Mediator to propose reconciliation government in Honduras

The mediator in Honduras’ political crisis said he will propose a national reconciliation government during the next round of talks, while ousted President Manuel Zelaya prepared a second bid to return home to reclaim power.

Negotiations to end the standoff over a June 28 military-backed coup have increasingly come under fire, with Zelaya’s supporters saying they will declare them failed if he is not reinstated during Saturday’s talks and Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez criticizing them as a U.S.-backed trap.

Zelaya’s foreign minister, Patricia Rodas, said late Thursday that the exiled president was en route to Honduras to set up an alternative seat of government somewhere in the country from which to wage a “final battle” against coup leaders. Interim President Roberto Micheletti has vowed to arrest Zelaya if he returns.

With fears of conflict rising, the chief mediator, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, acknowledged the urgency of getting a deal quickly, saying that “we must remember that time is gold.”

“I am going to propose various ideas (at the talks); for example installing a government of national reconciliation, a coalition of key ministers such as of finance, security, the interior or government. I’ll see if we can talk of amnesties and for whom,” Arias said in an interview with the radio program, Nuestra Voz.

Arias, who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for helping end Central America’s civil wars, said a proposal to advance Honduras’ elections from the scheduled November date was not considered necessary.

Delegations representing Zelaya and Micheletti are expected to join the second round of talks Saturday in Costa Rica under Arias’ guidance, but hopes for a resolution appear slim.

When he was last seen in public, Zelaya vowed to return if Saturday’s talks don’t immediately result in his reinstatement and he said Hondurans have a constitutional right to launch an insurrection against an illegitimate government.

Rodas reinforced that, saying Zelaya’s delegation has nothing to negotiate. It will simply demand that the “illegal regime surrender peacefully,” and if it doesn’t, Zelaya’s side will declare the mediation to have failed, she said.

Micheletti, the former congressional leader who was sworn in to serve out the final months of Zelaya’s term, offered Wednesday to step down if there were guarantees that Zelaya would not return to power.

Arias rejected that proposal, saying the reinstatement of Zelaya was necessary.

But Micheletti on Thursday repeated his refusal to consider Zelaya regaining the presidency.

“If he comes and presents himself to authorities, he is welcome in our country. But if he comes with the intention of starting a revolutionary movement then he will find a people disposed to do anything,” Micheletti said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged “a peaceful, negotiated resolution” and said all involved should “refrain from actions that could result in violence.”

The State Department has tried to avoid a public role in the negotiations, saying Arias is directing the effort. But some Latin American leftist leaders are increasingly bashing the U.S. role in encouraging the negotiations.

In an essay published late Thursday, Fidel Castro dismissed the Costa Rica talks as having allowed Honduras’ de facto leaders to become more entrenched.

“The Costa Rica peace plan was suggested by the office of the State Department to contribute to the consolidation of the military coup,” the former Cuban president wrote.

“The coup plotters were in a hurry. The Costa Rican initiative had the objective of saving them,” the essay said.

Last week, Chavez, Venezuela’s socialist leader, called the talks a “trap” for Zelaya and criticized Arias for offering the same treatment to Zelaya as Micheletti.

Zelaya’s supporters said Thursday that he was en route to Honduras, though they didn’t say how or when he planned to enter the country. His whereabouts were unclear.

“Our president will be in Honduras at some point and some moment. He is already on his way. God protect him and the people of the Americas who are with him,” Rodas told reporters in La Paz, Bolivia, where she joined a meeting of leftist presidents.

“The establishment and installation of an alternative seat of government will be to direct what I will call the final battle” against leaders of the coup that toppled Zelaya, she said.

If Zelaya does try to re-enter Honduras, it would be his second attempt since masked soldiers shot up his house and flew him to Costa Rica in his pajamas early on June 28. His first attempt was thwarted July 5 when military vehicles on the runway blocked his Venezuelan plane from landing in Tegucigalpa.

Zelaya supporters blocked a road leading out of the capital Thursday to demand his return to power.

Thousands have staged such protests almost daily since Zelaya’s ouster, while crowds of roughly equal size have demonstrated in favor of Micheletti’s government.

The Supreme Court had issued an arrest warrant for Zelaya before the coup, ruling his effort to hold a referendum on whether to form a constitutional assembly was illegal. The military decided to send him into exile instead — a move that military lawyers have since acknowledged violated the constitution.

Many Hondurans viewed the proposed vote as an attempt by Zelaya to push for a socialist transformation in the model of his ally, Chavez.


4 Responses

  1. There was NO coup! Most of the mainstream media has been parroting the propaganda from Castro/Chavez instead of really informing on the situation in Nicaragua.

    Trampling on the Honduran Constitution, Zelaya was implementing in Honduras the scheme devised by Castro and implemented by Chavez and the rest of the Marxist thugs to gain absolute power. The Honduras military, as ordered by the country’s Supreme Court, removed Zelaya and elevated the person next in line under the Honduras Constitution.

    If Zelaya had not been sent out of the country, Chavez/Zelaya’s paid “turbas” (violent ACORN-like “community organizers,” many of them from other countries, mainly Nicaragua) would have created bloodshed to force Nicaraguans to submit to Chavez/Zelaya and become infected with the AIDS of Marxism, which is destroying Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador.

  2. Millions of Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Bolivians, Ecuadorians, etc. wish we could have done what Hondurans are doing before the Marxist thugs working for Castro and Chavez enslaved our countries like Zelaya is trying to enslave Honduras.

    The U.S. should be supporting Hondurans and the rule of law, NOT Zelaya, a Chavez clone desperate to enslave Hondurans! It’s despicable that, rather than defending the human rights of Hondurans and Latin Americans, the Obama administration is siding with the Marxist thugs who are trampling on human rights and working with drug cartels and Islamic terrorist to destroy the U.S!

    I guess it was to be expected from Obama. As his parents, relatives, friends and mentors, Obama is a Marxist who hates the U.S. As such, he sides with Marxist dictators and would-be dictators who seek to enslave their countries and destroy the U.S.

  3. Obama openly and shamefully sided with the Marxist thugs and Clinton further helped the thugs. While urging “a peaceful, negotiated resolution,” Clinton handed democratic Hondurans a poisoned apple – Oscar Arias – as the “mediator.” Oscar Arias PRETENDS to support peace, but has never really defended peace.

    Oscar Arias is the perfect example of how the Nobel Prize, which has been politicized, is biased and corrupt. It’s NEVER awarded to the really deserving, like Pope John Paul II. It is often awarded to people who can be used by the forces of evil to manipulate public opinion, as it’s happening now with Oscar Arias regarding Honduras.

    Oscar Arias has NOT advanced and will NOT advance the cause of peace. On the contrary, as we can see in Honduras, Arias is doing the opposite – he is helping the forces of violence and evil – Castro, Chávez and Zelaya – and trampling on the human rights of the Honduran people.

  4. Obama, along with Chavez and Zelaya, are and will be responsible for any violence in Honduras. By backing Zelaya, Obama is helping the Chavez clone appear as rightful in his criminal power grab while he and Chavez prepare for bloodshed! Zelaya said he’s ready to “risk bloodshed” to regain control!

    Chavez’s paid ACORN-type “community organizers” are in Honduras creating chaos and media shows to manipulate the international community and help Zelaya enslave Hondurans. The 19-year-old Zelaya “supporter” was probably shot and killed not by soldiers but by Chavez’s people. The soldiers had only rubber bullets, and not the kind of bullet that killed the young man.

    Chavez/Zelaya staged the propaganda show where the young man was killed. Chavez’s “community organizers,” mostly from other countries such as Nicaragua, incited “supporters” to violence. And Chavez’s Telesur and “media” (propaganda) people where there to stage and broadcast the propaganda.

    Most of Zelaya “supporters” were paid poor people. Each “supporter” on a motorcycle was paid 300 lempiras (US$15.84) a day plus gas. Taxi drivers were paid 3,000 lempiras (US$158.40) a day to drive “supporters.” Farmers acting as “supporters” are being paid 250 lempiras (US$13.20) a day.

    Obama, by siding with Zelya, and Clinton, by offering a deceitful Oscar Arias as “mediator,” are helping Chavez and Zelaya continue to lie, manipulate, intimidate and get people killed not to let their prey escape. Their prey is the Honduran people.

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