Meanwhile In Honduras . . .


Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya agreed on Saturday to give his enemies a share of power if he is allowed to return to office, but they rejected any deal that puts him back in the presidency. Zelaya, who was toppled in a military coup on June 28 and is in exile in neighboring Nicaragua, backed the proposal for a government of national reconciliation put forward by the mediator in talks aimed at ending Honduras' political crisis.

. . . Costa Rica's Nobel Peace Prize-winning president, Oscar Arias la[id] out seven points for discussion, including Zelaya's return to power to complete his term ending in January 2010 and the formation of a coalition government with all the country's political parties represented. Arias also proposed an amnesty for any political crimes committed after the coup and that Zelaya abandon his plans to hold a referendum on extending presidential terms. But a spokesman for Micheletti's interim government again insisted it will not allow Zelaya's return to power.

(Emphasis supplied.) Strange that. Seems the logical compromise. I wonder what is behind this refusal. Zelaya obviously has given up the dream of becoming the Honduran Chavez.

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    what would one expect from a military coup? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by souvarine on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:11:55 PM EST
    Coup plotters are by definition uninterested in constitutional order, why would a compromise that appeals to that order interest them?

    Presumably their interests are aligned with the wealthy interests who backed them. Extract as much wealth as possible from the Honduran economy while they are able to hold on to power. The way to get them out is to make staying more expensive for them.

    Since the military was (2.00 / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:36:02 AM EST
    directed to take action by the Supreme Court.... isn't this a Supreme Court coup???

    Look, their constitution says that if you try anything towards serving a second term your are in deep doo-doo.

    He did. He is. He should be.


    sure, whatever you want to call it (5.00 / 0) (#21)
    by souvarine on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 12:52:52 PM EST
    Sure, it is a Supreme Court coup. We've seen similar, though less dramatic, incidents of Supreme Court coups in this country. Look at the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision where a Republican dominated Supreme Court usurped both the state constitution of Florida and the role of the U.S. Congress in settling electoral disputes. The majority had so little faith in their decision's legitimacy that they attempted to limit it's applicability to that single dispute.

    Any branch of government that goes outside of constitutional order to achieve political ends is anti-democratic and illegitimate. The use of the military to achieve those ends, and the subsequent violent suppression of public protest by the military, demonstrates that the actors themselves recognize that what they did was illegitimate.


    BS (5.00 / 0) (#22)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 01:03:28 PM EST
    This is the referendum.

    Do you agree with the installation of a fourth ballot box during the 2009 general elections so that the people can decide on the calling of a national constituent assembly? Yes or no.

    Nothing about a second term was mentioned. The only question asked was about forming a new constitution.

    As far as it being a coup, one of the current terms on the table is amnesty for the coup leaders. If it was not an illegal coup, why would Micheletti et al need amnesty?


    Quit parsing (2.00 / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 03:43:43 PM EST
    The purpose of the ballot was to let the Dictator Wannabee declare himself Prez for life. That was well known.

    And I don't believe it is those who defended the constitution are asking for amnesty. It is the other side who is trying to say they need it by offering it.

    Look a Leftie got tossed and Obama is PO'd but can do nothing. Get over it,


    Same PPJ as Ever (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 04:22:17 PM EST
    Facts never get in the way of your ranting.

    Two facts, slimed by wingnut droolery, and one opinion that sheds light on your reading habits, not the subject matter.


    Facts be facts even if you don't understand (2.00 / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 09:02:41 PM EST
    hehe (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 09:31:04 PM EST
    To further complicate things for Zelaya, ANY changes to the constitution have to be initiated by the legislative branch. The congress has to convene a constituent assembly. That's basically a group of people selected by the congress to analyze any proposed changes and form those ideas into the new constitution. After the proposed changes are formulated, the congress would approve them to be put to a national referendum. The executive branch (the President) has nothing to do with that process.

    Mel didn't think that the congress would go along with his ideas of staying in power so he decided he'd call his own referendum. He doesn't have the authority to do that - remember that constitutional changes can only be done by the legislature AND the term limits are one of the articles cast in stone - but he goes ahead and calls one anyway.

    The Honduran Supreme Court says "Sorry Mel, you can't do a referendum. That's not within your power as president".



    Details, Details (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 10:10:10 PM EST

    Moving Along... Not (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 12:38:22 PM EST
    The coup regime today introduced a counter-proposal, which would not have allowed for President Manuel Zelaya's return to the presidency, but would have allowed his return to Honduras, to be tried and imprisoned for alleged constitutional violations.


    President Zelaya's delegation reaffirmed their commitment to the mediation process and verified they had accepted the 7-point proposal from Arias as a point of debate, particularly point 1, the restitution of Manuel Zelaya to the presidency of Honduras.Even President Oscar Arias - the mediator (via Washington) - confirmed that point 1 was the essence of the entire negotiation.

    The Zelaya delegation declared the talks as "failed" and "over", but Arias called for another 72-hours to work on a solution that will prevent a civil war from erupting in the Central American nation. "Give me another 72 hours to work tirelessly on a solution, in order to avoid bloodshed", Noble Peace prize winner Arias said before the international media that were anxiously awaiting the outcome of today's meetings outside the presidential residence in San José de Costa Rica.


    Maybe so, and maybe not. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:16:42 PM EST

    Zelaya obviously has given up the dream of becoming the Honduran Chavez.

    You don't need a referendum if you can lead a big enough mob.

    Perhaps (none / 0) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:26:41 PM EST
    There is no need to compromise.  Micheletti, seems to have the backing of US smart power. Lanny Davis is representing the coup government.

    Strange though, because Micheletti's government will be ostracized by the OAS. Really strange, especially after getting basically everything he wanted.

    Must be that Zelaya has more popular appeal than has been reported and Micheletti is scared of something.  

    Explain to us why should the Honduras government worry about the OAS? The OAS has done nothing about the Cuban dictatorship, which has lasted 50 years.

    I disagree that it was a military coup (none / 0) (#3)
    by Saul on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:39:08 PM EST
    The Honduras Constitution specifically says, from what was said on the news, that anyone that goes against the Constitution is automatically out office.  You actually put yourself out of office if you go against the Constitution in any way.  The SC of Honduras was just following the Constitution and got Zelaya out.   Honduras does not have an impeachment clause in their Constitution.  The guy that took over was the next in line if the president is out.  He say he is willing to step down if this gets settled.

    Can't for the life of me understand why the U.S. is backing Zelaya.  He wanted to change the Constitution by force in order to stay in power like Chavez and Castro.

    IMO Zelaya got what he deserved

    Easy question (2.00 / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:40:09 AM EST
    Can't for the life of me understand why the U.S. is backing Zelaya.  He wanted to change the Constitution by force in order to stay in power like Chavez and Castro.

    Because he was a Left win politician and Obama can't stand the thought of a Left wing politician being made to follow the rules.


    US Backing Zelaya? (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 05:52:52 PM EST
    lol, you seem uninformed, imo. Although that does appear to be a  GOP talking point.

    Uniformed? Nope (none / 0) (#5)
    by Saul on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:03:08 PM EST
    Here is the Obama position in this Hounduras situation:

    Obama and Clinton quotes

    "We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the democratically elected president there," Obama said. "It would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backward into the era in which we are seeing military coups as a means of political transition rather than democratic elections."

    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday that the ouster "should be condemned by all."


    lol (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:11:53 PM EST
    Did you read Hillary's foreign policy speech at the Council on Foreign Relations last week?

    Nary a word about Honduras, but much about smart power.

    It is seems to be about protecting US interests without all the bluster. IMO, worked like a charm in Honduras, but we'll see. And seems just the right touch for Iran.


    lol (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Saul on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:29:13 PM EST
    You are uniformed

    Meanwhile (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 07:49:27 PM EST
    SOS Clinton's long time associate Lanny Davis is representing the coup leaders in the so called negotiations.

    Davis has been closely tied to the Clintons since he attended Yale Law School together with them in 1970. Between 1996 and 1998, he served as President Clinton's special counsel. And in the 2008 presidential campaign, he served as one of Hillary Clinton's most prominent fundraisers and surrogates in attacking her principal rival, Barack Obama.
    It is inconceivable that such figures would be playing such a prominent role in advising and defending the coup regime in Honduras without receiving a green light from both Secretary of State Clinton and the Obama White House.



    Picking a guy who's greatest prominence (none / 0) (#12)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:57:33 PM EST
    was attacking the current President should really help the Coup government get what they want/ sarc.

    Seems To Be Working (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:41:12 PM EST
    Quite well

    Lol! (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 09:56:50 PM EST
    Lol! Lol! Lol! Lol! Lol!  A thousand times more "Lol" than you can "Lol," nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah!

    a genuine 'lol'! (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Dr Molly on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 07:48:29 AM EST
    Is Hillary Clinton also responsible (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 11:33:21 PM EST
    for James Carville's statements?

    Arias deal is not well thought out-game theory (none / 0) (#6)
    by Mitch Guthman on Sat Jul 18, 2009 at 06:03:23 PM EST
    The Junta's position is actually very logical.  Merits aside, I think the compromise is quite poorly thought out from a sort of game theory perspective.    At this point, both sides know that in the end there can be only one winner and one loser. It's obvious that's how this will have to play out.

    If you accept that this premise, it's clear that the Arias proposal offers the military nothing (not even immunity).  The military will never be in a stronger position vis-à-vis Zelaya  than they are today.  Zelaya will never be in a weaker position than he is now.  Surely both sides must assume that Zelaya will be working from the moment he returns to office to improve his position and increase his forces in preparation for the moment when he is supposed to leave office but will instead arguably take his revenge and consolidate his power. Perhaps, if he can build his forces strong enough and quickly enough, he can launch a preemptive strike at a time of his choosing.

    By contrast, the military or the Junta (however you choose to call them) cannot improve their situation during the remaining year of Zelaya's term---they will never have greater forces or more domestic support than they have right now.  So, by accepting this deal the Junta gives up what it has (total power) in return for a gamble in which if they win they get back what they have now but nothing more.  And if they lose, they and their families will surely be executed.  Clearly, the deal offers them nothing.

    The rights and wrongs of how they got where they are aside, the military would have to be fools to take this deal.   The status quo ante is gone and cannot be restored by agreement----just as in the book "The Godfather" the agreement to end the war was a sham----things had gone too far for such an agreement.  Only the total destruction of one of the opposing forces would end the war.

    A better deal would be to eliminate the concern that Zelaya would simply use his remaining year in office to raise up a paramilitary force loyal to him and so forth, would have been to have a true government of national unity headed by an "elder statesman" type who would agree to leave politics forever after an internationally supervised election in 2010.

    What Junta? (none / 0) (#19)
    by El Sabio Pedro on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 12:03:03 PM EST
    As far as I know, there's no Honduran Junta. So why do you use the term?

    maybe the reason for (none / 0) (#15)
    by cpinva on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 04:43:07 AM EST
    for the non-coup coup was just a raw power grab? yep, sounds about right to me. they just screwed up by taking zelaya out of the country, instead of summarily executing him.

    it's kind of obvious that neither the military or present civilian government really cares what any other country thinks about what they've done. they have the treasury, and that's all that really matters.

    Meanwhile... (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 05:54:14 PM EST
    Talks on resolving end Honduras' leadership crisis have ended after negotiators failed to compromise on ousted President Manuel Zelaya's return to power.
    Costa Rican President Oscar Arias says he'll continue to mediate between the two sides for another three days in search of a solution.

    But the two camps are far apart in their positions.

    Carlos Lopez, a representative of the interim government, says it is "unacceptable" for Zelaya to return to the presidency, as proposed by Arias.

    Meanwhile Zelaya told The Associated Press on Sunday that he's willing to leave "the door open for diplomacy and dialogue."[emphasis added]


    Looks like no end in sight, or another way of putting it: A successful coup.

    Out the correct way (2.00 / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jul 19, 2009 at 09:03:46 PM EST
    An unsuccessful coup.

    BTD and the coup (none / 0) (#32)
    by Andreas on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 03:53:38 PM EST
    BTD wrote:

    Seems the logical compromise. I wonder what is behind this refusal. Zelaya obviously has given up the dream of becoming the Honduran Chavez.

    The coup and the "compromise" are not about preventing a "Honduran Chavez".

    As the WSWS writes today:

    The mediation by Arias is designed to legitimize the coup and consolidate its main aims. Before talks broke down, Zelaya reportedly agreed to abandon his call for a referendum on a constitutional convention, the main pretext for his ouster.

    In accepting Arias's terms, Zelaya was also reported to have agreed to a total amnesty for the military and political figures who carried out the June 28 coup and to the repressive forces that assaulted, arrested, beat and in some cases murdered workers and peasants protesting Zelaya's removal.

    While the Obama administration formally condemned the coup, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton commissioned the mediation effort by Costa Rican President Óscar Arias--one observer compared it to the police demanding that a rape victim sit down and compromise with her rapist--to achieve precisely these aims.

    Hand in hand with this process, figures close to the administration and to Clinton have conducted a media and lobbying campaign to whitewash the June 28 coup as a "defense of democracy." Lanny Davis, who served as counsel to President Bill Clinton and is one of Hillary Clinton's closest political supporters, emerged as a lobbyist for right-wing Honduran businessmen. Appearing before Congress, he declared that "democracy and civil liberties are flourishing in Honduras."

    As Zelaya accepts amnesty for coup leaders
    Human Rights report reveals brutal repression in Honduras

    By Rafael Azul, 20 July 2009

    Not Quite Right, IMO (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 05:03:29 PM EST
    President Zelaya's delegation reaffirmed their commitment to the mediation process and verified they had accepted the 7-point proposal from Arias as a point of debate, particularly point 1, the restitution of Manuel Zelaya to the presidency of Honduras.

    Sounds like the only thing Zelaya had agreed to was returning to Hounduras to fulfill his presidential term.


    Lot's of Laughs (none / 0) (#34)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 12:20:43 AM EST
    But the US is the only country, besides Colombia and Panama, both right wing governments who recognize the coup government. The US has not removed its ambassador not cut any funds off.

    Still not a coup according to the US. The rest of the world is shocked. Nothing will happen, Arras will throw in the towel (72 hour extension is already expired) and Michelleti will be the President of Honduras, imo.

    Funny how the right wing in the US is still calling Obama a commie for supporting Zelaya. Any excuse, I guess.