Thursday, May 19, 2011


The Honduran case-without-peer of the description "All hat and no cattle" is about to make his return... or will he?

Mel Zelaya is an opportunist, a craven adopter of Chavista thinking, and by a number of measures nuttier than a fruitcake, but he's either an idiot-savant of Central American political survival or an exceptionally well-coached tool of someone else (you can probably guess my choice of those two); He's not going to go back to Honduras unless he can gain by doing so.

Here's a little guidance for political operatives on the side of right in this drama:

If Zelaya does go back to Honduras, what *he* does is of no importance. What those who wish to use his return to go back to dismantling the Constitution do is of paramount importance. Quietly, effectively, and if need be slowly politically isolate those actors... particularly from their support base in Chavez-ALBA-land. It matters not one whit what Zelaya says if no one cares to listen. Which leads to...

Whether he comes back or just sits in self-exile and plays troublemaker, the best way to make him a non-factor is to address the *other* matters that make life hard in Honduras. Number One would be Public Safety, but that comes with all sorts of authoritarian risks; Better to go for some successes on the economic front, or in reforming the bureaucracy (especially at the local level) to give the people something to see that the government has done right. I for one don't care if it is as trite an effort as Japan's "Cool Biz" campaign (which was astoundingly popular if rather simple) or something big; just get something done right your electorate can recognize was a good thing.

If one is really willing to gamble, take a whack at Public Health issues... the first Central American country that comes up with a viable (and reasonably affordable) clinic system to bring baseline health care up to some acceptable standard without getting caught up in the Cuban Doctor scam will have something of real value to be proud of.

So here's your shot, President Lobo. Find a way to make Honduras proud of what it has done, not just of what it once did. Do that, and the history books will only mention Mel Zelaya in passing reference.

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