It's not clear who will be running Honduras from now on, but the clear loser in the nation's protracted political crisis is Brazil. Ever since the June ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, Brazil has been working to restore him to power. Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva denounced the "coup makers" at the U.N. in September, just before Zelaya sneaked back into Honduras and took refuge at the Brazilian Embassy. But by allowing Zelaya to use his diplomatic shield to broadcast radio messages from the embassy, Brazil ended up looking like a biased broker--which only worsened tensions by hardening de facto President Roberto Micheletti's resolve to stay in power. So by late October, the U.S. got involved. For Latin Americans, that stung--especially for Lula, who has long tried to thwart U.S. influence in the region. Under the U.S.-backed plan, Honduras's Congress will vote on whether to reinstate Zelaya or hand power to a unity government until his term ends in January. The plan could still fail (as squabbles in Tegucigalpa suggest). If so, other nations might refuse to recognize the Nov. 29 elections. But peace prospects look a lot better since Tío Sam came to Brazil's rescue.