U.S.- Brokered Mediation Has Failed - It's Time for Latin America to Take Charge
The mediation effort that
They should take the necessary steps to implement the unanimous mandate from the Organisation of American States: "the immediate and unconditional return" of Zelaya to his elected office.
This can be done with or without the help of the Obama administration. It is important to note that the last two political crises in the region were resolved without any significant input from
Latin America was united in its response, condemning the violation of
In the summer of last year, rightwing Bolivians opposed to the government of President Evo Morales engaged in a series of violent actions that raised the spectre of a separatist civil war. The heads of state of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) met in Santiago and unanimously declared their support for the Morales government. This unified regional response, and the ensuing investigations of right-wing violence sponsored by Unasur, helped put an end to the insurrectionary hopes of the Bolivian right.
It was too much to expect that a mediation process set up by Hillary Clinton would resolve the Honduran crisis. The
First, there is the
Brazil's foreign minister, Celso Amorim, complained to Clinton that the mediation process should be within the framework of the OAS resolution, and therefore should not impose conditions on Zelaya's return – especially, he said, a coalition government with the people who overthrew the government. This was one of the conditions proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, whom
Amorim also noted that any negotiated solution that was seen as rewarding the coup perpetrators would increase the threat of military coups in other countries. These concerns reflect
In Washington, by contrast, we have a muddle of conflicting interests: powerful lobbyists such as Lanny Davis and Bennett Ratcliff, who are close to Clinton and are leading the coup government's strategy; the Republican right, including members of Congress who openly support the coup; and new cold warriors of both parties in the Congress, the state department and White House who see Zelaya as a threat because of his co-operation with Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and other left governments.
Latin America gave