Vilma Morales, former President of Honduran Supreme Court
Photo: La Tribuna, Honduras
Photo: La Tribuna, Honduras
Yesterday, in a terrific noon press conference held by Honduras' own little ball of fire, Vilma Morales, former president of the Supreme Court and Guaymuras negotiator for the Micheletti government, stated in no uncertain terms that the Tegucigalpa-San José Accord is not open for negotiation or renegotiation, as many, including US Ambassador Hugo Llorens have called for. [google translation]
She said that all Hondurans are familiar with the expression "Un trato es un trato" and even translated it to English for the gringos: "A deal is a deal." "The deal does not break because one side [Zelaya] refuses to comply."
Morales said the agreement was signed in good faith and that both parties must comply with the spirit and the meaning of the Accord, point by point, letter by letter. She specifically asked the US and OAS (Organization of American States) to respect and comply with the Accord, which was signed in free will by Zelaya's own negotiators. She even respectfully asked Secretary-General Insulza to re-read the agreement and reminded him of the several occasions in which he "encouraged the signing of the agreement, stating that the OAS would respect any agreement reached between the parties".
Vilma Morales stressed that Verification Commission's duty was to ensure strict compliance with all of the points of the agreement, not to reopen the negotiations.
Furthermore, she stated that the condition of member of the Verification Commission is personal, and that members cannot be substituted or delegated − likely referring to the substitution of the for-show-only OAS members after the absence of Ricardo Lagos and Hilda Solis − since their one day visit ended last Wednesday and wasn't even long enough for either to learn the correct pronunciation of the names of the parties involved (Lagos mispronounced 'Mickeletti' and Solís mispronounced 'Ze-lay-ah' instead of 'Ze-lie-ah'). Morales also may have been referring to the intromission of US Ambassador Hugo Llorens, as well as other members of the US government arriving today.
Reportedly, these OAS members are strongly pushing for the restoration of Zelaya − which is not the role of the Verification Commission. Remember when I said this commission would be 3-1 against Micheletti's sole representative, Arturo Corrales? (photo: El Heraldo) In fact, it appears to be even worse than that with several others meddling in the process as well.
Thankfully, Arturo Corrales is a "gallo" according to Ardegas at Nacer en Honduras and has been holding his own so far. Note that both Morales and Corrales have represented the Micheletti government since the beginning in Costa Rica while Zelaya has changed representatives numerous times.
Morales respectfully urged the National Congress to make their decision as soon as possible. She also urged Verification Commission representative Jorge Arturo Reina, withdrawn by Zelaya, to comply with the agreement and return to the work table.
And finally, Morales concluded that it would be astonishing for an organization who purportedly looks after the principles of democracy [the OAS] to not recognize an electoral process organized, directed, and supervised by an autonomous and independent board (the TSE). Today in an emergency OAS session, José Insulza proposed just that: "There are no conditions for sending an electoral commission to Honduras".
During the media question session, when asked about former President Ricardo Lagos' several statements to the media that the main purpose of the Accord was to restore Zelaya, Vilma Morales asked all of the OAS representatives to maintain neutrality and to respect their role on the Verification Commission as defined in the Accord. See this CNN (Español) video with the extremely biased comments by "impartial" Lagos.
Has anyone pointed out that the Unity and Reconciliation Government will serve for only slightly more than two months, until January 27, 2010, when, according to the constitution, the newly elected president will appoint his own cabinet? What difference does it make who is on this cabinet? They will barely have time to find the bathrooms, look at some reports, and meet the people who work for them....unless, that is, the OAS has other plans for Honduras − like forcing the appointment of a third party president from that cabinet (in violation of Honduras' constitution) and delaying elections until, say, next year, and, oh, possibly combining that with a requirement for a constitutional assembly.
What do you think?