Monday, July 06, 2009

Honduras: the delaying tactic

Roberto Micheletti has one key goal at the moment, which is to ensure that Mel Zelaya does not re-enter Honduras for as long as possible. Every day that goes by is one more that the world might start losing interest and there will be less and less pressure to ever prove the allegations they make.

After successfully blocking the runway, Micheletti then announced that he was willing to have a dialogue with the OAS, which gives him at least a day or two more of breathing room. As is now the norm, however, with either Insulza or Micheletti, the willingness to talk was accompanied by conditions the other side would immediately reject. In fact, Micheletti rejected "negotiation," as he did not need to negotiate with anyone but the Honduran people.

Faced with thousands of people marching in Zelaya's favor, the only response is that they must be financed.

12 comments:

Gabriel 9:06 AM  

Yes, he needs to delay. Agree. Also the more he delays, the more outside actors will focus on what Zelaya did to reach this point. Notice Davidow's comments that "The threats against democracy in Latin America... are not those coming from military coups, but rather from governments which are ignoring checks and balances, overriding other elements of government"

The best response would be to formally move up the scheduled elections to some time in the next couple of months. I suspect more than one government would simply say: let's have the elections and choose a new president and be done with this.

leftside 3:27 PM  

I had not caught this quote from Zelaya yesterday until this piece in Upside Down World today:

After turning back, he stated, "Starting tomorrow, the United States, which has tremendous power, should take action."

"Specifically, the strongest government in economic matters, in aspects of the sphere of the dollar, for us is the United States. If they decide to live with the coup, then democracy in the Americas is over... In this sense, I ask the powers that have economic and commercial influence to apply measures when legitimate institutions of society side with barbarity and terror to commit abuses as in Honduras."


Now that a meeting with Hillary is confirmed for tomorrow is appears clear that Zelaya is fed up with US inaction and will have something to say about it. It will be very interesting to see how that meeting goes. My guess is that the US is on the delay delay train as well and Zelaya will realize who his real friends are. More radical moves will be the obvious result of US inaction.

Justin Delacour 3:46 PM  

"The threats against democracy in Latin America... are not those coming from military coups, but rather from governments which are ignoring checks and balances, overriding other elements of government"

Yeah, coming from a guy who gave his blessing to Pinochet's coup in 1973, that statement doesn't surprise me much.

Justin Delacour 3:59 PM  

Yes, he needs to delay.

Ah, yes. Somehow it doesn't bother Gabriel that, in the process of this "delay," Micheletti is routinely violating basic democratic norms. How can you support a coup that summarily shuts down critical broadcasters, Gabriel?

Gabriel,  3:59 PM  

Justin,

it may not surprise you, but if it represents an accurate picture of the Obama administration's views on this topic then it means they do realize how much of a menace Zelaya's law-breaking represents. If true, it's good news.

I suspect zelaya thought the security forces would follow even his illegal orders, and that probably explains why he dared the Attorney General to arrest him.

Doug 4:20 PM  

Greg -

Do you think sanctions and the dry-up of aid aren't also a ticking clock working against Micheletti?

Greg Weeks 4:48 PM  

Doug, it hurts a lot, but from what I've read the business community is committed to trying to help him wait it out. If the US cuts off aid indefinitely, that will be a different story.

boz 5:02 PM  

Do you think sanctions and the dry-up of aid aren't also a ticking clock working against Micheletti?

Yes, but the one thing that may work in Micheletti's favor is that he plans (or claims to plan) to hold elections in November and have a democratically elected government restored to Honduras by January, perhaps sooner. Holding onto power for six months under sanctions should be easier than holding on for an indefinite length of time, as many other undemocratic leaders have done or tried to do.

Doug 5:35 PM  

Thanks guys -

That's a big fucking game of chicken; if people are not convinced in January that about whatever new government is elected, they will be in a massive hole by that time.

Doug 5:53 PM  

Sorry -

I meant to say "if people are not convinced in January that whatever new government that is elected is Kosher, and sanctions continue, they will be in a massive hole by that time."

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