December 14, 2009

If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em

Honduran poll
TV poll taken August 25, 2009
Do you believe that the US is showing us that it is
an untrustworthy allied country?

93% said yes

I honestly have no idea what side the US is on anymore. I'm so confused, so tired, so burned out, so disgusted with US policy − or better said, tired of 'trying to figure out what is the US policy'.

Honduran pollIn the beginning, they were totally against Honduras and demanded that Zelaya be put back into office despite the US Library of Congress report which they have managed to ignore, despite the fact that they have evidence of his corruption and narcotrafficking ties, and despite the fact that the US knew that Zelaya was violating a Supreme Court order before June 28. (Poll Aug 28: Since June 28, do you think that Honduran democracy has strengthened? Yes, 91%. Click on images to enlarge.)

When demands and condemnations did nothing, they backed the Arias strong-arm negotiation. When that fell through, they blamed the Honduran government even though it was Zelaya's negotiator who said that "the talks were dead" and it was Zelaya who continued to violate the supposed Accord by publicly pushing the constitutional assembly (including in a CNN interview within hours of Zelaya telling Hillary Clinton that he agreed to the San José Accord which prohibited pursuing a constitutional assembly!).

Honduran pollThe OAS then sent another failed delegation of Ambassadors to Honduras to try to force compliance with their wishes. This included Insulza, several OAS representatives and several US representatives. Honduras continued to stand strong for their constitution and sovereignty, while asking the OAS to look at the facts. (Aug. 24 poll: How much hope do you have that the OAS commission will contribute to the solution of the political crisis? Much 17%; None 83%.)

Honduran pollThen Arias was happy when Zelaya snuck back into the country and started riots, since that would make it easier to conclude the negotiations.
(Aug. 29 poll: What perception do you have of US Ambassador Hugo Llorens? Good, 16%; Bad 84%)

Then they pushed the OAS-led Guaymuras dialogue. When that was going nowhere, they blamed it on the Honduran government again and sent a strong arm in to close the deal, reportedly with threats to both sides. The US publicly PROMISED to respect a Honduran solution to the Honduran problem. José Insulza of the OAS also PROMISED to respect the agreement.

With much effort, an accord was reached and signed by both sides. Within 24 hours, Zelaya was reneging on the agreement, and the US and OAS again and again blamed the Honduran government. It was a negotiated agreement. Zelaya was either out-negotiated or thought that he had a backdoor deal. He lost and now he wants a rematch.

First the US blamed Micheletti for trying "to unilaterally form a unity government" which was not true − Micheletti, unlike Zelaya who only considers his personal interests, consulted all sectors in a true effort at reconciliation.

Zelaya publicly stated hundreds of times not only that he will not submit names for the cabinet, but that he completely disavows the Accord. Still the US pounds on Honduras to implement the Tegucigalpa Accord. How?

Honduran pollThen the US 'suggested' that President Micheletti step aside for a week during the election and the vote in congress.
(Nov. 21 poll: Do you believe that it is correct that Roberto Micheletti retire temporarily from the presidency of the Republic? No 85%)

President-elect Pepe Lobo has gotten involved, with full cooperation from Micheletti. He started a "national dialogue" and invited the resistance to participate. The resistance refused, saying they wouldn't talk to him, don't recognize him, and that it was a slap in the face. Lobo has been pushing the unity government, but what can he do to satisfy the US if Zelaya will not submit names?

How crazy is it to even propose changing the entire government leadership for the remaining seven weeks until Lobo takes office? Obviously, this would not serve Honduras and would make Lobo's transition even more difficult since he and his transition team would be working with people who know nothing about what the government has been doing. Does this make any sense at all? Would it save face for the US and OAS, or only make them look the bullying, hypocritical fools that they have been?

The clause in the Tegucigalpa Accord which refers to the Unity and Reconciliation Government includes a reference to Article 246 of the Constitution. That Article refers to the Secretaries of State and heads of other government institutions, NOT the president. Not even Zelaya's own negotiators have tried to claim that the unity government has anything to do with removing Micheletti as president.

Honduran poll
Dec. 11 poll: Should Pepe Lobo take the presidency early
or should Micheletti finalize his government (on January 27)?
Pepe should take possession 15%
Micheletti should finish his term 85%

Honduran pollBut now, once again, the US is going back on their word to respect "the Honduran solution" and are insisting, through Arias and Martinelli, that Micheletti resign. That is not in the agreement. Isn't it a little hypocritical to demand an unconstitutional removal of a president from a country who claims to believe that the last president was removed unconstitutionally?
(Dec. 3 poll: Do you agree with conceding political amnesty to Manuel Zelaya? No, 76%)

Honduran pollHonduras does not need and does not want a new president for seven weeks. If the US and OAS think that would satisfy the resistance, they are even more ignorant about Honduras than I thought. (By the way, rumor has it that the US intelligence people in Honduras have been replaced. True?)
(Sept. 29 poll: Do you believe that it is impossible that Manuel Zelaya be restored to the presidency of the Republic? Yes, 90%. Note the vote count, about 6 times the normal amount.)

Another by-the-way: just who is it that the US would find acceptable to be Honduras' president for the next seven weeks? Zelaya and the media have basically painted the whole country as being golpistas? Maybe the US should just come out of the closet, cut out the middle man, and pick a president, since they aren't at all interested in Honduras following its constitution (or the Tegucigalpa Accord) except as it concerns their interpretation of Zelaya's rights. Or, maybe they already have.

US State Department Arturo Valenzuela is calling on Latin America to make a "final and collective effort" for a definitive solution to the crisis in Honduras which would better be passed "to solution of the countries of Central America". What happened to the Honduran solution?

Now we are to believe that Honduras' fate is in the hands of Central American countries? Is he calling for an effort for recognize Pepe Lobo as the next president of Honduras? Or an effort to intervene in Honduras to force its constitutional president to resign? I have no idea, but Insulza declared his proposal 'correct', so that is a very bad sign.

Craig Kelly (US State Dept.) went to the Dominican Republic the day before DR President Fernández announced that he was going to help negotiate a new solution. (The comments on this article are more interesting than the article itself.) Are we to believe there was no connection between Kelly's visit and Fernández's involvement in the Mexico, Brazil, DR plot to get Zelaya out of the country?

When Pepe Lobo returned from his meeting with Arias and Martinelli in Costa Rica, he said that the international community wanted amnesty for all and for Micheletti to resign in addition to implementation of the Tegucigalpa Accord. With that, US $2 billion (yes, that is billion with a 'B') would be made available to Honduras (through aid, loans, etc. from the "international community". On a morning talk show on Friday, it was mentioned that the US offered US $2 billion for Micheletti to resign.

Both the US and OAS have shown that they don't keep their word. Why should Honduras trust them now? Who is to say that they wouldn't come up with some additional requirement if these latest two demands were to be met?

So, with all that the US/OAS have done to try to break Honduras and couldn't, now they are trying to buy their sovereignty. How much would it cost US taxpayers for the Obama Administration save face on the Honduran issue? Because the payoffs won't only be to Honduras, they may have to pay off many of the Chávez allies to change their minds, too.

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