Thursday, August 27, 2009

OAS chief still has hope Honduran settlement.

Given that the Honduran Supreme Court has declared that Zelaya will face arrest and criminal charges if he returns and Micheletti has said that Zelaya cannot return under any conditions it is difficult to understand why Insulza, the OAS chief, still has some optimism. The key may be that the military, some in the Roman Catholic hierarchy and Chambers of Commerce favor a solution along the lines of the Arias accords. They all met together the other day but nevertheless so far their comrades coup supporters are unmoved! If Obama got serious and starting freezing assets of coup leaders in the US and cut off all US aid--much is still flowing partly through a fund that Hillary Clinton chairs, then things might change rather quickly.
Zelaya has of late said nothing about returning. Has he been told to shut up by the U.S. and wait patiently for his return as a lame duck president for a few months!

OAS chief still has hope for Honduran settlement
OAS chief still has hope for compromise to settle Honduran governmental crisis
Aug 26, 2009 14:23 EST
The head of the Organization of American States held out hope Wednesday for a resolution of the Honduran presidential crisis even after the high-level delegation he led to the Central American country failed to arrange for ousted President Manuel Zelaya's return.

OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza urged a quick acceptance of compromise accords before campaigning heats up for the Nov. 29 presidential election to pick Zelaya's successor.
"There's still a climate for making one final effort," Insulza told an OAS meeting, speaking through an interpreter. Insulza was briefing the organization after returning from a visit to Tegucigalpa, Honduras' capital, with a group of Western Hemisphere foreign ministers.
Zelaya was deposed and exiled on June 28 amid suspicions among his opponents that he wanted to overturn the constitutional provision limiting Honduran presidents to a single term. He denies that was his goal.
Insulza noted some progress arising from the OAS delegation's meetings with senior lawmakers, ministers, presidential candidates and members of the judiciary, electoral commission, military and civil society. At the same time, he acknowledged a continuing reluctance among many of those he met with to accept the San Jose Accord, a compromise proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who has acted as a mediator in the dispute.
With each passing day, Insulza said, the margin for solving the crisis gets slimmer. Attention to the coup will not disappear, he said, but it will be diverted by the election campaign season that begins Sept. 1.
Many in Honduras, Insulza said, raised concerns about Zelaya's reinstatement and an amnesty for his alleged offenses, both part of the San Jose Accord.
The officials the delegation met with, Insulza said, appeared more interested in discussing the events that led to Zelaya's ouster. "We wanted to get back to the agreement of San Jose, which was our goal in being there," he said.
On Tuesday, Honduras' interim leader, Roberto Micheletti, acknowledged the country would suffer consequences for refusing to reinstate Zelaya, but he suggested that nothing short of armed intervention could change the situation.
Lew Amselem, the U.S. representative to the OAS, said the U.S. decision to stop, starting Wednesday, issuing most visas at its embassy in Honduras sends a clear signal that "it is never acceptable in the 21st century to expel a sitting president from a country."
Opposition to Zelaya's return is fairly widespread, he said, but "nothing changes the fact that a president was forcibly deposed and exiled. That's the issue."
Zelaya's return to finish his presidential term is indispensable to resolving the matter, Amselem said.
The interim government says Zelaya's removal was legal because it was ordered by the Honduran Supreme Court after he went ahead with plans to hold a referendum asking Honduran voters if they wanted to form a special assembly to rewrite the constitution. The court had ruled that vote illegal.

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