Wednesday, September 23, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Honduras leader ‘willing to talk’

Mr Micheletti said he was ready to hold talks with Mr Zelaya, but he attached conditions.

“I am ready to talk with Mr Zelaya, as long as he explicitly recognises the presidential elections,” Mr Micheletti said in a statement read by interim Foreign Minister Carlos Lopez.

Speaking to BBC Mundo, Mr Micheletti said the way to resolve the crisis is “to go to elections on 29 November, choose a new president and… hand over power on 27 January as mandated by the constitution”.

Mr Zelaya described the offer as “total manipulation” in interviews with local and Brazilian media.

I am not sure why Zelaya would call such a condition manipulation, total or otherwise. Heretofore the only point of debate regarding the election date was whether or not early elections might be held as part of negotiated settlement. If Zelaya is going to start arguing with the constitutionally mandated election process as a condition for negotiations then he will simply validate what his critics have been saying all along.

Indeed, as preconditions for negotiations goes, that is pretty light stuff.

Meanwhile, the Brazilians have to be loving life at the embassy:

Some 70 people were reported to still be inside the Brazilian embassy.

Lights, water and telephones were cut off on Monday, with a generator used to provide electricity.

Outside the embassy, force has been used to disperse the crowds:

Early on Tuesday soldiers used truncheons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse thousands of Mr Zelaya’s supporters who had defied a curfew.

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5 Responses to “More from Honduras”

  1. MSS Says:

    Looks like a trap for Zelaya to me. You are right, Steven, that he can’t be seen to imply that the elections should not go ahead. On the other hand, the de-facto government’s position has been to say everything will be hunky-dory once it holds the elections. Zelaya can’t concede that point.

    So what can he do?

  2. RAJ Says:

    Context matters here. Editing suggests it is the timing of elections being characterized as “total manipulation”.

    What is manipulation is Micheletti insinuating that elections will heal all. Meanwhile, he has yet to rescind his rejection of Zelaya’s restoral.

    Micheletti’s pattern is to talk and reverse course and add conditions and make claims but never actually engage.

    Why does Zelaya– illegally thrown out- have to respond to every accusation Micheletti makes?

  3. Chris Lawrence Says:

    Zelaya might not be “all there” in the head these days: check out the lede of this Miami Herald story: “[Zelaya is] sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and “Israeli mercenaries” are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.”

    Somehow I don’t think this interview is going to help him in the court of world opinion.

  4. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Zelaya Cracking up? Says:

    [...] Chris Lawrence via a comment, who correctly notes “Somehow I don’t think this interview is going to help him in the [...]

  5. Nell Says:

    @Chris Lawrence: It’s pretty clear that Robles set out to make Zelaya look crazed in her interview.

    Tear gas canisters were fired at (and tear gas entered) the Brazilian embassy during the night and Tuesday morning, so it’s not surprising or bizarre for Zelaya to complain that his throat is irritated from that chemical.

    The military and police invaded houses on either side of the embassy on the 22nd (today [morning of 24th] they’ve cleared and are occupying houses on all sides of the embassy). During the 22nd, the military brought a device that looks very like the LRAP (the sound-projecting machine that’s used by the military in Iraq, subject of recent controversy when the San Diego sheriff deployed it at a Congressional town hall meeting) into the street in front of the embassy for several hours, and those inside the embassy complained that for a period there was extremely loud music and then a high-pitched sound directed at them.

    There have been recurring reports since late July of Colombian and Israeli paramilitaries employed by coup supporters; last week resistance leader Juan Baquedano said that Israeli advisers were training Honduran forces daily at Gym #1 in the Olympic Village (not far from the Chochi Sosa baseball stadium where people picked up by the police in sweeps near the embassy and in neighborhood are currently being held). So far no documentary proof, but not an out-of-nowhere assertion.

    And yes, he’s sleeping on chairs. If he’d been provided a comfy bed by the embassy, Robles would be painting the picture of Zelaya living in luxury while his supporters suffer. If he were sleeping on the floor, Robles would have mocked that.

    Even exhausted and stressed, Manual Zelaya is a far saner man than the delusional frontman for the coup, who’s turned the whole country into a jail rather than negotiate an end to the crisis that his violent, illegal dictatorship brought on.

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