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Honduras’ tone-deaf crackdown

Did interim leader Roberto Micheletti spoil his tenuous legitimacy by suspending civil liberties and press freedom?

The Honduran “coup-installed government” of Roberto Micheletti is violating its nation’s constitution, said Larry Johnson in the Seattle PostGlobe, by suspending civil liberties and shutting down at least two dissident radio stations. You’d think the Obama administration would do everything possible to stop this and return to power the “democratically elected president,” Manuel Zelaya, but so far its “response has been decidedly tepid.”

Tepid? said Michael Totten in Commentary. Obama has been “so worked up” about returning Zelaya to power that he’s not thinking things through. The U.S. has cut off $30 million in aid to a very poor country, and is threatening sanctions—including not recognizing the results of a November election—if the Zelaya standoff isn’t resolved. That’s daft. The upcoming vote is the only way to resolve this, getting rid of both Zelaya and the “coup regime.”

“It wasn’t ‘a coup,’” said Michael Moynihan in Reason, but you’d never know that given Micheletti’s latest “idiotic and undemocratic move.” Micheletti isn’t on the presidential ballot in November, and until Sunday, he’d been “sticking to his limited role as a caretaker president.” Now he’s “acting like the wannabe caudillo he replaced”—but maybe his overreaction is part of “Zelaya’s carefully laid trap.”

It appears that even the Obama administration is having “some second thoughts about Manuel Zelaya,” said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. The U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States “blasted Zelaya for slipping back into Honduras and precipitating a security crisis,” although he rebuked Micheletti for his “deplorable” actions, too.

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