Saturday, July 18, 2009

Honduras agreement?

From Reuters:

TEGUCIGALPA, July 18 (Reuters) - Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said on Saturday he agreed with a proposal made by mediator Costa Rica to form a national unity government, and said he would return home from exile in the coming days.

"We agree with it, but only as long as all the powers of the state are integrated into it," he told Radio Globo, adding that his return to Honduras could occur as soon as tomorrow, in defiance of a threat by the interim government to arrest him. (Reporting by Simon Gardner, Esteban Israel and Juana Casas)


So what's up? Is this real or a bad translation?

Update: Opposition says no:

TEGUCIGALPA, July 18 (Reuters) - Honduras' interim government rejected mediator Costa Rica's proposal to allow ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to return to serve out the rest of his term, a spokesman for the presidential palace said on Saturday.

"They want the reinstatement of President Zelaya without any form of negotiation," Mario Saldana, a spokesman for the caretaker government, told Reuters. Asked if the government accepted the proposal, he said, "No." (Reporting by Simon Gardner; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Ah well.

41 comments:

Anonymous,  6:10 PM  

It seems like a very fluid situation. Many sources are reporting that Micheletti rejects it for allowing Zelaya to return. I think he will not have the last word on that. As for Zelaya, since this acceptance is so recent, we'll need to see whether his acceptance is conditional on x,y, or z. Greg, can you translate the seven Arias points and post them.

leftside 6:13 PM  

Here are the 7 points (supposedly and surprisingly) agreed to by Zelaya. I think it would be practically impossible for the golpistas to reject these generous terms.

# Return of Zelaya as legitimate president until end of period

# conform a govt of unity and reconciliation with members of political parties

# Amnesty for all those involved in the coup

# Zelaya will not pursue "cuarta urna" (effort to vote for a constitutional assembly"

# Presidential elections for end of Oct instead of end of Nov

# Armed forced will be located in the Supreme Court one month before elections

# Committee for verification by OAS

Justin Delacour 6:17 PM  

Well, if the interim government is going to balk at the compromise proposal, there's only one thing left for the United States to do: Step up the economic pressure.

But will they do it? Or will they pull a modern-day Neville Chamberlain by appeasing the coup government?

Anonymous,  6:21 PM  

Here is a Zelaya statement quoted by El Pais in Madrid.

"Estamos de acuerdo, pero siempre y cuando todos los poderes del Estado estén integrados en el nuevo Gobierno", ha dicho Zelaya en declaraciones a Radio Globo.

Would he consider giving up the referendum/survey power etc...as a deal breaker?

I guess details would still have to be worked out as to what constitutes a government of national reconciliation and who would have what powers.

What I like about the solution is that it allows both sides to feel partially vindicated (with their own particular spin) but it puts the emphasis of reconciliation on the future elections not what happened in June. Let the people decide.

Anonymous,  6:25 PM  

leftside,

#3 The amnesty would apply to all, not just the coup plotters (e.g. no charges against Zelaya and his supporters either).

#6 I still don't understand but I think it has to do with increasing the time the electoral tribunal supervises and carries out the elections.

Justin Delacour 6:27 PM  

Would he consider giving up the referendum/survey power etc...as a deal breaker?

That's old news. Zelaya has been saying he wouldn't try another non-binding referendum ever since the first days of the coup.

Justin Delacour 6:46 PM  

If the coup government is going to balk at the compromise proposal, who among us could blame Zelaya for returning to the country to fight for the office to which he was elected?

Anonymous,  7:05 PM  

While Correa is busy denying FARC funding ("manufactured evidence"), Chavez railing against "the empire" and declaring negotiations dead in the water, and Castro and Morales blaming the US for the coup, a mild-mannered politician from San Jose says, "Let Central Americans solve the problems of Central America." And, he attempts to do it in a way that puts the coup leaders in a difficult situation, disregarding all advice from ALBA countries. Normally, when there is not agreement in a mediation, the disputed terms are not made public. In making the seven points public, Arias has said there is very little left to negotiate.

Justin, I will support the right of Hondurans to rebel if they have first given all peaceful opportunities to resolve the crisis a chance. As for the US acting like Neville Chamberlain, that is an absurd comparison given that the US is working behind the scenes, unlike ALBA, to solve the problem. Appeasement remains a policy that weak governments follow because they can't stand up to a bully. Even you recognize the US has influence over the Honduran government. Really bad analysis.

leftside 8:45 PM  

I think the main question now is whether those connected to the coup are going to be allowed to be placed in his Government? Zelaya ruled this out yesterday. Micheletti et. al. seem to think otherwise. If anyone has any clarification from Arias on what exactly he means, that would be helpful. That is does he mean just including opposition people in Zelaya's cabinet, or is he talking about inserting some Zelaya supporters in other institutions?

This appears to be what Zelaya is referring to with his qualifier that a (coalition government) needs to have "all the powers of the state being integrated into it."

Zelaya said yesterday that handing over ministries to coup leaders would be “perverse." He stated correctly that "A coup leader should be standing before the court of the world, not being rewarded.”

Justin Delacour 8:50 PM  

a mild-mannered politician from San Jose says, "Let Central Americans solve the problems of Central America."

But you don't seem to get it. Zelaya, Arias and the OAS are all on the same page now. So the key question is whether the U.S. will work with the others to put on the pressure now.

In making the seven points public, Arias has said there is very little left to negotiate.

Okay, so what do you propose now that the coup government is balking at the terms?

Appeasement remains a policy that weak governments follow because they can't stand up to a bully.

Not exactly. England wasn't weak. It ultimately stood up to Hitler, but only after he invaded Poland. The issue was that Chamberlain wasn't willing to bear the costs of standing up to Hitler earlier, when he should have.

In the case of Honduras, the "bully" is actually much bigger than Micheletti and company. The bully here includes the conservative establishment within the United States that is pushing Obama to do nothing. These people are very well-positioned within the media, and their tentacles extend into the conservative Clintonite wing of the Democratic Party (as Lanny Davis' disgusting little maneuver has demonstrated).

So it's not just a question of whether the Obama Administration is appeasing Micheletti and company. It's also a question of whether or not the Administration is appeasing the conservative foreign policy establishment. If the Administration doesn't start putting on the pressure now, we'll know the answer to that question.

RAJ 9:25 PM  

Item # 6 reads "The transfer of the command of the Armed Forces from the Executive Power to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, one month before the elections, to guarantee transparency and normality of suffrage, in conformity with the terms of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras". The Armed Forces are constitutionally mandated to guarantee electoral freedom. They also are constitutionally under the President (Executive Power). This is meant to reassure people that President Zelaya will not abuse the armed forces and somehow restrict voting, or try to insert another referendum on the ballot.

Notice the Supreme Tribunal of Elections is not the Supreme Court of Justice.

For the full translation of all seven points, since all are slightly different than reported here, see http://hondurascoup2009.blogspot.com/2009/07/seven-points-of-arias-plan-translation.html

Anonymous,  9:53 PM  

Is Zelaya in Honduras already? According to this report he is:

http://www.diariodigitalglobal.com.ar/noticias/noticia.php?cod_noticia=4096&tabla=internacionales

Anonymous,  10:02 PM  

Justin- Don't believe me. Just read the following Churchill quote and tell me again England was not politically, militarily, economically and diplomatically weak in 1930s. Hitler re-armed and despite the number of troops available to oppose him, the governments did not have the stomach to use them together. In terms of the latest miiltary technology the capacities of the Luftwaffe and the new tanks and were vastly superior to England's forces for continental warfare.

"Look back and see what we had successively accepted and thrown away: a Germany rearmed in violation of a solemn treaty; air superiority or even air parity cast away; the Rhineland forcibly occupied and the Siegfried Line built or building; the Berlin-Rome Axis established; Austria devoured and digested by the Reich; Czechoslovakia deserted and ruined by the Munich Pact, its fortress line in German hands, its mighty arsenal of Skoda henceforward making munitions for the German armies; President Roosevelt's effort to stabilise or bring to a head the European situation by the intervention of the United States waved aside with one hand and Soviet Russia's undoubted willingness to join the Western Powers and go all lengths to save Czechoslovakia ignored on the other; the services of thirty five Czech divisions against the still unripened German army cast away, when great Britain could herself supply only two to strengthen the front in France; all gone with the wind. .......History
may be scoured and ransacked to find a parallel to this sudden and complete reversal of five or six years' policy of easy-going placatory appeasement, and its
transformation almost overnight into a readiness to accept an obviously imminent war on far worse conditions and on the greatest scale. .........which must surely lead to the slaughter of tens of millions of people."

Justin Delacour 10:25 PM  

"Weakness" is not the problem to which Churchill refers. It's a lack of political will to which he refers. An opportunity existed for England to act in alliance with other powers against Hitler in 1938, but Chamberlain decided to appease Hitler instead.

Does the Obama Administration have the political will to genuinely help turn back this coup? The coming days will be very telling.

Justin Delacour 10:50 PM  

Oh, and by the way, anonymous, you didn't answer my question. Now that you acknowledge that there's little left to negotiate, what do you propose that the U.S. do in the face of the coup government's rejection of Arias' terms?

Anonymous,  12:14 AM  

I propose the same thing I have consistently proposed. The US should use its diplomatic influence to bring the Honduran government around. However, it should do so in a way that allows the leaders of Honduras' institutions to save face. If Micheletti gets in the way of a diplomatic solution, the Hondurans have shown they know how to handle presidential intransigence. :) I am, of course, hoping for a peaceful solution.

Zelaya has promised to break off the talks at midnight. Then he says he will send delegates on Sunday. He accepts the proposal but then his spokeman qualifies it by saying "in principle." The Zelaya side may not quite be on board as it seems.

Thankfully you were never one of my history professors. The point is that England could not bring any power to bare on Eastern and Central Europe on a battlefield. It was so ill-equipped and outmatched in such a war that when it finally did declare war in Sept. 1939, it waited behind French lines for Germany to attack the next spring. To compare that to what the US could do, if so inclined, in Honduras is preposterous. Appeasement is the policy of weakness and you are too proud to admit it.

leftside 1:05 AM  

The US should use its diplomatic influence to bring the Honduran government around. However, it should do so in a way that allows the leaders of Honduras' institutions to save face.

Isn't this a suggestion of appeasement? One without even a good reason.

The way this was done (with Arias and Zelaya announcing at roughly the same time) was to put the golpistas in a tight box. Now is not the time to give them any air or show any sympathy. They are getting a crap load - they don't need to "save face." Six of the seven points are an affront to Zelaya and a gift to the coup plotters.

Anonymous,  1:54 AM  

Well, not exactly. The coup plotters need both some pressure and some face-saving rather than just the US stick. There is a sense of timing and a finessed diplomatic formula that will have to work. There is undoubtedly going to be a weighing of how bad this will be if they decide to turn it down. The legalist approach would be we can't negotiate the amnesty, the early elections etc... for all the institutions of govt. in such a timeline. Of course, they can but they really have to do is swallow the return of Zelaya. The US will try in private to help them to decide the return of Zelaya is the lesser of two evils and, in any case, he would be a figurehead. The worse alternative is sanctions, isolation, continued crisis, and possible civil war.

Zelaya also has problems with the proposal including his non-negotiable demand that no coup supporters will be in the national unity government. A government of national unity is formed with your opponents not your friends. This is a contradiction that will be discussed tomorrow. Zelaya can accept it "in principle" because it offers the only realistic way he returns to office. After all, he is the one in exile. If Micheletti rejects it, Zelaya wins additional support in world opinion, and is still better off than he was on Friday.

The situation remains fluid. #1 is the sticking point for the leaders of the coup. #2 will be problematic for Zelaya. The remainder are relatively easy to accomplish.

Justin Delacour 2:49 PM  

The coup plotters need both some pressure and some face-saving rather than just the US stick.

Arias' terms provide lots of "face-saving." How much more "face-saving" do these thugs need, anonymous?

You can't have it both ways. You can't, on the one hand, say there's little left to negotiate, and then, on the other hand, say the U.S. needs to keep going soft on the coup leaders. Such appeasement suggests to me that you're not even interested in seeing Zelaya's restoration. If that's the case, you ought to be more honest about it.

If Micheletti rejects it, Zelaya wins additional support in world opinion, and is still better off than he was on Friday.

Bullshit. "The world" is not expecting Zelaya to bring coup leaders into his cabinet. This has nothing to do with "world opinion." It has to do with the fact that the U.S. is still going soft on the coup leaders and expecting Zelaya to agree to ridiculous terms.

It's one thing if Zelaya were to bring in people of other parties who were sympathetic to the coup, but a reconciliation government doesn't require that he bring in any of Micheletti's ministers. That would be appeasement. We shouldn't be sending a signal to prospective coup plotters that their dirty deeds will be rewarded.

Justin Delacour 6:59 PM  

Isn't this a suggestion of appeasement? One without even a good reason.

Indeed, U.S. appeasement of Honduras' coup leaders would be, in some ways, even more inexcusable than Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler because at least Chamberlain could say in 1938 that England would incur great costs in standing up to Hitler. For the Obama Administration, there are no such costs implicit in standing up to Honduras' coup leaders. The only costs would be political (since the right is screaming loudly that Micheletti and company should be left alone).

But the real costs of doing nothing would be very high. If Micheletti doesn't fall, this coup will signal to other prospective coup leaders in the region that democracy is expendable. The Obama Administration is really playing with fire here.

Anonymous,  7:52 PM  

Well clearly you still don't understand that the concept of appeasement applies to giving in to hostile powers.

Honduras' defacto government may not be democratically elected but it can hardly be said to be hostile to the US. It is only hostile to ALBA countries and thus the worldwide following of fellow travelers. Your shrill denunciations of the US attempts to support the negotiating process make it sound like you'd prefer the failure of dialogue and some good ol' bloody repression thereafter. What a cruel thing to wish on Honduras-- all to vindicate a leader as pathetic as Zelaya. Nevertheless, I continue to support restoration and the vindication of democratic processes as long as Zelaya's wings are clipped.

Given his idiotic statements in the Sao Paolo paper and refusal to have a real national reconciliation govt. bound by limitations set by a separation of powers, if this fails, he will share responsibility with Micheletti.

Justin Delacour 10:15 PM  

It is only hostile to ALBA countries and thus the worldwide following of fellow travelers.

My opposition to this coup has nothing to do with ALBA. Zelaya's political allegiances are completely irrelevant to the question of whether extra-legal overthrows of democratically-elected presidents are acceptable.

The bottom line here is that U.S. stall tactics are helping to protect a coup government. Let me repeat that, if Micheletti doesn't fall, this coup will signal to other prospective coup leaders in the region that democracy is expendable. U.S.-Latin America relations are gonna go straight down the toilet if the Obama Administration keeps acting like this.

Given his idiotic statements in the Sao Paolo paper and refusal to have a real national reconciliation govt. bound by limitations set by a separation of powers, if this fails, he will share responsibility with Micheletti.

Why don't you just stop lying, anonymous? Arias made it totally clear. "The Zelaya delegation fully accepted my proposal." What about that do you not understand?

Anonymous,  12:50 AM  

You may think this history will be written w/o ALBA, I don't. Tell the many Hondurans who are stuck in ALBA and trying to avoid further going down that road that it is "completely irrelevant."

Yesterday Ortega proposes constitutional reform to allow reelection in Nicaragua. Stealing the last election with Aleman wasn't enough? Today Morales wants to extend ALBA to include joint military cooperation and ending all relationships with the US military. Ignore it, the fellow travelers parrot, as Honduras joined ALBA w/o ideological compromise. Prior to that Correa demands a regional approach to restrict freedom of the press and denies the unambigious evidence of FARC funding. Chavez strips the democratically elected mayor of Caracas of 94% of his budget. I won't mention what it sounds like to a Honduran nationalist to be lectured to by Castro about democracy.

Undoubtedly the recent events a series of coincidences all that have perfectly reasonable explanations. It must be comfortable to be so Catholic.

leftside 2:01 AM  

You may think this history will be written w/o ALBA, I don't. Tell the many Hondurans who are stuck in ALBA and trying to avoid further going down that road that it is "completely irrelevant."

When all else fail, lets make it about Chavez. If the Hondurans do not want to be a part of ALBA, fine. Venezuela will keep its aid. Honduras can turn to the US again for their energy needs - and be told to f' off again. ALBA has nothing to do with this. The whole region - and world - is united behind the restoration of Honduran democracy. And some people are trying to distract with BS like this.

Justin Delacour 2:12 AM  

Once again, ALBA is completely irrelevant to the question of whether Zelaya is the legitimate, elected president of Honduras.

The question is this: Do you have some basic principles or not?

If your point is that military coups are a-okay if they're against elected leftist governments but not okay if they're against the kinds of governments you like, you obviously don't have any real principles.

The line of reasoning that you seem to be using is exactly the same logic that the military juntas of the 1970s used to justify dictatorship and dirty wars. And in case you've forgotten, those guys made Hugo Chavez look like Mother Theresa.

Yesterday Ortega proposes constitutional reform to allow reelection in Nicaragua.

And what exactly does this have to do with whether Manuel Zelaya is the legitimate, elected president of Honduras? Not a god damn thing.

Try developing a coherent argument, Neville.

Anonymous,  2:18 AM  

Even the socialist papers in Madrid, hardly friends of the coup, are starting to connect the dots.

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/
opinion/Chavez/quiere
/todo/elpepiopi/
20090720elpepiopi_2/Tes

EDITORIAL
Chávez lo quiere todo
El presidente venezolano acumula un poder sin precedentes refrendado por la Asamblea

Durante algún tiempo hubo motivo para dudar; el presidente venezolano Hugo Chávez tuvo siempre un talante autoritario, pero en sus primeros años de Gobierno fue relativamente cauto. Hoy ya está, sin embargo, claro que lo quiere todo….

El último avatar de esta ofensiva para la dominación de todos los resortes del poder será la aprobación, probablemente antes de fin de año, de la ley sobre la propiedad social, que así enunciada, no debe de sonar mal, puesto que hasta la Iglesia sostiene que ese derecho no puede ser nunca irrestricto. Pero ocurre que la ley, acogida con nutrida división de opiniones, es un ejemplo de cómo entiende Chávez la gobernación, pensada como está para legalizar a posteriori la estatalización o confiscación de industrias alimentarias y tierras de labor, así como tiene hoy ya en el punto de mira a los medios, con la anunciada revisión de las condiciones de emisión de cerca de 300 radios y televisiones del país…

La pugna latinoamericana entre chavismo y antichavismo abarca cada vez más teatros de acción, como el forcejeo diplomático sobre Honduras, en el que Venezuela opera, si bien con extraordinaria truculencia, junto a las democracias para exigir el restablecimiento de Manuel Zelaya en la presidencia contra los golpistas de Roberto Micheletti

leftside 2:32 AM  

Yesterday Ortega proposes constitutional reform to allow reelection in Nicaragua.

Oh no!!! Re-election - like we have in the US!

Stealing the last election with Aleman wasn't enough?

Oh, you have proof the (municipal?) elections were stolen?

Today Morales wants to extend ALBA to include joint military cooperation and ending all relationships with the US military.

How dare a group of nations deliberate about increasing joint military cooperation without the US involved? They are almost acting like the EU!

Ignore it, the fellow travelers parrot, as Honduras joined ALBA w/o ideological compromise

Who's saying ignore it? Ignore what? What did Honduras compromise exactly when it was getting all that aid - for nothing?

Prior to that Correa demands a regional approach to restrict freedom of the press

You mean the freedom of the press to break laws and avoid taxes?

and denies the unambigious evidence of FARC funding.

By setting up a Commission to get to the bottom of this story? Do you really think Correa knew about any donations from FARC?

Chavez strips the democratically elected mayor of Caracas of 94% of his budget.

You mean the budget they got reimbursed last week?

I won't mention what it sounds like to a Honduran nationalist to be lectured to by Castro about democracy.

You mean lectured by the whole world about democracy??

Justin Delacour 2:42 AM  

So what exactly is your point, anonymous? That military coups are a-okay if they're against leftist governments?

Pinochet would certainly agree with you.

Tech 8:12 AM  

They can mediate all they want. I don't think they will come to an agreement anytime soon.

Anonymous,  9:18 AM  

My simple point is that you are wrong about the history of this conflict. The larger trend will be written to include the old struggle of demagogic populism-- ALBA in its current form- versus the elites and nationalists--Micheletti's coup. It has a longer term and international dimension that goes beyond your tortured interpretations of Honduran law. Leftside, your defense of the indefensible reminds me of how fellow travelers acted in 1939, 1956 and 1968. Well done. By the way, EU is not a military organization.

Secondly, you are defending something in a way that I don't believe at all that you all support. You criticize the negotiations, refuse to criticize the talks opponents--no chance, a trampa, US is gutless and behind the coup, and suddenly believe in it when when Zelaya zig-zags one more time on a Sunday night. Excuse me if I am critical and wait to see whether this is one of Mel's endless ultimatums. Nevertheless, I am saying you are the worse kind of conditional democrats, supporting democracy only when it favors your pathetic ALBA countries. It is as if your emotional commitment to the cause has overcome your ability to look at evidence. My pushing the envelope rhetorically has exposed you for what you are. You're hypocrites who wouldn't live under a Chavista system but are glad to condemn others to such a fate.

Thirdly, unlike you, I maintain my independence of judgment and look at the facts as they happen. No one has a crystal ball in this crisis. Everyone has made errors in prognostication. I am not rooting for Micheletti to succeed, I am rooting for the negotiations to succeed. They are farther apart than I thought on Saturday night but I am not surrendering the possibility of success. The US pressure, combined with other factors already discussed, has a good chance of restoring Zelaya as a figurehead. Let it be decided by the Honduran people in a free and fair election supervised by international organizations.

leftside 3:00 PM  

Leftside, your defense of the indefensible reminds me of how fellow travelers acted in 1939, 1956 and 1968. Well done. By the way, EU is not a military organization.

Ummm... you are sitting here trying to find any which way to defend a military coup - including distracting with cheap stories from elsewhere. Meanwhile, you come here spouting off about European history but don't know that EU member countries (led by France) are proposing a new paradigm in military cooperation among members states (central command, common weapons system, etc.)!? This is for the explicit purpose of excluding the US and providing an alternative to NATO. Look up "integrated European Armed Force" if you are still confused. It is pretty much what Evo proposed and you found so scary.

My simple point is that you are wrong about the history of this conflict.

If apologists like you write the history of this conflict I am sure it will include loads of crap about the phantom threat of Chavez and ALBA. But if this is really about the Law and Constitution - as you and the official discourse claim - then Chavez and ALBA have nothing to do with it. So which one is it?

Justin Delacour 3:24 PM  

I am saying you are the worse kind of conditional democrats, supporting democracy only when it favors your pathetic ALBA countries.

No, YOU are the worst kind of conditional democrat. You spout apologetics for a coup when it's against a leftist government.

It is as if your emotional commitment to the cause has overcome your ability to look at evidence.

The evidence is staring you right in the face, anonymous. Arias, your favorite "mild-mannered" Central American leader, says the "Zelaya delegation fully accepted my proposal..." In other words, Zelaya has agreed to the compromise that you initially touted, but now you're back in Micheletti's corner, spouting apologetics for a coup.

You're hypocrites who wouldn't live under a Chavista system but are glad to condemn others to such a fate.

Uh, first of all, Honduras is not Venezuela and Manuel Zelaya is not Hugo Chavez.

Second of all, I've lived in Venezuela. It is not the totalitarian dungeon that you imagine. I can walk up to any kiosk in Caracas and pick up a newspaper that calls Chavez every awful name you can imagine. There is more free and open discussion of different political perspectives in Venezuela than there is in the United States. But you wouldn't know that because you rely on very poor sources of information.

The US pressure, combined with other factors already discussed, has a good chance of restoring Zelaya as a figurehead.

Figurehead?? Zelaya is not a "figurehead." Zelaya is the legitimate, democratically-elected leader of the country until such time as his term ends. You better get that through your thick head if you wanna call yourself a democrat. Those who seek to impose a "figurehead" status on Zelaya got another thing coming. Unless you wanna see all hell break loose in Honduras, people like you ought to just shut up about imposing a "figurehead" in Honduras.

Anonymous,  10:42 PM  

Gimme a break. The provisions of the Arias agreement (except for #1) legitimize the complaints against Zelaya by the other Honduran institutions. They are meant to clip his wings. You guys tear up the Arias agreement saying it is undignified and favorable to the golpistas, then brag about how your boy Mel has accepted it without reservations. So, do you have a problem with Mel being a sell-out? Or, is this just another publicity stunt like the plane flight and the endless ultimatums? Did he accept a bad proposal only knowing the coup leaders would reject it? Are you thinking when he gets back into power he will show who is the real boss? What is it? You can't have it both ways.

Anonymous,  12:20 AM  

Ah, Leftside. You proclaim the EU now has a military force led by the French and apart from the US. What a load of crap. Since DeGaulle left the NATO command structure and developed the French Frappe to the EU's supposed military force today (the idea of being apart from the US and NATO) has been a perfect illusion. In every possible military conflict and diplomatic crisis since 1945, Western Europe has turned to the United States and NATO. You see there is a problem with this theory. The Europeans have been unwilling to bare the costs of a real European defense network and know that with it comes the responsibility to use it wisely. In that scenario, trying to make a decision on Cyprus, the Balkans or Afghanistan doesn't exactly work out very well. Substituting French leadership for the US and paying for it all yourself just doesn't seem like a very good deal in Prague, Madrid and London.

In contrast what Morales proposes is exactly what you deny. A common integrated military structure to oppose the US. This structure would have profound consequences with regard to the sovereignty of the countries involved and gives lie to the pathetic notion that Honduras was joining an ALBA w/o ideological affinity. You see the difference is the US allows countries to alter or terminate base agreements (Ecuador, Spain, South Korea, Phillipines and so forth). We haven't yet seen a country reverse course and leave the ALBA orbit, although we may now in the case of Honduras. In contrast, recently, the US has allowed many countries to oppose their policies and alter their diplomatic relations. This is 2009, not 1909.

Justin Delacour 3:05 AM  

The provisions of the Arias agreement (except for #1) legitimize the complaints against Zelaya by the other Honduran institutions. They are meant to clip his wings.

Well, if Arias' terms provide all that you've been calling for, why the hell are you still spouting apologetics for the coup leaders' rejection of the terms?

The problem, anonymous, is that you make no sense.

It's worth noting that, despite all the nice things you've said about the Obama Administration's approach to this crisis, you're now positioning yourself well to the right of the Administration. The Administration has now clearly stated that Micheletti needs to accept the terms. Why haven't we heard any such statement from you?

Anonymous,  8:59 AM  

If you read my statements from Saturday, Sunday and Monday it is there as I have said it for two weeks straight now. Despite heaps of abuse from you and your leftist hermanos. I support the Arias initiative, a combination of compromises that returns a weakened Zelaya (or a new figurehead), plus amnesty plus internationally supervised elections. I support US pressure and incentives for Micheletti's side to accept the deal that vindicates the democratic process. If I have spent the last three days pointing out Zelaya's shortcomings, as well as well as the ALBA background, and the stupidity of your analysis, that does not mean I have changed positions. Yes, it is true listening to the garbage coming from Managua on Saturday was tough. Who the hell are Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega to lecture Honduras on democracy? But worse, they cynically work to undermine the process then they accept it when it Honduras doesn't immediately accept the terms. I think there is a credibility problem on your team.

You too have gone from being a critic of the Arias initiative to its biggest supporter. Not very convincing as you still haven't admitted that there is a wide variety of viewpoints and approaches in the OAS!

Anonymous,  9:42 AM  

I continue to support the Obama/Clinton/Arias’ postion. Since Justin refuses to acknowledge this has been in my posts, You be the judge. Here are my statements from Thursday through Monday regarding a proposed solution in chronological order.

Anonymous (AKA Neville Chamberlain)

…The key moment will likely be when the Honduran military quietly tells Micheletti time is up and a new figurehead accepts some as yet to emerge Arias proposal. Amnesty and a restricted Zelaya returns. Civil disobedience puts the military in an untenable position. So far, it has seemed like there are few cracks in the high command. If there is the prospect of violence, plus business suffering from road closures, plus US aid being restricted, and a face-saving proposal on the table from Arias, that just might be the recipe.

…I propose the same thing I have consistently proposed. The US should use its diplomatic influence to bring the Honduran government around. However, it should do so in a way that allows the leaders of Honduras' institutions to save face. If Micheletti gets in the way of a diplomatic solution, the Hondurans have shown they know how to handle presidential intransigence. :) I am, of course, hoping for a peaceful solution.

Zelaya has promised to break off the talks at midnight. Then he says he will send delegates on Sunday. He accepts the proposal but then his spokeman qualifies it by saying "in principle." The Zelaya side may not quite be on board as it seems.

Anonymous,  9:43 AM  

…The coup plotters need both some pressure and some face-saving rather than just the US stick. There is a sense of timing and a finessed diplomatic formula that will have to work. There is undoubtedly going to be a weighing of how bad this will be if they decide to turn it down. The legalist approach would be we can't negotiate the amnesty, the early elections etc... for all the institutions of govt. in such a timeline. Of course, they can but they really have to do is swallow the return of Zelaya. The US will try in private to help them to decide the return of Zelaya is the lesser of two evils and, in any case, he would be a figurehead. The worse alternative is sanctions, isolation, continued crisis, and possible civil war. 

Zelaya also has problems with the proposal including his non-negotiable demand that no coup supporters will be in the national unity government. A government of national unity is formed with your opponents not your friends. This is a contradiction that will be discussed tomorrow. Zelaya can accept it "in principle" because it offers the only realistic way he returns to office. After all, he is the one in exile. If Micheletti rejects it, Zelaya wins additional support in world opinion, and is still better off than he was on Friday.

…Nevertheless, I continue to support restoration and the vindication of democratic processes as long as Zelaya's wings are clipped.

…Thirdly, unlike you, I maintain my independence of judgment and look at the facts as they happen. No one has a crystal ball in this crisis. Everyone has made errors in prognostication. I am not rooting for Micheletti to succeed, I am rooting for the negotiations to succeed. They are farther apart than I thought on Saturday night but I am not surrendering the possibility of success. The US pressure, combined with other factors already discussed, has a good chance of restoring Zelaya as a figurehead. Let it be decided by the Honduran people in a free and fair election supervised by international organizations.

Justin Delacour 4:29 PM  

All I see from you, anonymous, is a lot of equivocation about the crisis --combined with some outright apologetics for a coup-- but nary a word of explicit censure for the coup leaders' rejection of Arias' terms. The bottom line, anonymous, is that equivocations and apologetics for a coup aren't gonna help bring about a settlement.

leftside 8:08 PM  

Ah, Leftside. You proclaim the EU now has a military force led by the French and apart from the US.

No Anon, read my words again. I did not say the force exists. I said that it was being proposed and worked on.

In contrast, recently, the US has allowed many countries to oppose their policies and alter their diplomatic relations.

And then get hit over the head for it. I remember the public spanking Chile got for daring to oppose our war in Iraq. Or when Chile decided to support Venezuela for the Security Council. The message from Rice was that they would lose their designation as a "major Non-NATO ally," which caused all kinds of trade and commercial hardships.

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