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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Honduran coup leaders and Zelaya to talk next week.

There seems to be almost no hope of anything much for Zelaya. Even the San Jose Accords did little to advance his position and it was soundly rejected by the coup leaders. Of course Micheletti will resign no doubt. Zelaya may be president for a symbolic miniscule length of time and then some agreed upon transition group will govern and perhaps there will be observers to paint a patina of legitimacy on the upcoming elections. Zelaya may still face arrest after his term runs out. We will see what sort of parody of justice will be forthcoming. Some of the military, elite, and Church leaders(who support the coup) will come up with some negotiated settlement if they can as the coup government is facing an economic disaster that is distasteful to the business elite in particular.

Honduran coup leaders, Zelaya to open talk next week: OAS
By Sophie Nicholson (AFP) – 8 hours ago
TEGUCIGALPA — The interim Honduran government and ousted President Manuel Zelaya agreed Friday to open talks next week on resolving the political crisis triggered by a June coup, an OAS envoy said.
"There is going to be a call to dialogue," said John Biehl, an adviser to Organization of American States chief Jose Miguel Insulza.
"The current government will make it, and the other party will accept. That has been agreed."
Although ruling out face-to-face talks between Zelaya and interim leader Roberto Micheletti for now, Biehl said meetings between representatives could begin before a delegation of regional foreign ministers and Insulza, who would be invited to attend a follow-up session, arrives in Tegucigalpa on October 7.
Biehl's comments came after an OAS mission arrived to pave the way for high-level talks aimed at resolving the crisis just five days after they were expelled by the de facto government.
A US Republican legislator sympathetic to the interim regime was also due to visit.
Growing frustration with the three-month stalemate since the June 28 coup has boosted efforts to restart dialogue between Zelaya, who is holed up in the Brazilian embassy here, and Micheletti.
The interim government is also facing increased isolation over restrictions on civil liberties that has drawn condemnation even among its own supporters.
A human rights group said at least 12 people have been killed and scores wounded in political violence since the coup.
The latest death was a 24 year-old woman who suffocated after being tear gassed, said Berta Oliva, who heads a group representing relatives of people arrested or missing due to political unrest.
"We also have scores and scores of reports from people who were wounded and beaten during the protests," Oliva said.
Regime officials only acknowledge one death -- an activist killed July 5 when authorities thwarted Zelaya's attempt to fly into the Tegucigalpa airport.
According to Oliva, 96 people -- only six of whom have been jailed -- face sedition charges.
Other leading opposition figures have received anonymous death threats, she said.
The clampdown also opened divisions within the regime because of concerns it would derail November 29 elections.
Zelaya was ousted by soldiers at gunpoint after he riled the country's political and business leaders by calling for a referendum to change the constitution.
He secretly returned to the impoverished Central American nation on September 21, surfacing in the Brazilian embassy.
The regime threatened to remove the embassy's diplomatic status, but backtracked after six Brazilian lawmakers met Micheletti late Thursday, one of the legislators told AFP.
The Brazilians also met with Supreme Court justices and members of the Honduran legislature, the lawmaker said.
Small groups of Zelaya supporters faced off Thursday with a large contingent of security forces at a television station the regime shut down, and later near the Brazilian embassy.
With sweeping powers to clamp down on protests and free speech, baton-wielding riot police and soldiers evicted Zelaya supporters who had been camping in the capital and raided two opposition media outlets.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal on Wednesday joined Congress in calling on Micheletti to reverse the clampdown.
The interim leader discussed the issue a day later with Supreme Court magistrates and business leaders, who are especially anxious as investments have dried up since the crisis began.
"The country is paralyzed," said Mario Canahuati, a businessman.
The regime is seeking to arrest Zelaya, who veered to the left after his election and forged an alliance with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, on charges that include treason and abuse of authority.
Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

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