A proposal for a Honduran solution for the Honduran crisis was announced tonight by Cardinal Juan Jose Pineda. Instead of the international community forcing the San José Accord on Honduras, when neither side agrees with it, Hondurans will develop their own Tegucigalpa accord.
Welcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. Among the big news this week, Hugo Chavez is visiting his friend Muamar Gadafi in Libya, Oscar Arias wants to extend his term, and the US continues to pressure Honduras to reinstate Zelaya.
After his much-ballyhooed excursion yesterday evening, Zelaya turned tail and ran away, like Sir Robin:
His little incursion lasted 30 minutes and it was a show for the media:
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya pushed through a crowd made up mostly of journalists and some supporters, lifted the chain that divides Nicaragua and Honduras, and stepped into his homeland Friday, nearly a month after he was deported in a coup.
If he did indeed enter Honduras and then leave on his own, doesn’t this mean that his exile is voluntary? It seems that there is a difference between forcible exile and a refusal to repatriate. Jus sayin’.
Costa Rican-brokered talks to resolve a three-week political stalemate in Honduras will continue for a second day as delegations remain deadlocked over the main issue of reinstating deposed President Manuel Zelaya.
Representatives of Zelaya and acting President Roberto Micheletti, who both claim to represent the “constitutional government” of Honduras, agreed to review a seven-point proposal by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias in an attempt to reach an agreement today.
Here is Arias reading (in Spanish) the seven points proposal [My translation: if you use this, please credit me and link to this post]:
1. Zelaya’s legitimate reinstatement until the end of his period ending January 27 next year, when he will give up his office and allow an election overseen by the international community.
2. Forming a government of unity and national reconciliation composed by representatives of the main political parties.
3. A general amnesty on all political crimes incurred during this conflict before and after last July [sic, should be June] 28.
4. President Zelaya’s expressed resignation, and of his goverment, from attempting to place a fourth ballot box in the next elections, or to bring about any popular consultation not directly authorized by the Honduran Constitution.
5. Moving up the national election from November 29th to the last Sunday in October, and moving up the electoral campaign from early September to late August.
6. Transfer the command of the armed forces from the executive power to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal a month prior to the elections in order to guarantee transparency and normalcy of the vote, in accordance to the terms of the Honduran Constitution.
7. The formation of a Verification Commission, composed of notable Hondurans and members of international organs, especially representatives of the Organization of American States, that would watch over the compliance of these agreements and supervise the correct return to constitutional order.
Honduras’ interim president Roberto Micheletti has met privately with Costa Rican president Oscar Arias at Arias’s residence, according to Globovisión. Earlier in the day, Micheletti had refused to leave the airport “unless his personal safety was guaranteed.” Guatemalan government minister Rodrigo Arias, Oscar’s brother, then escorted Micheletti to the meeting.
Here’s video of Globovisión’s TV report, via Noticias 24
While not in the spotlight, Chavez has been busy. His foreign minister and top aides spent most of last week in Central America and he was in regular phone contact with leftist elders Fidel Castro of Cuba and Ortega.
Venezuela cut oil supplies to Honduras and lent a plane and a pilot for Zelaya’s return attempt on Sunday that was aborted when Honduran soldiers blocked the runway in Tegucigalpa. Other countries in the Organization of American States had advised Zelaya not to make the trip.
Chavez cut short his participation in Venezuela’s independence day celebration on Sunday to follow the action.
Former Assistant Secretary of State for Western
Hemisphere Affairs Otto Reich is scheduled to testify at tomorrow’s open hearing of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, The Crisis in Honduras. Chavez had blamed the coup on Reich. You can read Reich’s reply here (registration needed).
Costa Rican President Óscar Arias will mediate talks beginning Thursday to resolve Honduras’s political crisis, in an effort spurred by the U.S. to stave off confrontations between deposed President Manuel Zelaya and the provisional government that ousted him.
The U.S. also strengthened its support Tuesday for Mr. Zelaya, who was forced into exile by the Honduran army on June 28. President Barack Obama called for his restoration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with him in Washington.
Speaking on Honduran radio from Washington, Zelaya said his reinstatement as president was “nonnegotiable.” “What this is, is not a negotiation,” he said. “This is the planning of the exit of the coup leaders.”
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias has agreed to lead the mediating effort to resolve the political crisis in Honduras.
Arias will host the talks in Costa Rica, and the leader who replaced Zelaya, former speaker of the Congress Roberto Micheletti, has agreed to participate, Clinton said.
Arias confirmed he’ll meet with Zelaya and Micheletti tomorrow.
The high-level meeting [Zelaya’s] with Clinton signaled a higher degree of intervention by the United States, which has joined leaders across the Americas in trying to bring an end to the crisis that began with a predawn raid June 28.
Valenzuela acknowledged “probably … significant influence” from Chavez on Zelaya, but said the Honduran military should not have deposed and exiled Zelaya without judicial process. Supporters of the coup in Honduras say it was a lawful removal.
Seventeen Senate Republicans on Wednesday sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urging the Obama administration to reverse its rhetoric and support the removal of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.
The GOP senators disagree with the administration’s use of the term “coup” for the events in Honduras, saying that Zelaya was removed properly. The senators also urge Clinton to meet with a delegation of Honduran officials currently in Washington with whom they met earlier Wednesday.
Zelaya was removed from power last week after moving to hold a non-binding referendum to change the country’s constitution to allow him to remain in office. Obama and Clinton have reacted strongly, but the Republicans say Zelaya was corrupt and that the U.S. should not seek to return him to power.
“It appears that the Honduran government operated under constitutional authority and that the removal of Mr. Zelaya from power was legal and legitimate,” the senators wrote to Clinton.