[Marxism] Honduras Deal Appears to Fall Apart

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 6 09:36:12 MST 2009

NY Times, November 7, 2009
Honduras Deal Appears to Fall Apart

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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