November 21, 2009

Should Micheletti step aside during elections?

Do you believe it is correct for Roberto Micheletti
to temporarily retire from the presidency of the Republic?

Yes: 15%
No: 85%

Should Micheletti step aside during elections?
A lot of people think not.

I've been watching a lot of interviews, including on CNN (Español) who did several man-on-the-street interviews, and a televised discussion last night with a couple of political analysts. One of the analysts confirmed that this proposal by Micheletti was a result of pressure by the US.

US Ambassador Hugo Llorens said on a radio interview that his government viewed it as a positive thing − no doubt they did, since it was their idea. The US has been so misguided in all of this.

But let's go back exactly two months. Do you remember that Hillary Clinton, along with Oscar Arias, also viewed Zelaya's surreptitious arrival in Tegucigalpa as a positive thing also and a first step to implementing the San José Accord? Well, we saw how that worked out, didn't we? Violent riots, homes and stores looted, vehicles vandalized and burned. Then remember how pleased Hillary was when the Accord was signed? We are no closer to implementing an Accord than we were on September 21 or October 30.

Let me tell you that I'm hearing a lot of resentment about this. One of the analysts from the show last night clarified that Micheletti said he would consult with sectors of society about the recess, and this analyst did not believe that Honduran society would agree with it.

Tonight Micheletti announced that the people he met with did support the decision − but what was the choice? Honduras desperately needs the US to recognize elections, so if the US says 'jump', what are they going to do? The OAS has already backed out of Insulza's promise which was made to coerce Honduras into signing the agreement in the first place!

The other analyst said that the US does not need to worry about what to do with Micheletti, that what the US needs to worry about is what are they going to do about Zelaya sitting in the Brazilian Embassy. He said they also should be worried about what they are going to do about their US Ambassador who has done so much damage to Honduras.

The analyst asked, "What are benefits to Honduras of Micheletti leaving?" to which he answered, "none". He then asked, "What are the risks to Honduras of Micheletti leaving?" to which he answered, "many".

The host asked, "How is it possible that a small, poor country like Honduras could cause such a division in the US?" The analyst flatly stated, "Because the US State Department was misinformed".

"What would you ask the US?", the host asked. "I would ask them not to sacrifice Honduras because of differences between political parties in the US, and to retire the US Ambassador from Honduras", was the answer.

The US is pleased about Roberto Micheletti's absence during the election period but the truth is that they seem to be the only ones. Zelaya went ballistic calling it a fraud, a fake, and every other insult he could think of. His followers are complaining worse than ever. To counteract any possible positive effect, several zelayista candidates resigned today. The protesters are continuing to protest. I doubt that his absence will do anything to reassure the countries who do not want to recognize elections or the OAS. His statement actually caused concern and even some fear among Honduran citizens. So what does this move really accomplish except to "please" the US? Nothing that I can see.

One thing that must be mentioned is that Roberto Micheletti has not ever, not once, since June 28 promoted a particular candidate or denigrated any candidate. His message has simply been that everyone should vote and should vote for the person who they think will be the best president.

On the other hand, Mel Zelaya has not only promoted the two pro-constitutional assembly candidates (one of whom has since retired from the race), but he has denigrated the other candidates, accusing them of being golpistas, criminals, etc. His followers have spread vicious lies about candidates and done everything they can to ruin their reputations. I have no doubt this was instigated by Zelaya. Everyone has heard or read about Zelaya's and his followers' constant calls for boycotting the election, calling elections a fraud and telling people that that they are fools if they vote.

So, you tell me, which president should retire during the election period?

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