November 2, 2009

Good faith...or not?

Mel Zelaya: Fooled ya again!
Photo: La Prensa, Honduras

Article 10, the Final Declaration, of the Guaymuras-Tegucigalpa-San José Accord states:
"In the name of reconciliation and patriotic spirit that has brought us to the dialogue table, we promise to comply with the present Accord in good faith and to that which derives from it.

"The world is witness to this demonstration of unity and peace, to which we promise our civic conscience and patriotic devotion. Together, we will know how to demonstrate our valor and decision to strengthn the rule of law and construct a tolerant, pluralistic, and democratic society."

The Accord may be confusing or ambiguous to readers, but a few things are certain: Zelaya's three negotiators knew exactly what each clause meant and could have demanded written clarification before signing if they believed something important was not included or was not clear. The other thing certain is that Zelaya's negotiators were not authorized to agree to anything without Zelaya's approval. His own negotiators made that clear. We also know that Zelaya rejected ten prior proposals from the Micheletti team.

Zelaya agreed to the Accord apparently during a time he believed that he had enough votes in Congress to approve his restoration to office. Now it seems that he may be worried about the votes.

I have been writing for months that Zelaya can not be trusted to abide by any agreement (here, here, here, here). As someone who has been fascinated by Zelaya for years, I've watched him take one stand one day, and a different one the next with no shame. I watched one failed shoot-from-the-hip project after another. I heard him exclaim that no one could stop him (referring to the supreme court) and I believe him. 'No one' includes the US and OAS. I think he is about to 'burn' them. What a shame, after everyone has already issued their flowery congratulations to each other.

Within 24 hours of signing the Accord, Zelaya was threatening and claiming the Accord was failed. Some of his widely reported statements are as follows:

"The Government of Reconciliation and Unity can only be formed if we are agreed, if we don't agree, there is no Government of Reconciliation and Unity."

"I am one of the parts of the accord. The accord has two parts...if one of the parts feels that there has been a trap, the accord is broken."

"This accord only has one proposition: revert the coup d'etat placing the destituted president [back] in the corresponding position."

Zelaya held that the interpretation (that the agreement does not require restitution) would be "a double game, a dirty game and absurd and unintelligent" and "put them (the Micheletti authorities) in a very bad position before the international community."

Moreover, he warned: "Without restitution, there is no recognition from us for the elections, or from the OAS (Organization of American States), or from United Nations, the restitution is what returns the peace."

In contrast, President Roberto Micheletti called upon Congress that "the decision should be legal and congress should not permit influences of any type, from anyone."

José Saavedra, President of the National Congress, has said that the Congress must consult the Supreme Court and other organizations and "no one, absolutely no one, can impose deadlines or terms" on the Congress.

Victor Rico of the OAS, who was involved with the last rounds of negotiation, flatly told reporters that there is no time limit as to the restoration of Zelaya. He said that congress is sovereign and not the OAS or anyone else can impose a time limit. He did, however, include the "opinions of the international community" among the factors that the congress should consider.


Members of the Verification Commission have been named and will meet tomorrow in Tegucigalpa. Ricardo Lagos (former Chilean President and Socialist Party member) and Hilda Solís (current US Secretary of Labor), named by the OAS. They will be accompanied by Victor Rico, OAS representative who was involved in the last rounds of Guaymuras negotiations, as well as others from the OAS.

Zelaya's representative is Jorge Arturo Reina, Zelaya's Ambassador to the UN. Micheletti's representative is Arturo Corrales Alvarez, who was also a part of the Guaymuras negotiating team.

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