Sunday, September 13, 2009

More visas

The Obama administration has always been applying incremental and gradual (even glacial) pressure on the Honduran coup government. The latest is taking away the diplomatic and tourist visas of 17 coup government officials, including Robert Micheletti. He was miffed:

He complained that the letter addressed him “not as the president of Honduras” but as speaker of Congress, his position before elected head of state Mel Zelaya was dragged from the presidential palace on June 28 and flown to Costa Rica.


An important question is whether these and other measures will hold after the November presidential election. Talking to the press, Micheletti repeated for the Nth time that he would not accept the San José Accord, and therefore there is no more negotiation. Thus, for the Nth time he demonstrates his belief that Honduras can make it to November, at which point the pressure will subside.

And if my counting is correct, then the Honduran crisis is at the halfway point between the coup and the election.

Days since the coup: 77
Days until the scheduled presidential election: 77


Anonymous,  1:34 PM  

I wonder what you think the world will or should do after the elections are held and a new president sworn in, if Zelaya is not reinstated. It will be too late to request that Zelaya return, so then what?

Nell 3:02 PM  

Long before the elections, Anon, there are many more buttons to push to end the coup and restore the constitutional order. But the only chance of these elections having a shred of legitimacy, and being recognized, is for those buttons to be pushed soon:

- Some 170 more visa cancellations are coming.

- Freezing of coup participants' accounts in U.S. financial institutions. This would do the trick, IMO, and should have been done back in July.

- Formal designation of a military coup. This would mean the departure of the U.S. troop "guests" from Soto Cano, the full cutoff of foreign aid (except for the bogus "democracy promotion" funds that go to coup-supporting COHEP and NGOs run by the oligarchs' families), and the formal withdrawal of the U.S. ambassador.

- The EU is about to cut its money completely, and suspend negotiations on a Central America-wide unified trade arrangement.

You're dreaming if you think the world is just going to turn the page on this.

Anonymous,  3:40 PM  

well, I think you are dreaming if you think that if Zelaya is still not in power when the next president is sworn in, somehow this will continue. What do you think the US and the other countries are going to demand at that time? Zelaya's term will be over.

Greg Weeks 4:41 PM  

This is something I have been thinking about posting on, though right now there is a lot of time left so it has to be speculative and I am still pondering the implications.

The bottom line, though, is that if the U.S. and Latin America fail to exert enough pressure to force some sort of negotiated solution before the election (or perhaps the swearing-in of whoever is elected) then they cannot make their current demand anymore (i.e. Zelaya returns).

Anonymous,  5:25 PM  

What if after the elections are held they let Zelaya in, just for the last few weeks? Would everyone be OK with that?

Greg Weeks 5:35 PM  

There is no such thing as "everyone." But I had wondered along similar lines.

leftside 2:44 AM  

At this point, with the world's acceptance of the elections increasingly in doubt (due to tough statements from UNASUR, a half-way decent statement from Washington and yesterday's cut-off of election aid by the UN), I would not be surprised to see the establishment (and candidates) exert some pressure on Micheletti. Trouble is, a stubborn mule' ego and pride is on the line. The world - and the US in particular - can not be seen to back down from their words on the election one iota.

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