Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dialogue has come to a standstill

Dialogue to reslove the Honduran Crisis hits standstill....

If you have read my previous couple of posts you know that the Guaymuras Dialogue between delegations from Micheletti and Zelaya has agreed to 95% of a resolution with the last sticking point being the restitution of Mel Zelaya to the preidency. Over the past few days there was a proposal by Micheletti's team to allow the Supreme Court decide what should happen with Mel as it is a "legal" problem and a proposal by the Zelaya team to allow the Congress to decide as they considered it a "political" problem. Both were rejected by the opposite side.

Today, it was reported that the commission representing the government of Roberto Micheletti proposed that they and the representatives of deposed president Manuel Zelaya be the ones to decide the solution to the crisis in Honduras, but they should base that decision after listening to reports from both the Congress and the Supreme Court. Both bodies [Congress and the Supreme Court] would present to the dialogue commissions a report on the background and events that led to the removal of Zelaya on June 28, which would provide a basis for the delegation's decision, this according to Armando Aguilar, a member of the Micheletti's commission. He also indicated that the requested reports from the legislative and judicial powers are "to justify the decision that would be taken at the negotiating table."

This evening we have learned that Zelaya's representatives have apparently rejected this proposal, so it appears the deadlock continues. As I have said previously, how can there be compromise when two sides see the issue so directly in opposition. The elections are scheduled for just over a month from now and a solution still is not on the horizon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Dialogue" has begun...

Well, the OAS delegation arrived yesterday and the new round of dialogue, now named the Guaymura Dialogue, has begun. There is a great sense of optimism that a resolution will be found. The delegation arrived at the Clarion Hotel around 10:00 yesterday morning. I happened to be right there about that time, got caught in the traffic created by the police clearing the road, and watched the caravan arrive. There were some small demonstrations that were broken up by the police yesterday, but all in all. The decree limiting the right to gather in groups is still in effect. It was supposed to have been repealed, but it has not. Not sure why. Something about it not being officially published in the government archives.

Reports are that the first session yesterday afternoon was positive and that there is a spirit of cooperation between the two sides. The OAS delegates are there more for observation and support and they are allowing the representatives from Micheletti's government and representatives of Zelaya do the talking. After the initial talks, the delegation went to the Presidential House and met with Micheletti directly. The entire session was televised. All of the delegates as well as Micheletti and the Honduran chancellor had their say. You can get a few more details
here and here and here. The OAS delegates were all (well, almost all) trying to convince Micheletti that the answer is for everyone to accept the San Jose Accord proposed by Arias back in July. Micheletti reaffirmed the position of the current government that any solution has to be based in what is legal according to the Honduran Constitution and laws of Honduras. It was obvious to me that there is an impasse here that they will struggle to get past and this is it in a nutshell.....

The current regime believes that they have acted within what is correct according to the Constitution and laws as interpreted by the Honduran Supreme Court and the rest of the OAS says they can't do it that way. The OAS still says Zelaya has to be reinstated, but the current regime says that according to the Honduran Constitution, that would be illegal.

Word this morning is that The Resistence will be attempting to march in force today. With the decree still in effect, it could get interesting. Round two of the talks will take place today. We'll see if anything comes of it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

just when you think we might get a solution....

just when you think we might get a solution....

Zelaya goes and makes a list of 4 demands before he will even begin to talk. Here is a guy that is hiding in a foreign embassy because of the arrest warrants he faces if he actually comes out and he is making demands! There are as follows:

Micheletti must lift the decree restricting constitutional freedoms. This is supposed to happen early this week anyway.

Return broadcast rights back to Radio Globo and Cholusat Sur.These are the two broadcast mediums shut down that are both pro-Zelaya. There were shut down as a result of the decree because they were calling people to insurrection. Not sure this will happen. Maybe when they repeal the decree they will allow these stations to be back on the air. Communication amongst the resistence has been severely curtailed without these two national networks being used to spread information and make national calls to demonstrate.

Remove the military that is surrounding the Brazilian Embassy where Zelaya is holed up. Zelaya is sick of being on house arrest. He, his family, and around 60 supporters, have not left this building for two weeks. I don't see any way they remove the military presence for three reasons. Number one is that Zelaya is a wanted fugitive with arrest warrants out for him. No way they are going to give him a chance to "escape". Number two is because of what happens when "Mel" is free to incite the crowds. If there is an ability for a crowd to gather in front of the embassy, Mel will, as he did the first day he entered the country, use that to encourage them to continued insurrection and that will lead to more violence. It has happened every time and there is no reason to believe it wouldn't happen again!. Number three would be for Zelaya's own protection and to insure his safety.

That Zelaya be allowed to bring in a member of his team who is currently unable to enter the country. I am sure he is referring to Patricia Rodas (although I can't be certain) who was his chief cabinet member. The problem is that she too has arrest warrants issued and she cannot enter the country without being arrested. This is true for a number of his cabinet and whoever he wants here that isn't will have the same problem. I don't see any way for this to happen. They can't just ignore the arrest warrants and allow anyone free passage back into the country.

With Zelaya making these demands, he has given himself an "out" to never seriously enter a dialogue. We'll see what happens, but this sure curbs my optimism. The OAS delegation is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday.

Here is a
link to the google translation of an article on El Heraldo's website detailing these demands.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Mark was kind enough to type up another update for everyone wondering about the situation in Honduras...

even though there has been a new wave of calm throughout the city this week, there appears to have been a lot happening. The executive decree temporarily suspending constitutional guarantees by Micheletti and his cabinet have done exactly what they were intended to do.... restore a sense of calm here. There has been no nightly curfew for the last three days and the demonstrations have been small in number and remained peaceful.

A group of Brazilian Congressmen was here to check out the situation with Zelaya at their embassy. They asked him not to abuse their facility by using it as a place to call for insurrection. It seems that they were not happy with the way he was creating unrest while there. They also met with Micheletti and got assurances that he will not "attack" the embassy in an effort to arrest Zelaya. Micheletti has also extended his ten day deadline for the Brazilian authorities to "define the status of Zelaya" to a now indefinite period.

We found out yesterday that the president of the OAS arrived and met with Micheletti, US Ambassador Llorens, and other business and political leaders here. He flew into the US military base at Palmerola incognito and that is where he met with these various leaders. This was an effort to lay groundwork for the dialogue that will take place in the near future. A delegation of the OAS is scheduled to arrive on October 7. It was also disclosed that Costa Rican President Arias would not be a part of that delegation. He really stuck his foot in his mouth this week when he disclosed that he had not even read the Honduran constitution and when he tried he said it was the "worst constitution in the world". It is becoming pretty obvious to many that there was never an effort by the international community to see if what occurred here was constitutional or not and that those who were attempting to provide solutions were doing so without a true understanding of the Honduran constitution.

There was also a visit here by a group of Republican congressmen from the US. They met with a variety of leaders and seem to be interested in discovering more details about the conflict. A group of Democrats, led by Senator Kelly, tried to block the trip, but were unsuccessful.

It also appears that Zelaya is tired of "house arrest" and is more willing than ever to reach a compromise. We'll see. His life of traveling the world had to have been preferable to the situation he is in now. Maybe he thought that once he came back he would march right in and take over. It hasn't worked out that way at all.

Here is a gooble translation to
an article on Processo Digital that covers many of these things.