Honduran National Resistance Update 10/27
> Round 14, the boxing match is almost over and, as it has been all along, the State Department reporters are way ahead on points. Meanwhile Shannon and his posse are heading for Tegucigalpa — is this yet one more orchestrated delay or, with only one month until the scheduled election, is it time to introduce a new face into the mix?
State Department Daily Press Briefings > 2009 > October
Daily Press Briefing
October 27, 2009
Condolences on Death of Mr. Micheletti’s Nephew
Travel of U.S. Delegation to Honduras / Will Discuss Strategies to Move Guaymuras Process Forward / Urge Both Sides to Show Flexibility and Redouble Efforts to Bring Crisis to an End
Rapidly Developing Situation / U.S. Actively Engaged with Both Sides / Working Through OAS / Getting Quite Urgent / Want to See Election with Legitimacy that People of Honduras Deserve
TRANSCRIPT – EXCERPT ON Q & A re: Honduras:
1:19 p.m. EDT
MR. KELLY: Good afternoon. Just a few remarks at the top on – related to Honduras.
The United States was saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Micheletti’s nephew and we extend our condolences to his family for their tragic loss. As of now, we have no information about the motive of this violent act.
I also would like to announce that Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Tom Shannon, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Craig Kelly, and White House Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs Dan Restrepo will travel to Honduras later this week. The delegation plans to meet with representatives from both sides to discuss strategies to move the Guaymuras process forward. They will urge both sides to show flexibility and redouble their efforts to bring the crisis to an end.
And I’ll take your questions.
QUESTION: On that subject, Ian.
MR. KELLY: Yeah, Dave.
QUESTION: And is it – is the – are the talks down there at an impasse? I understand that Zelaya isn’t engaging anymore on that subject.
MR. KELLY: Well, it’s, as we say, a rapidly developing situation. There have been some developments both last night and this morning. The two sides are still talking, and the U.S. remains actively engaged with both sides. We’re talking to them on the phone, and our Embassy on the ground is talking to them. There are also representatives of the OAS who are helping facilitate this dialogue. And we’re just taking every opportunity to try and press on both sides the urgency of the situation and to try and get them to resolve this as soon as possible. The Secretary spoke with both sides as well, spoke to Mr. Micheletti and to President Zelaya. So we are –
QUESTION: When was that?
MR. KELLY: — very actively engaged. Saturday, I believe. It was over the weekend, anyway.
MR. KELLY: Yeah.
QUESTION: You say that the U.S. remains actively engaged with both sides. But in fact, you – I think “remains actively engaged” is a bit of a misstatement, is it not? Because you had not been actively engaged with both sides for very long.
MR. KELLY: Well, yeah.
QUESTION: I mean –
MR. KELLY: Fair enough. I mean, we’ve been saying consistently that we’re working through the OAS, that we were trying to play a helpful and active role through the OAS mechanism. The Secretary yesterday decided that the time was right to send this senior delegation down to get more directly involved in the process. We continue to support the OAS involvement in this. But the Secretary thought it was time for Assistant Secretary Shannon and NSC Senior Director Restrepo, as well as Craig Kelly, to get involved in this.
QUESTION: Prior to this, the only time that you would have sent people from Washington to deal directly with Micheletti’s side was as part of the OAS delegation, correct?
MR. KELLY: That’s right. Well, Ambassador Llorens has been involved, of course, on the ground. But as far as participation –
QUESTION: No, no –
MR. KELLY: — from Washington –
QUESTION: — but from here.
MR. KELLY: Yeah, you’re right. It was only as part of an OAS –
QUESTION: So – right.
MR. KELLY: — delegation.
QUESTION: Okay. So why did she make the decision that it was now time for you to become directly –
MR. KELLY: Well– yeah. I just – I think it’s getting quite urgent. What we want is we want to see an election, which is coming in about exactly a month, to enjoy the kind of international legitimacy that the people of Honduras deserve for their government. And we have said all along that we’ve made this a priority and we wanted to be as helpful as we could to try and bring this to a successful resolution. And I think things – talks on Friday seemed to break down, and it was at that point that the Secretary decided to get involved directly and called both Mr. Micheletti and President Zelaya.
QUESTION: Okay. And when are they going?
MR. KELLY: I believe they’re going tomorrow and will stay, I think, for a couple days.
QUESTION: Nick Spicer, Al Jazeera. Could I ask a question about the now rather public resignation of Matthew Hoh, who is –
MR. KELLY: Is there anything else on Honduras? Did you have something on –
QUESTION: Yeah, I do. Do you still think a legitimate election is possible given that it is only a month away?
MR. KELLY: Well, I think the clock is ticking. I think, in order for it to be seen as legitimate and for the authorities down there to conduct a completely open and transparent electoral process, that there needs to be some time, and this is precisely why we see some urgency in this.
So – yes.
Senior U.S. officials will travel to Honduras this week to press ousted President Manuel Zelaya and the country’s coup leaders to break a stalemate in a four-month-old political crisis. This marks the first time since the coup that the Obama administration has taken a leading role in pressuring the leaders of the de facto government to restore democratic order in Honduras. On Friday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with both Zelaya and Honduras’ de facto leader, Roberto Micheletti. Officials said Clinton told the two leaders that there was “increasing frustration” over the deteriorating situation in Honduras. Clinton is said to have reserved her toughest comments for Micheletti because the United States believes he has been “the most difficult.”
By David Gollust
27 October 2009
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya attends a meeting with his representatives at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, 16 Oct 2009
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (file photo)
The Obama administration is sending a team of senior officials to Honduras Wednesday to try to expedite a settlement of the political crisis spawned by the ouster in June of elected President Manuel Zelaya. The deposed leader remains at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa.
The Obama administration had preferred to let the Organization of American States and its designated mediator, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, take the lead role in Honduran diplomacy.
But it is now stepping up U.S. involvement with settlement talks stalled and a planned presidential election in Honduras looming in little more than a month.
State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly said a team headed by Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon and White House staff director for Latin America Dan Restrepo will urge both sides to show flexibility and redouble efforts to bring the crisis to an end.
Interim President Roberto Micheletti, who has headed the government since Mr. Zelaya was detained by soldiers and deported in late June, has refused to accept the return to office of the deposed leader as demanded by all other OAS member states.
Micheletti contends Mr. Zelaya’s ouster was not a coup, and that the troops who put him on a plane to Costa Rica acted legally after he had unconstitutionally sought to extend his term in office through a plebiscite.
State Department Spokesman Kelly, who said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to both principals in the crisis Friday, said the crisis needs to be resolved quickly in line with OAS settlement guidelines if the Honduran election planned for November is to have any legitimacy.
“I think it’s getting quite urgent. What we want is to see an election, which is coming in about exactly a month, to enjoy the kind of international legitimacy that the people of Honduras deserve,” he said. “We have said all along that we’ve made this a priority and wanted to be as helpful as we could to try to bring this to a successful resolution. Talks on Friday seemed to break down and it was at that point that the Secretary decided to get involved directly.”
The U.S. team, expected to be in Tegicigalpa through the end of this week, will meet with both Micheletti and Mr. Zelaya, who has been sheltered at the Brazilian embassy in the capital since slipping back into the country five weeks ago.
A senior State Department official said the sides are in agreement on all terms proposed by OAS mediator Arias except for critical language providing for Mr. Zelaya to return to office and complete his term, which ends in January.
The deposed leader has said he would renounce any ambition to hold on to power beyond January despite his previous backing for a referendum that would have allowed him to run again in next month’s election.
State Department Spokesman Kelly also expressed sadness Tuesday over the death of Enzo Micheletti, a nephew of the interim president, who had gone missing several days ago and whose body was discovered Sunday in a northern Honduran town.
Kelly, who extended condolences to the family, said he had no information on the motive in the killing of the Micheletti nephew, who was found shot to death along with another man.
Honduran officials have said they are treating the death as a local criminal case and that it does not appear to be related to the political crisis.
by via PWW
Tuesday Oct 27th, 2009 6:41 AM
Monday, October 26, 2009 : DALLAS — Dr. Luther Castillo, Communications Secretary for the Committee to Oppose the Coup d’etat in Honduras, spoke recently at a meeting held in the Honduran immigrant community in Plano, Texas, on October 17. Castillo responded to a call from the Dallas Committee for the Restoration of Democracy in Honduras.
Dr. Castillo was already internationally famous before the June 28 coup, because he established a medical clinic for the desperately poor Garifuna peoples of Central America. Pastors for Peace and other North American organizations attempted to help with this humanitarian effort.
After the oligarchy kidnapped president Manuel Zelaya Rosales, Castillo was in danger because of his close ties to the progressive aspects of the Honduran government. He came to the United States and began organizing support for democracy. In September, he was well received at the AFL-CIO convention, which then strengthened its position in favor of the democratic forces.
Following the Plano meeting Dr. Castillo visited religious, civil rights, and union groups to make personal appeals for support. He asks that U.S. citizens put more pressure on the government here to restore democracy in Honduras. Even though President Obama has denounced the coup d’etat, certain Republican Congressmen have been promoting the illegal Honduran government and trying to legitimize the elections that the illegal government expects to hold in November. The U.S. could add additional economic sanctions against the illegal government, too, says Castillo. Read More