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Monday, July 13, 2009

Costa Rica eyes fresh Honduran mediation talks.

This allows more time for the coup government to settle into power. Given that the two sides are at complete loggerheads it could be that no solution is ever reached. Negotiations will drag on and the coup government will set new presidential elections as soon as possible. Zelaya is not eligible to run and probably Marchetti would not run either. Once a new president is elected the Honduran government can claim that now an elected president is in power everything is hunky dory. The government will be in control of the electoral process but then the system is designed to ensure that the right sort of people get in anyway. Zelaya was originally one of them but sometimes people turn against their own class as happened in Zelaya' case.
If the negotiations are successful it will probably be for Zelaya to return as president but with limited powers. He will be a lame duck president until the elected president takes power in January. No one involved in the coup will face any punishment.



Costa Rica eyes fresh Honduras mediation talks
By Gustavo Palencia Gustavo Palencia
– TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Mediator Costa Rica said on Monday it may call Honduras' interim government and ousted President Manuel Zelaya's negotiators within 8 days for fresh talks aimed at defusing the country's political crisis.
The talks began last week and stopped after two days, making scant progress. Zelaya insists on his reinstatement and Roberto Micheletti, installed as interim president by Honduras' Congress after the June 28 coup, is adamant that he cannot return to power under any circumstances.
"Unofficially, we've been told that we'll be invited to Costa Rica on Saturday by President Oscar Arias to continue the talks," Micheletti told reporters.
Micheletti made the statement after swearing in his lead negotiator, Carlos Lopez, as new interim foreign minister. Lopez said he would continue to head the caretaker government's delegation at the talks.
In Costa Rica, a spokesman for Arias confirmed the mediator, who is Costa Rica's president and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987, intended to issue a fresh invitation to the two sides.
"The president is thinking of inviting the parties within a period of eight days," the spokesman, Esteban Arrieta, told reporters in San Jose, but he could not give a precise date for the restart of the talks.
No foreign government has recognized Micheletti as president, and the United States and the Organization of American States have called for Zelaya to be restored to office after the coup in the impoverished Central American country.
Time appears to be on the interim government's side, said Mark Ruhl, a Honduras specialist at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.
"The longer this goes on, the better it is for Micheletti. The downside is if the United States decides to squeeze the government financially. But if you were Micheletti, why would you leave?" he told Reuters.
Honduras, which exports bananas, coffee and textiles, has a long history of coups, only returning to democracy in 1980s after 20 years of mainly military rule.
Micheletti on Sunday held out the possibility of an amnesty for Zelaya if he returns home quietly and faces justice.
Outside the public prosecutor's office in Tegucigalpa on Monday, protesters held up banners that read "No amnesty for Mel's government," referring to Zelaya by his nickname.
TEST OF DIPLOMACY
Micheletti reaffirmed that Zelaya would not be allowed to return to power "under any conditions," arguing he had contravened the constitution by seeking to illegally extend his rule through the lifting of presidential term limits.
Zelaya, now traveling the Americas to shore up his support, ran afoul of his political base and ruling elites in the conservative country by allying himself with Venezuela's leftist president, Hugo Chavez. He took office in 2006 and had been due to leave power next year.
Chavez has called the mediation talks in Costa Rica "dead before they started," and Zelaya has vowed to return to Honduras at any moment.
The Honduras crisis has also drawn in U.S. President Barack Obama, who faces a tricky diplomatic test after vowing a fresh start with Latin America, where Washington has in the past been accused of backing coups and dictatorships that served its interests.
The Obama administration was quick to strongly condemn the Honduras coup as illegal.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I don't think we should be so hasty to condemn a constitutional process in Honduras whereby a leader who was trying to grab power unconstitutionally was ousted. I think that it was foolish to send him to another country where he could make a big stink. He should have been brought to justice in Honduras. Anyway, the last thing we need is another demagogue-thug like Castro or Chavez