Commentary: Honduras coup drama must end

The cadre of civilians and military officers in Honduras that ousted President Manuel Zelaya and exiled him to Costa Rica is having a hard time keeping its story straight. First, the plotters said the removal was carried out in response to a lawful order from the Supreme Court, but now they say that President Zelaya actually chose exile rather than going to jail — his only other choice.

Even members of the government are straying from the script. Deputy Attorney General Roy David Urtecho revealed on Wednesday that his office had issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Zelaya on charges of treason and abuse of power. And, by golly, he can't figure out why the president was sent to Costa Rica instead of an Honduran court. That, apparently, is news to Roberto Micheletti, the newly installed president, who insists that the soldiers were complying with Supreme Court orders.

Trying to sort this out, Mr. Utrecho could only come up with this face-saving explanation: "There were events that don't comply with the law."

You don't say.

That's the most striking understatement to emerge from the turmoil in Honduras, but it fails to explain anything. The most pressing question is why Honduran leaders chose to turn a lameduck president with little popular or political support from any quarter, including his own party, into a figure hailed as a "victim" of anti-democratic forces by the U.N. General Assembly, the Organization of American States and even, reluctantly, the U.S. State Department.

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