Acting Honduran President Roberto Micheletti said forcing deposed President Manuel Zelaya to leave the country, instead of arresting him, was an error and those who removed him should be punished.
“There was an error by a certain sector,” Micheletti said today in an interview in Tegucigalpa. “It wasn’t correct. We have to punish whoever allowed that to happen. The rest was framed within what the constitution requires.”
Micheletti said that by removing Zelaya from power, Honduras has stopped Chavez’s influence from spreading. Chavez’s brand of socialism will never gain a foothold in Honduras, Micheletti said.
“All we had done over 20 years in our fight for democracy was going to end up in the hands of one man, a new dictator, and a small group of leftists bent on staying in power,” Micheletti said. “I don’t think Chavez has any more chances here.”
- Andres R. Martinez and Blake Schmidt, bloomberg.com
Military authorities argue that removing Zelaya from the country was the best option they had to avoid a bloodbath. Had he simply been arrested and held, Zelaya's supporters would surely have tried to retrieve him, possibly forcing the military to act with deadly force. If by "punish" President Micheletti simply means a 'slap on the wrist and a wink,' I'm cool with that. I continue to believe our authorities did what was best to protect and conserve true democracy in Honduras.
One elected official does not a democracy make.