October 16, 2009

Dirty tricks behind the Honduran scenes

A few Chávez puppets are missing from this cartoon,
notably José Insulz of the OAS

Rumors have been circulating for a few days that Mel was going to accept exile in Spain. I did not believe that Zelaya would agree to that. His ego is too big to consider what is best for the country. Though not often reported, since the beginning Roberto Micheletti has offered to resign and be replaced by a third party if Zelaya would do the same, an offer which puts the country above personal interests but was rejected out of hand by Zelaya. Zelaya may end up accepting exile but I believe that will only happen if he somehow loses support from the international community.

Interestingly, my source in Tegucigalpa tells me that the "international community" are the ones who were pushing for exile for Mel. He said that US President Obama personally called Zapatero of Spain to ask if Spain would accept him. They are the ones who also wanted Honduras governed by a Consejo de Ministros (Council of Ministers), half Zelaya supporters and half Micheletti supporters.

I say 'Micheletti supporters' only to make it clear to readers but those in Honduras know that this is much more complicated than a power struggle between two men. Unfortunately, the international media has portrayed it as just that − two stubborn men butting heads because one went a little too far to the left. Not so.

This council of 16 ministers would be led by Victor Meza, former Secretary of Government and Justice and current head of Zelaya's Guaymuras delegation. Apparently, Article 242 of the constitution could possibly be interpreted to allow this, but that seems a stretch.

This is what the international community is pushing for, but at the same time they say they want a HONDURAN solution (translated from diplospeak: but only as long as it matches their own solution). They are still threatening that if no agreement is reached and Mel is not at least symbolically reinstated they will NOT recognize the elections − very undemocratic, especially considering that the president plays no part in Honduran elections. There is no reason not to recognize the future democratically elected president of Honduras except as misplaced retribution.

By the way, Canucks, my source gives the Canadian representative much credit with helping to advance the agreement. The US Embassy, on the other hand, was summoning businessmen to meetings with a State Department representative (for a little last minute arm twisting?) on Sunday according to El Tiempo.

Apparently Mel is not happy with this or any of the other suggestions involving symbolic restoration. My source tells me that Zelaya is 100% tied to Hugo Chávez and that Chávez does not want him agree to anything. If Mel accepts a deal, it's all over between him and Chávez, and Zelaya is very afraid of Chávez.

Speaking of revenge, Patricia Rodas, former Minister of Foreign Relations, has been working the UN for weeks, hand in hand with the Venezuelan UN Ambassador, to increase sanctions on Honduras. Finding reasons to demand non-recognition of the elections is the favorite out of Patty's and Mel's bag of tricks, a true sign (among many others) that they never intended to hold them to start with.

Speaking at the ALBA summit today, Rodas said that if Honduras does not submit today to international demands to reinstate Zelaya (so much for the dialogue) she hoped that there will be profound isolation of Honduras. If she could ask ALBA or the UN to bomb Honduras into submission, I have no doubt she would do so. To get a flavor of this woman, see the video [English translation] of her Oscar-worthy speech at the UN. To get a flavor of the idiocy of the UN representatives, they ate up all the talk of "the poor oppressed people of Honduras walking across the world in their campaign for freedom and democracy" and her characterization of Honduras as an enormous "concentration camp".

Patty and Mel developed a list of golpistas which includes Micheletti, the 15 Supreme Court Justices, the 123 Diputados (out of 128 Senators) that voted for Mel's removal and substitution, the Attorney General, the Ministers who stayed with Micheletti, the top police brass, the top military officers, ex-presidents, businessmen, media owners, and everyone else who strikes their fancy.

Can you imagine? Can you imagine the US Supreme Court Justices being tried in international court if the "international community" decides that they don't agree with a decision? It seems that judges and senators and other officials in other countries might get worried about setting a global precedent for intimidation here.

Of course, the main purpose of the trials would be to declare a state of emergency to dismantle the constitutional government of Honduras. With basically the entire government accused of crimes, what better time to throw out the constitution and appoint your buddies to the new constitutional assembly which would then become the new government of Honduras, led by who else but Manuel Zelaya and Patty Rodas.

But make no mistake about this: The world community, particularly the OAS has a lot more to do with this Guaymuras dialogue than the media is telling you.

Outside pressure and serious threats are the rule of the day, no recognition of elections or the next government, more sanctions, Honduras will be isolated, blah, blah, blah.

They also use the strategy that they are deeply worried that if a solution is not reached that Chávez will invade Honduras and the United States will not do anything, and that they, the international community, will not be able to do anything because no one recognizes Honduras' government. So they argue that they are actually on our side, and are trying to shove their agreement down our throats to save us dumb Hondurans from the Mad Man Chávez, and that only the OAS cares about Honduras because Chavez and Obama don't.

How's that for bass-ackward diplomatic logic? The reason that Zelaya was removed was to protect Honduras from Chavismo, now we are supposed to take him back to protect Honduras from Chavismo because they won't. Incredible that the free world is using Hugo Chávez as a threat against Honduras!

The OAS has threatened to try Roberto Micheletti and ALL the others mentioned in the list above as coup plotters in international court. Many are not worried because they had nothing to do with Zelaya's removal but they aren't relishing their reputations being tarnished forever in history by what can only be called blackmail. The OAS has already told Micheletti what his verdict will be: Guilty, with a life sentence in a European prison.

So, folks, this is the way the world really works. Are you as surprised as I am?
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