on January 29, 2010 at 6:52 AM

Congratulations, Hondurans !!! Good on ya!!!

Bob in VA on January 29, 2010 at 9:34 AM