When the ambassador to Panama resigned his post, U.S. diplomacy lost one of its most talented Latin America hands.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov culminated a four-country tour of Latin America on Thursday in what was widely seen as Moscow’s latest bid to counteract Western sanctions over Russia’s policies in Ukraine and Crimea.

The de facto Honduran government can enjoy the support of as many Honduran political institutions and actors as it likes, but without any ambassadors loyal to the sitting government, it has virtually no effective tools to change world opinion that President Manuel Zelaya must be restored to power.

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