Now it's Panama for ousted Honduran president
OK, so it's not today. The latest on President Manuel Zelaya (capped because he's still recognized by UN, OAS, Canada, U.S., etc.) has him returning Saturday. Or so he says.
But now he's in Panama, a country that often hosts exiled politicians and military honchos. There's a lot of huffing and puffing about the age of coups in the Americas being over. The Organization of American States warns Zelaya must be returned promptly or Honduras risks its OAS membership. (Oh no, not that!)
Meanwhile, Zelaya is in Panama, the renowned choice for exile of deposed politicians and retiring military honchos. The local Honduran press is full of reports (in Spanish, natch) of demonstrations against the allegedly corrupt "Mel" and provisional president Roberto Michiletti is busy appointing his cabinet. The big coffee unions publicly support the new leader. Zelaya has been told he'll return to an arrest warrant and police have begun scooping up his associates - ie. former telecommunications king, Marcelo Chimirri - on illicit enrichment charges. Allegations of cocaine-trafficking have surfaced in Honduras against Zelaya - and that certainly suggests co-operation between Honduran officials and U.S. drug authorities in Honduras.
All of the above are bad signs for Zelaya's return. The OAS is hardly an organization applauded for real action; besides, membership can easily be restored with a new Honduran president in November.
Earlier this week, I said I hope my cynicism about Zelaya's return is misplaced. If not, I won't keep bringing Decoder back to this sad tale of coups being alive and well.