October 3, 2009

Secret visitor and planned visits

US Senators meet with Roberto Micheletti
Photo: La Prensa, Honduras

In a secret visit, José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the OAS, met with Honduran President Roberto Micheletti on Wednesday this week at Soto Cano Air Force Base (Palmerola, as it used to be called). The meeting also included US Ambassador Hugo Llorens.

President Micheletti did not reveal the substance of their talks but he seemed pleased with the meeting in which he said they discussed everything, adding, "For this reason I am saying that tranquility is returning to the country and that makes us happy." He mentioned that there was no dialogue about the restitution of Zelaya to power. "We finished by looking for the form in which we could satisfy all Hondurans."

Micheletti met Friday with a delegation of Republican US senators led by Jim DeMint. The senators also met with members of the Supreme Court and three of the presidential candidates and a representative of one candidate who could not attend. The two pro-Zelaya candidates boycotted the meeting, as they do virtually every meeting, television program, interview, or press conference.

The senators' visit was initially blocked by Democrat Senator John Kerry. DeMint accused him of trying to block the truth about Honduras, saying, "These bullying tactics by the Obama administration and Senator Kerry must stop, and we must be allowed to get to the truth in Honduras. Not a single U.S. Senator has traveled to Honduras to learn the facts on the ground." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell intervened to approve the trip. See also Fausta's Blog for other discussions and her podcast.

Not to be outdone, a group of six Democrat senators rushed off a letter to Honduras Congressional President, José Saaveda, to inform him that the visitors were of the minority party and did not represent the US government position, which is that "holding of free and fair elections next November in Honduras is impossible". (Click to enlarge letter.)

To show the effect that US meddling has in Honduras, within hours this letter was being read to the resistance on Radio Globo. Radio Globo did not mention the visit of the Republican senators, so now the resistance listeners believe that the US government is united in stopping Honduran elections, which is their goal since they do not have anywhere near a majority to win elections.

Apparently Honduras is going to be a collateral damage in the Democrat-Republican civil war in the US, where even fact-finding missions are a danger to the US position.

The advance OAS mission arrived Friday to prepare for the visit of the OAS Chancellors on October 7 after being expelled earlier in the week for arriving unannounced. John Biehl, who has been here since Sunday, is very positive about his meetings with Mel Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti, saying that both have agreed to dialogue next week.

A delegation of six of Brazilian congressmen arrived Wednesday (presumably they had appointments) and were apparently surprised by the massive support for Micheletti and rejection of returning Zelaya to office, including from Brazilian citizens living in Honduras. They had to double-check with Brazilian Embassy employees, from whom they heard the same story. Although originally not planned, they met with Micheletti Thursday night. In media interviews, one delegate referred to Micheletti as President Micheletti.

Canadian Ambassador Neil Reider issued a call to all of the population to support the November 29 elections.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen arrives on Monday.

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