Confirmation Hold on Valenzuela Ensured “Clean Hands” in His New Job
In an article yesterday, Laura Carlsen, suggests that the State Department sold out Honduran democracy in order to unfreeze the hold Sen. DeMint put on diplomatic post confirmations. I doubt this. I think the US had little to sell in that regard since Honduran democracy was never a priority.
But, here is another angle you might want to consider. The hold on Valenzuela’s confirmation prevented him from being in Honduras when Tom Shannon put the screws to President Zelaya last week and from being anywhere near the US’ decision to recognize the November 29th election without reinstatement of Zelaya. Valenzuela’s lack of involvement in the questionable US role in Honduras allows him to come to his new job with clean hands. More importantly, should there be any congressional inquiry in the future about the US’ shenanigans in Honduras, Valenzuela will have “plausible deniability.”
As of now, there is still a hold on Shannon’s confirmation to be ambassador to Brazil and maybe that will be lifted after the Honduran election takes place. DeMint lifted his hold on Shannon’s confirmation at the same time he lifted the hold on Valenzuela. But, retiring Florida Sen. Mel Martinez’ replacement, Sen. George Lemieux, placed a hold on it immediately thereafter. This leaves Shannon in limbo as Valenzuela is in Shannon’s job now and Shannon has yet to hit the beaches of Ipanema.
For the State Department, the more daylight between Shannon’s duplicitous deeds in Honduras and his diplomatic post in the powerhouse of Latin America, the better. I am sure that the Brazilian diplomats in Tegucigalpa have received an earful from Zelaya about what went down with Shannon.