Insisting that he is still president, Roberto Micheletti has abandoned the presidential palace, and returned to his own home, saying that yesterday was his last day as president. This serves to ease the pressure the United States has been exerting on him to leave. He will let his cabinet rule for the last week before the inauguration.
The effect of this is to anger those who care. Long-suffering Hondurans will probably shrug it off. Those on the left aren’t fooled, saying that Micheletti’s government is “illegitimate” whether he leaves the palace or not. Others like me are angry that the US has “manoseado” (rough translation: manhandled, groped) the transition of power, violating Honduran sovereignty, and robbing it of meaning.
At least we can expect the crisis to be over…or can we? A report was leaked yesterday by Marianella Salazar, a journalist in Venezuela citing plans for the destabilization of Lobo’s government by “taking out” key people supportive of Micheletti and somehow blaming Micheletti. The story doesn’t make sense, and is probably a fabrication, in my opinion.
This focus of the US on punishing the Micheletti administration is distracting Lobo from a much more important issue, and the cause of the entire crisis: the horrendous failure of the Honduran government. If our government were not a kleptocracy, we wouldn’t have been vulnerable to the seduction of socialism.
I hope Lobo will take the crisis as a mandate to re-found Honduras, not with a new constitution, but with a new accountability of the government to the people. Our nation desperately needs education, protection from crime, and jobs. If we can achieve an average scholarity of 12 or more years, eliminate the maras (gangs), the jobs and the economy will take care of themselves. Appeasing politicians will not achieve this.