[Marxism] Honduras accord appears to unravel (US backs coup govt control of vote)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Fri Nov 6 07:18:33 MST 2009


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/07/world/americas/07honduras.html?_r=1&hp

November 7, 2009
Honduras Deal Appears to Unravel 
By ELISABETH MALKIN
MEXICO CITY — An accord that would have unblocked the political standoff in
Honduras has failed, the deposed president said Friday, a week after it was
mediated by the United States.

The deposed president, Manuel Zelaya, whose possible return to power was at
the heart of the accord, is still a virtual prisoner in the Brazilian
Embassy, where he took refuge six weeks ago after he secretly slipped back
into Honduras. He is no closer to resuming his presidency, while the de
facto president, Roberto Micheletti, and the people around him are still
running the country. 

The accord also set Thursday as a deadline to name a unity government that
would oversee preparations for a presidential election scheduled for this
month. 

But none of this has happened. Critics said the accord was difficult to
enforce because its only source of pressure was an American threat not to
recognize the planned election. 

Mr. Zelaya said early on Friday that the accord failed after Mr. Micheletti
moved to form a new government without him, Reuters reported. Mr. Zelaya had
declined to name any members to the cabinet, Mr. Micheletti said, so he was
going ahead without them. “We’ve completed the process of forming a unity
government,” Mr. Micheletti said in a televised speech quoted by Reuters.
“It represents a wide spectrum despite the fact that Mr. Zelaya did not send
a list of representatives.” 

Mr. Zelaya said through a spokesman that the pact was dead and blamed the de
facto government for its failure, Reuters said. 

As part of the deal, both Mr. Zelaya and Mr. Micheletti had agreed to put
the question of Mr. Zelaya’s return to a vote in the Honduran Congress. But
the accord set no deadline, and with congressional leaders yet to decide on
a date for a vote, Mr. Zelaya seems unlikely to be returned to office. 

After threatening that it would not recognize the presidential election
scheduled for Nov. 29 unless Mr. Micheletti signed on to the deal, the Obama
administration hinted that it would accept the results even if the accord’s
terms are not fully met. 

“The bottom line is there will be no reversal of the coup d’état,” said
Kevin Casas-Zamora, a former vice president of Costa Rica and an analyst at
the Brookings Institution. “That cannot count as a diplomatic success.” 

American officials dismiss that conclusion, arguing that both sides have
agreed to abide by Congress’s decision and that an election will resolve the
crisis. 

The divisions in Honduras were on display on Thursday in Tegucigalpa, the
capital, where Mr. Zelaya’s supporters were camped outside Congress to try
to force a vote on his return. 

Regional splits were also appearing over how long the Honduran Congress
could delay the vote and what the legislators’ eventual decision should be. 

Ricardo Lagos, a former Chilean president who is on the verification
commission set up to monitor the accord, said Thursday that Mr. Zelaya
should be returned before the election. 

Critics say the de facto government appears to be stalling, expecting that
once the elections go ahead, the international community will recognize
them. 

What is more, they say, Mr. Shannon’s remarks on recognizing the elections
leave the Obama administration with little leverage to enforce the accord.
Christopher Sabatini, senior director for policy at the Council of the
Americas, in New York, said that the Obama administration appeared willing
to accept the elections’ outcome rather than admit that there was no
guarantee when and how Honduran legislators would vote. 

Richard Berry contributed reporting from Paris.








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