Everyone’s mighty confident about this Honduras deal

Everyone’s mighty confident about this Honduras deal

U.S. policymakers are celebrating this this morning’s breakthrough in Tegucigalpa. Speaking in Islamabad, Hillary Clinton said:

I cannot think of another example of a country in Latin America that having suffered a rupture of its democratic and constitutional order overcame such a crisis through negotiation and dialogue. 

In a press release, Sen. John Kerry also praised the agreement:


“I welcome the agreement ending the crisis in Honduras. The restoration of democracy is an historic accomplishment for the Honduran people. The accord provides a roadmap for elections on November 29, but success will depend on rigorous international monitoring of the accord’s implementation.

I would say that success depends more on both sides sticking to the agreement. Before he can return for to serve out his last month as president, Zelaya still has to win a vote in a Congress controlled by his opponents. Then there’s an imminent election. It would be hard for any country to shift seamlessly from military standoff to democratic election mode in time to hold an a credible election in less than a month.

Yes, Zelaya is constitutionally barred from running but the inevitable chaos of the next few weeks could give him the opportunity to delay the vote or justify his own candidacy as a bid to restore national unity. Zelaya’s desire to run again was, after all, what set this crisis in motion. 

In other words, there are plenty of opportunities for shenanigans on both sides in the coming weeks. Last night’s agreement is certainly welcome progress, but I think international observers should probably take a little more time to observe the situation and make sure it’s not still Groundhog Day.