Rasel Tome just announced to Habla Como Habla television that exiled former president Mel Zelaya is returning to Honduras next weekend. He wouldn't say when Zelaya would arrive, only that he was coming into Toncontín airport in Tegucigalpa and that it would be Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, May 27-29.
He implied that the Honduran government had conceded to the four points that Zelaya insisted upon after the meeting between Honduran President Pepe Lobo, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, and Colombian President Juan Santos. I haven't heard Pepe Lobo speak of these requirements, particularly the constitutional assembly. These points were not announced in the press conferences after the meeting in Colombia and appear to have been something that Zelaya (who wasn't there) came up with in the days after the meeting. There has been no public indication whether Lobo has or has not agreed to these points.
One of those points is that all of the "exiled" compatriots who escaped the country after June 28 (most likely because of their involvement in corrupt and illegal acts) return immediately and "securely". Whether that means body guards or immunity against prosecution, I don't know. Anything is possible in Honduras. Anything that is, except guaranteeing the safety of anyone.
Another point was initiation of a plebiscite for a constitutional assembly. Respect for human rights was the third point. And finally that the FNRP (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular) be recognized as a "belligerent" political and social organization. There is nothing that I'm aware of preventing the Resistance from becoming a political party, but some leaders in the Resistance, which is a very divided group, have said that they don't want to be a political party.
From his mansion in the Dominican Republic for the past month, Zelaya has been singing the praises of Hugo Chávez as the savior of Honduras who has done what no one else in the world was able to do: find an exit for the political crisis. Never mind that Pepe Lobo has been telling Zelaya that he can return whenever he wants to for more than a year. In his last comunicado of May 12, Zelaya demanded that the USA immediately pronounce itself in favor of the Chávez-Santos mediation.
Last week, Zelaya's wife filed a denuncia claiming that she had been told of a plot to assassinate Mel, claiming a certain friend had told her of the plot. The friend immediately denied to the media that he had said any such thing.
I predict that Honduras will shortly join Chávez's Petrocaribe as one of the under-the-table agreements that was made in Colombia. Several politicians and some businessmen have been issuing false and deliberately misleading statements that joining Petrocaribe would mean lower gas prices for Hondurans at the gas pumps.
This makes the 110th time we have heard that Zelaya will return to Honduras. Will he? Or won't he?
As I post this, not even the AP or the Honduran newspapers have reported it. Maybe Zelaya just isn't news anymore. Thanks go to El Jefe for the tip!