Commentary: Honduran crisis should serve as hemispheric wake-up call

Once the dust settles from the military coup in Honduras, there's likely to be negotiations between the interim government and regional leaders, leading to early elections where ousted President Manuel Zelaya would be allowed back but barred from running for office.

Right now, all sides are saying that's unacceptable. Don't believe them.

On Monday, after Honduras' suspension from the 34-country Organization of American States and Zelaya's dramatic but unsuccessful attempt to return home, it seemed like the two sides couldn't be further apart. Interim President Roberto Micheletti looked prepared to negotiate anything except Zelaya's return as president, while OAS member countries appeared ready to negotiate everything, as long as Zelaya returns to power.

But they're running out of time. Micheletti needs to restore the Honduran government's political legitimacy before the November presidential elections to have their outcome recognized by other nations. Zelaya, in turn, needs to return home under a political agreement that would allow him to play a role in the upcoming elections, even if he can't run, so that he doesn't fade into oblivion.

My opinion: I wouldn't be surprised if the political crisis in Honduras is resolved within the next three months. But the Honduran military coup should serve as a wake-up call for all nations in the hemisphere to react more swiftly to the constant violations of the rule of law in countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and not wait for the situations to blow up, like in Honduras.

To read the complete editorial, visit miamiherald.com.