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July 19, 2009

Honduras Crisis Talks Resume In Costa Rica [Nice Deb]

Talks continue today to resolve the political conflict in Honduras between the interim government and ousted president Zelaya. But they’re running into snags in the attempt to create a “reconciliation government”.

The two camps seemed to be far from a compromise, with exiled President Manuel Zelaya saying he will return to Honduras soon regardless of the outcome of the negotiations and the interim government vowing to arrest him.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for helping end Central America’s civil wars, is mediating the U.S.-backed talks and appealed for more flexibility.

The government of interim president Roberto Micheletti on Saturday asked for more time to study Arias’ proposal for ending the standoff. It included a national unity government headed by Zelaya, a general amnesty and early elections.

While Micheletti hedges his bets, others stand firm:

When asked about the idea of having Zelaya return to Honduras as president with a reconciliation government, Assistant Foreign Minister Martha Lorena Alvarado gave a one-word response: “Impossible.”

Her comment in Honduras’ capital, Tegucigalpa, was the clearest indication that the talks had deadlocked.

“The reinstatement of Zelaya, as we have maintained and now repeat, is not negotiable … there is no possibility of him returning to Honduras as president,” Alvarado said.

It takes an incredible amount of political courage to stand your ground when the UN, OAS-(what a joke), and US State Dept. is united against you. Moral certainty has a way of making one bold. The Honduran interim government knows that it made the correct decision in deposing the would be tyrant, Zelaya.

As was reported yesterday
, computers owned by Zelaya were seized by Honduran authorities and were found to contain the official and certified results of the illegal constitutional referendum Zelaya wanted to conduct that never took place. Not surprisingly, the results of this fraudulent vote was tilted heavily in Zelaya’s favor, allowing him to illegally change the constitution so he could remain in power for as long as he wanted. Getting rid of him was the only way to prevent this from happening.

Meanwhile, one of the good guys, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, who opposes the return to power of Zelaya, gets death threats from the ousted President’s supporters on a daily basis.

The American Spectator
reports:

“You must know,” Cardinal Rodríguez tells the FAZ,

that we are struggling against a very powerful, because very well-financed, campaign, which is being directed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez — to the extent that agents of the Venezuelan secret services are active in the country and are organizing the supposed popular protests against the removal of President Manuel Zelaya. Weapons have also been brought into the country. Thank God that up to now more blood has not been shed. But not a day goes by without my receiving a death threat.



Here
are some typical Zelaya supporters. Tells you everything you need to know.

See Fausta for more on the talks: Zelaya moves his “ultimatum” to July 24.

UPDATE:

The second round of talks fell flat:

Honduras' deposed President Manuel Zelaya and his rival failed to strike a deal on Sunday to solve the country's political crisis after two days of talks.

Minutes after the talks in Costa Rica collapsed, Zelaya -- who was ousted in a June 28 military coup -- told Reuters that "no one can stop me" from returning to Honduras, a move that Washington has tried to dissuade him from taking due to fears it would trigger violence.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, the mediator in the talks wants to keep trying, but the Honduran government is firm in their opposition to Zelaya's reinstatement:

Honduras' interim leader, Roberto Micheletti, flatly rejected Arias' proposal that Zelaya be reinstated, the major stumbling block in the mediation.

"I'm very sorry, but the proposals that you have presented are unacceptable to the constitutional government of Honduras ... in particular your proposal number one," said Carlos Lopez, head of the negotiating team for Micheletti.

Zelaya is in exile in Nicaragua and, like Micheletti, he did not attend the weekend talks in Costa Rica.

Cross posted at Nice Deb.

Worth watching:

CNN's Rick Sanchez did a decent job (I know!) interviewing former presidential adviser Otto Reich about the coup in Honduras. Kudos to him, for actually getting the whole story out there:


Thanks to Tweets Biden in the comments.

digg this
posted by xgenghisx at 03:39 PM

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