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October 7, 2009


>News regarding OAS meeting in Tegucigalpa

Diplomats urge return of ousted Honduran president

By BEN FOX (AP) – 50 minutes ago

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — Diplomats from around the hemisphere flew into Honduras on Wednesday and told the coup-imposed government to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya and restore democracy to the impoverished Central American country.

“We are not here to create a debate. We are here to find concrete solutions to a situation that cannot be prolonged,” Jose Miguel Insulza, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, said as talks began in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Zelaya gave the negotiators an ultimatum, calling for the postponement of Nov. 29 presidential elections if he is not restored to office before Oct. 15. That proposal is certain to anger the interim government, which views the elections — scheduled before Zelaya’s June 28 overthrow — as the best hope of moving past the crisis.

Insulza presented a proposed agreement that would restore Zelaya as head of a unity government and offer amnesty to both the coup leaders and the deposed president, who faces abuse of power and other charges stemming from his defiance of a court order that he drop a referendum on changing the constitution.

The proposal, which also requires Zelaya to abandon any ambitions to change the constitution, is similar to one proposed months ago by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and rejected by the interim government.

Tensions rose before Wednesday’s meeting began as riot police fired tear gas to disperse about 200 Zelaya supporters protesting near the U.S. and Brazilian embassies. Zelaya has been holed up in the Brazilian Embassy since sneaking back into the country from his forced exile.

Delegates from the United States, Canada and eight Latin American countries were mediating negotiations between representatives of Zelaya, who was ousted by the military three months ago, and interim President Roberto Micheletti, who has the support of Honduras’ Congress and Supreme Court but has faced intense international pressure to allow his predecessor’s return.

Canada’s minister of state for the Americas, Peter Kent, said it was imperative for an agreement to be reached before the November elections, which many countries in the Americas have warned would not be recognized if Zelaya remains out of the power.

“I sense that everybody involved understands that we are nearly out of time and this crisis needs to be resolved now,” Kent said.

Interim Vice President Marta Lorena Alvarado, however, said she did not expect an agreement Wednesday.

“It would be fantastic, but the problem is difficult and there are a lot of players. I don’t think it will be today,” she said.

She insisted that the world was too quick to condemn Zelaya ouster, which the Micheletti government argues was legal because it had the backing of Congress and the Supreme Court.

Still, she said, the two sides were “initiating conversations that had not occurred before and expectations are positive” for an eventual resolution.

Micheletti set an optimistic tone in a national address late Tuesday, saying the talks would address with a “new spirit” the main issues of dispute over the San Jose Accord, the plan originally brokered the Costa Rican president.

“I believe the time is right to intensify the national dialogue,” he said in the brief speech, without going into specifics.

Zelaya warned that the interim government would seek to persuade the delegates to pursue a new plan that would prevent his return to office.

“We warn the ministers that the de facto regime is planning to stay in power longer and to deepen the crisis by preventing the return of the elected president and continuing the repression of the people,” Zelaya said in a statement.

Zelaya was forced from office for trying to hold a referendum on rewriting the constitution. His opponents charged he wanted to lift the charter’s provision limiting presidents to a single term — an accusation he denies.

Zelaya has not announced any plans to leave his refuge at the Brazilian Embassy, and he was being represented in the talks by members of his deposed government.



(Still not much info coming in about the OAS meeting.  Maybe later this evening.)

>El Frente Nacional Contra el Golpe de Estado calls for a break the silence demonstration at 8PM this evening throughout  neighborhoods.  Screaming loud, beating pots and pans, and engaging in loud racket is encouraged. Making noise is to counter the deafening silence coming from the OAS meeting.

>News from Habla Honduras: 1) The state of siege order was rescinded, but Micheletti has not had it published in La Gaceta, making it STILL IN EFFECT. Massive repression by police today in front of the US embassy in Tegucigalpa which includes acrid tear gas and attacks on international journalists.   2) President Zelaya demands to be reinstated by October 15 to ensure clean elections by November 29.   3) The de facto regime’s attorney general is urging that media formerly closed be re-opened. 

>Comunique from President Zelaya

Comunicado Presidente Constitucional Manuel Zelaya, octubre 7

 Miércoles 07 de Octubre de 2009 10:54



 El Presidente de la República, electo por el pueblo, José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, al pueblo Hondureño, a la Comunidad Internacional con motivo de la presencia de los Cancilleres de las Republicas de Guatemala, El Salvador, Estados Unidos, México, Ecuador, Canadá, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Republica Dominicana, Brasil, Argentina, el Reino de España Comunica lo siguiente:


1.- Después de más de 100 días de grave crisis, a los Cancilleres de los países amigos que hoy se presentan a nuestro país les agradecemos su solidaridad con Honduras y su apoyo a la democracia, al exigir la restitución del Presidente electo por el pueblo José Manuel Zelaya Rosales. Reconocemos su alta investidura que hoy con su valiente posición de apoyo a nuestra lucha democrática representan la dignidad de los pueblos de América.


El pueblo de Honduras demanda el cumplimiento de las resoluciones aprobadas por unanimidad de la Organización de Estados Americanos y Naciones Unidas, guía que nos orienta en esta misión para establecer el dialogo y revertir el golpe de estado .


2.-Alertamos a los Cancilleres que el régimen de facto evidentemente está planificando permanecer más tiempo en el poder y profundizar más la crisis al negarse a restituir al Presidente electo por el pueblo. Continua con la represión contra el pueblo, cancela los medios de comunicación opositores al golpe de estado, suprime libertades públicas encarcelando sus opositores, se olvida del acuerdo San José (Plan Arias) y pretende, a través de maniobras, poner en marcha mecanismos para dilatar y evadir los mandatos del pueblo y de la comunidad internacional.


3.- Agradecemos las gestiones en favor de la democracia y la vigencia plena del estado de derecho y el acompañamiento del Secretario General de la OEA y de su equipo de colaboradores. Aprovechamos la ocasión para insistir en la necesidad de mantener posiciones firmes e indeclinables ante las maniobras dilatorias del régimen de facto.


4.- Solicitamos a los funcionarios del departamento de Estado hacer valer en su actuación y en sus declaraciones públicas la posición política del Presidente de Estados Unidos Barack Obama y de la Secretaria de Estado Hilary Clinton.


5.- Apoyamos las elecciones como mecanismo democrático, si se restituye al Presidente. Las elecciones y su proceso sólo son válidos y gozarán de la confianza de la comunidad nacional e internacional con la restitución del Presidente Zelaya. Hacemos evidente la necesidad de asegurar las garantías para la igualdad de la participación ciudadana, cesar la represión contra los opositores al régimen, que se levante el cerco militar a la Embajada de Brasil y el aislamiento forzoso al Presidente Zelaya, se elimine la militarización en pueblos y ciudades y se restituyan las frecuencias de la Radio Globo y canal 36 de t v.


Advertimos que de NO restituir al Presidente en su cargo antes del 15 de octubre, automáticamente por falta de validez, credibilidad y confianza de la comunidad nacional e internacional queda sin valor ni efecto el calendario electoral hasta que se firme el acuerdo de San José y se restituya al Presidente Zelaya en su cargo.


La soberanía corresponde al pueblo del cual emanan todos los poderes del Estado, la suplantación de la soberanía constituye un delito de alta traición a la Patria y no prescribe con el tiempo.



Tegucigalpa 7 de octubre 2009.




>”Divide Tearing Honduras Apart.”  Interview with Honduran ambassador in Washingotn, Enrique Reina.  This is a fascinating interview from The Washington Diplomat with lots of details not commonly known.  Ambassador Reina is pictured on the front.




>Rigoberta Menchú calls on U.S. to play a stronger role in Honduras

I was a witness to many conflicts in the 80s, in Nicaragua, in Guatemala, in El Salvador,” he said. “And I want to tell you that I have never experienced an environment of as much repression and terror as I lived in Honduras in these three months.”

By Chrissie Long

Tico Times Staff |

 For Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchú, the Honduran crisis stretches beyond the country’s jagged borders, green mountains and far-reaching farmlands.


The Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who became human rights icon after her advocacy work during the Guatemalan Civil War, said the issue can’t be limited to Honduras.


“It’s a profound crisis. It’s an ideological crisis. It’s a political crisis,” she said, speaking before reporters in San José on Tuesday. “But it is also a crisis that belongs to Central America.”


She said the situation must be studied, turned over and analyzed again so that it doesn’t become a “concern for our children.”


We must prevent “a tomorrow in which any madman says, ‘I don’t like this government,’ overthrows it and is legitimized by an election,” she said.


Meeting with academics, a representative from the Honduran media and political analysts on Tuesday, Menchú denounced the de facto government, called for greater intervention on the behalf of the United States and praised the efforts of the Organization of American States (OAS) along with fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipient Oscar Arias, the president of Costa Rica.


She criticized the United States for not being “more congruent” or “clear” in its position, believing that the northern superpower should intervene “not to resolve the crisis, but to create a ‘free zone’” where persons and institutions that resist the de facto government could seek asylum.


With the return of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on Sept. 21, the situation has grown tenser, boiling over into moments of violence as the feuding parties meet face to face.


Ismael Moreno, who joined Menchú on the panel on Tuesday, and works as the director of Radio Progreso in Honduras, said he’s never before seen the level of repression he’s experienced in the country over the past few months.


I was a witness to many conflicts in the 80s, in Nicaragua, in Guatemala, in El Salvador,” he said. “And I want to tell you that I have never experienced an environment of as much repression and terror as I lived in Honduras in these three months.”


Recounting stories of repression in the case of a religious figure who was captured during one of the demonstrations and dragged by his hair and of a young mother who was raped by several soldiers, Moreno criticized the de facto government for covering up the reality of the situation.


Meanwhile, the OAS has named a new delegation of foreign ministers who will arrive in Honduras Wednesday in attempt to break the stalemate in Honduras. The delegation includes the organization’s secretary general, José Miguel Insulza; foreign ministers from Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico and Panama; and top diplomats from Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Brazil.


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