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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Showdown in Honduras?

It appears that former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is tiring of talks.

An ultimatum from ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya left little room for compromise in U.S.-backed talks Saturday aimed at resolving a crisis that has become the latest test for democracy in Latin America.

Zelaya, who was forced into exile in a June 28 military coup, gave negotiators meeting in Costa Rica until midnight to restore him to office, threatening to return to Honduras in secret and attempt to retake power on his own if no agreement is reached. He indicated he would reject any power-sharing agreement, a proposal to be discussed at the talks.

"If at that time, there is no resolution to that end, I will consider the negotiations in Costa Rica a failure," Zelaya said at a news conference Friday night at the Honduran embassy in Nicaragua. "I am going back to Honduras, but I am not going to give you the date, hour or place, or say if I'm going to enter through land, air or sea."

Zelaya's foreign minister, Patricia Rodas, claimed that upon entering the country he would organize a "parallel government" and the situation might lead to a "civil war". In fact, the vision that Zelaya and his allies have described if the talks fail is a total nightmare for the country he presumes to want to lead. Yesterday, I pointed out the dangers of putting a line in the sand with regard to Iran.

Zelaya's ultimatum does exactly that. The Costa Rican President, Oscar Arias, was "hopeful" about the talks though Zelaya has rejected any sort of power sharing agreement. This move could be meant to do all sorts of things. It could be meant into bullying the current Honduran leadership into backing down. He might be serious. It might all be bluster.

Either way, if I am advising Roberto Micheletti, the current Honduran President, I would advise him to stand firm and not back down. Zelaya has some support among the citizenry and they've proven it with near daily demonstrations since his removal. Still, he has absolutely no support from the government, military, police, or bureaucratic structure. It's hard to imagine he could pull off what he's attempting. More than that, if he's ever back in power everyone associated with this overthrow would likely be summarily arrested and executed. He would have to turn Honduras into a totalitarian state because that's the only way he'd be able to maintain power moving forward.

The current Honduran leadership has no choice but to dig in and insist that he never return to power in Honduras again.


Anonymous said...

I think that if I were Honduran, I would be actively looking for him, so I could shoot him on sight.

Anonymous said...

Alternatively, the Hondurans could be looking to shoot Micheletti on sight.

Zelaya doesn't need help from the Honduran establishment to get back into power. If he has any semblance of popular support, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Venezuela intervened. The OAS wouldn't care, they've already said Micheletti is illegitimate.

Its like Venezuela all over again. How many times are we going to tolerate conservatives creating the enemies they then demand that we hate?

Anonymous said...

United States friends with Chaves protecting the Honduran crook, the terrorist Ecuadorian drug dealer and the Nicarguan rapist.

Honduras will go into history for its brave people.

Anonymous said...

Zelaya is a democratically elected official that has gained support for the much abused, used and trodden on underclass in Honduras. The fact that CNN is supporting a blog as right wing and fascist as what I am responding t, is horrifying. I am ashamed of the American people that they are so eager for cheap Honduran goods that they are unable to grant other humans the rights that they hold dear. Or they are just too stupid to see through the media. You should all look into Zelayas real record, a conservative right wing president that after giving the poor people of Honduras a few small necessities was overthrown by the ruling elite. The coop however is run by some of the most brutal, violent and fascist people in the world today. Shame, Shame on you on this blog for supporting the regression into Latin American dictator ships and US resource control. Go Zelaya!

mike volpe said...

First, CNN is NOT supporting this blog. You got here from a "widget" called sphere which collects related stories. I just happened to write about a topic that CNN also wrote about. That isn't necessarily support.

Second, Hitler, Mussolini, and Hugo Chavez were also "democratically elected". So, just because you once happened to get more votes than everyone else doesn't necessarily make you legitimate.

Zelaya sidestepped the government and attempted to change the Constitution in a way that was clearly unconstitutional. He had no power to try and change the constitution so that he could run again. He still tried to hold a vote even though it was clearly constitutional. The Supreme Court of Honduras asked for an arrest warrant and the military executed it.

That's a lot more democratic than what Zelaya tried to do.

As for his support for the poor, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world. What exactly has he done besides pander to them.

Carlos said...

He is another Chavez. Communist dictator. At least the Hondurans reacted before it was too late.