Mark Weisbrot: Letter to the Wall Street Journal
Submitted by Robert Naiman on 20 November 2009 - 7:40pm
Mark Weisbrot sent the following letter to José de Cordoba, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, in response to the article which is posted at the end.
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 17:38:44 -0500
From: Mark Weisbrot <email@example.com>
Thought I would offer a couple of translations:
1. "While the U.S. and some Latin American countries, such as Panama, have said they will recognize the new president, other countries, such as Brazil, Argentina, and those allied with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez have said they won't recognize the new government because Mr. Zelaya has not been restored to power."
I think this means that THE ENTIRE HEMISPHERE except for the United States and a couple of right-wing governments that it may be able to recruit to a "coalition of the willing," will not recognize the November 29th election.
2. "Recently, Mr. Micheletti and Mr. Zelaya signed an agreement that called for the Honduran Congress to vote on whether to reinstate Mr. Zelaya as president, but Mr. Zelaya pulled out of the deal a few days after it was signed.
Rough translation: After the de facto government and Zelaya signed an agreement that was interpreted by almost everyone, including Oscar Arias and Jose Miguel Insulza, as requiring the reinstatement* of President Zelaya , and with assurances from both Hillary Clinton and Thomas Shannon that this was indeed the case, Micheletti formed a "unity government" headed by himself and without Zelaya, whereupon Zelaya withdrew from the agreement.
*This part of the agreement, among others, gives a pretty good hint of how the Congress was expected by the signers to vote on restitution (and needless to say, the signers have some influence over the Congress): “The decision the National Congress adopts should establish a basis for achieving the social peace, political tranquility and democratic governability the society requires and the country needs.”
Here is the article.
Honduran President to Briefly Step Down During National Elections
JOSE DE CORDOBA
Honduras' interim president Roberto Micheletti will step down temporarily from his post for a week during the country's coming national elections, the Wall Street Journal has learned.
The move, while largely symbolic, is an effort by the interim government to boost international legitimacy for the Nov. 29 vote, which the government hopes will put an end to a political crisis that began with the June 28 ouster of President Manuel Zelaya.
In a speech to be delivered late on Thursday, Mr. Micheletti is expected to say he will hand the reins of government to his council of ministers basically, the cabinet from Nov. 24 until his return to power on Dec. 2, according to a copy of a speech obtained by the Wall Street Journal. The president-elect is scheduled to take power in January.
In the remarks, Mr. Micheletti says his temporary absence from his post is meant to help Hondurans concentrate on the presidential elections instead of the political crisis, which erupted when the army kicked the president out of the country for allegedly wanting to extend his stay in power. Mr. Zelaya, a close ally of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, denies the charges, and has called on Hondurans to boycott the vote.
"It's symbolic, but the fact that Micheletti won't be presiding over the government when elections take place will help to some extent to help get other governments to come around to recognize the election," said Michael Shifter, an analyst at the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue think tank.
While the U.S. and some Latin American countries, such as Panama, have said they will recognize the new president, other countries, such as Brazil, Argentina, and those allied with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez have said they won't recognize the new government because Mr. Zelaya has not been restored to power.
Recently, Mr. Micheletti and Mr. Zelaya signed an agreement that called for the Honduran Congress to vote on whether to reinstate Mr. Zelaya as president, but Mr. Zelaya pulled out of the deal a few days after it was signed. The Honduran government is expected to vote on Mr. Zelaya's reinstatement after the election, but is widely expected to not allow him to return.
Mr. Micheletti said his temporary absence was not a "sign of weakness" by his government. "My action should be interpreted as a sign of strength and total and unquestionable confidence in the institutions of our country," Mr. Micheletti said, according to the copy of the speech.
During his absence, Mr. Micheletti said he expected the government to operate normally, but that he would immediately resume the presidency if there were some threat to the stability and peace of the nation, and "dictate with vigor and firmness the necessary measures to maintain order."
Write to Jose de Cordoba at firstname.lastname@example.org