A Solution in Honduras?

Honduras talks on October l5, photo: Giorgio Trucchi, rel-UITA
Honduras talks on October l5, photo: Giorgio Trucchi, rel-UITA

HAVANA TIMES, Oct. 15 – The Zelaya delegation announced consensus on the language of an agreement. Micheletti requests more time.  The following is a report from Tegucigalpa from the rel-UITA website with photos by Giorgio Trucchi.

Though the resistance decided to leave the negotiating table, and continues mobilizing in the streets, the delegation of constitutionally elected president Manuel Zelaya Rosales announced the reaching of an agreement around a key point of the San Jose Agreement.  This foresees the return of state powers to the administration in place prior to June 28. This implies Manuel Zelaya’s reinstatement to the presidency of the republic.

Hours later, amid rumors and speculation, the de facto government reported that there is still not a definitive agreement and that dialogue continues.

After having announced consensus on 90 percent of the points contained in the San Jose Agreement and the signing of the respective points on the part of the six delegates that make up the two negotiating commissions, yesterday (October 14) it was foreseen that an approach would be made to the most difficult point: the reinstatement of President Zelaya.

With great expectations, and heavily under guard by police and army troops, hundreds of people belonging to the National Front Against the Coup d’état again concentrated in an empty area on the grounds of the Clarion Hotel, the site of where the two commissions began their fifth day of negotiations.

Hondurans continue to defy the military.  Photo: Giorgio Trucchi, rel-UITA
Hondurans continue to defy the military. Photo: Giorgio Trucchi, rel-UITA

In the early afternoon, Victor Meza, one of President Zelaya’s negotiators, announced without going into details that consensus had been reached on the wording of point six of the San Jose’s Agreement, and that the two delegations were going to present it and consult with those whom they are representing; that is to say, with President Manuel Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti.

In an interview on station Radio Globo, which is continuing its broadcasts on the Internet despite being closed to the airwaves as a result of an executive gag order that continues reducing the constitutional rights of Hondurans, President Zelaya reported to the citizenry on the text that was presented to him by his delegation at the talks.

“At this time the commissions of both sides have come to a consensus on wording that contemplates the reinstatement of the Presidency of the Republic. Currently the text is in discussion to see if a definitive agreement can be reached,” he said.

“What is complicated,” Zelaya continued, “is the mechanics to reach this objective because it involves other powers, such as the Congress and the Supreme Court of Justice.”

“In any event, I maintain my reservations about the members of the regime that executed the coup d’état and the reaching of a positive position on the dialogue,” he added.

Zelaya took advantage of the occasion to again denounce the harassment to which people taking refuge in the Brazilian embassy are constantly subjected.  Likewise, he requested the cessation of repression in the country, the restitution of Radio Globo and Channel 36, the publication in the Gaceta Official newspaper of the repeal of the executive order that suspends the constitutional rights of the Honduran people, and an end to militarization.

Micheletti requests time

While President Zelaya made these statements, without going in particulars so as not to hindering the negotiations, Roberto Micheletti delivered an official announcement from the Presidential House.  In that statement he made it clear that a final agreement had still not been reached on the issue of the reinstatement of the legitimate president of Honduras, and that the commissions would review today’s (October 15) dialogue sessions.

For now, both President Zelaya and the resistance maintain October 15 as the deadline to reach an agreement on the reinstatement of the president.

“We stick to our ultimatum and hope that by this date a final agreement is reached,” said Juan Barahona, a leader of the National Front Against the Coup d’état and the withdrawing delegate of the resistance to the talks.

“It doesn’t matter if the commissions reached an agreement on 90 percent of the points, because if President Zelaya’s reinstatement is not achieved, the rest of the San Jose Agreement serves for nothing,” emphasized Barahona.

Responding to questions from an international press agency on why he pulled out of the talks, Barahona said he “did not agree to sign the agreement points since there were some on which the resistance didn’t agree, like relinquishing a constitutional assembly, for example.”

“A solution to this impasse was sought through a conditional signing of the agreement, but the coup-backed government opposed this.  We spoke with President Zelaya and agreed to name a substitute, lawyer Rodil Rivera, who will participate in the capacity of advisor to President Zelaya.”

This decision by the resistance to bow out of the talks responds not only to the desire to avoid sowing distrust and doubt among the rank and file at the time of the signing but also to not give an excuse to the de facto government to back out of or abandon the dialogue alleging the divisions within Zelaya’s negotiating commission.

“If President Zelaya is not reinstated, we will continue demonstrating in the streets, and we will begin the process of boycotting the elections.  At the same time, we won’t give up on the constitutional assembly, independently of what is agreed to and signed at the negotiating table,” Barahona concluded.

While Honduras continues being torn by a crisis that has reached its 110th day, de facto president Roberto Micheletti decided to decree a national holiday today to celebrate the qualification of the national team in the World Football Cup.