Welcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. The week’s big news: Iran’s nuclear development, and its ties with Venezuela,
and Mel Zelaya’s arrival at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, from where he’s calling for a final offensive against the government.
Mary Anastasia O’Grady explains Brazil’s role, in today’s WSJ,
Honduras Just Wants an Election
The U.S. demand that Mr. Zelaya be returned to power before a vote is destructive.
Last Monday former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was arrested, deported and legally deposed from office on June 28, made a stealth return to Tegucigalpa and sought shelter at the Brazilian Embassy. Mr. Zelaya told a Honduran radio station that his plan to return was hatched in consultation with Mr. da Silva and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim. Brazil says it had nothing to do with smuggling Mr. Zelaya into the country, which is tantamount to calling the former Honduran president a liar. On that point, many Hondurans would agree.
Mr. Zelaya has corruption charges pending against him in Honduras but “noninterventionist” Brazil refuses to hand him over to authorities. Instead it is allowing him to use the embassy as a command center from which he has been calling his violent supporters into the streets.
Mr. da Silva’s sympathies with the extreme left and his friendship with Fidel Castro are legendary. At home he doesn’t engage in the leftist militancy of the 1970s because Brazilians won’t have it. He is constrained by institutions, economic reality and public pressure. His admiration for communism even waned a bit when Venezuela and Bolivia tried to nationalize Brazilian investments. Yet he has to feed crumbs to his notoriously left-wing foreign ministry and that’s where Honduras comes in handy.
This practice of moderation at home and extremism abroad is not unique to Brazil. Many Latin American presidents do the same thing. What is frightening is that the U.S. seems to be adopting a similar policy.
Today’s must-read: the Congressional Research Service’s Honduras: Constitutional Law Issues
Lula confirms signing an agreement to build an oil refinery with Venezuela’s oil monopoly PDVSA, Anunció firma de acuerdo para la construcción de refinería con Pdvsa
Honduras’s power struggle: Zelaya swaps exile for embassy
The unexpected return of the ousted president (pictured below, with his signature hat) highlights the failure of the region’s diplomats to reverse a coup
The Iran-Cuba Axis
Fidel Castro’s Cuba full of his offspring after years of womanising by El Commandante
Fidel Castro, Cuba’s long-standing dictator, has fathered at least 10 children by a string of women, according to a new book.
Tango in Dos Rios
Puerto Rico cuts more government jobs
After Chavez left the UN he headed to the South America-Africa Summit, where he and Gaddfi criticized the West. You don’t say.
This week’s posts and podcasts:
Iran Helping Venezuela Find Uranium Deposits
Venezuela bans “Family Guy”
“Chavez orchestrated Zelaya’s return”
Stirring up chaos inside Honduras: 15 Minutes on Latin America
Meanwhile at the UN
Special thanks to the Baron, Bill, Dick, Eneas and Maggie