By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, July 22 – Former Cuban President Fidel Castro described Costa Rican President Oscar Arias -mediator in the Honduras conflict- as a “neoliberal, talented, extremely calculating and a faithful ally of the United States.”
In a newspaper column published Wednesday morning in the local press, Castro -the senior adviser of the government of his brother Raul Castro- also said that Arias was given the assignment by Washington to “help the military coup in Honduras.”
Fidel further maintains that the Honduras coup that toppled the government of President Manuel Zelaya “was promoted by the far right-wing of the United States -which in Central America was maintaining the structure set up by Bush – and backed by the Department of State.”
A resumption of talks between representatives of Zelaya and the de facto Honduran government scheduled for Wednesday were postponed, “pending a new proposal from the mediator, President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica,” AP reported.
Zelaya had reportedly agreed to move up elections and forgo a non-binding referendum on constitutional reform, but the de facto government headed by Roberto Micheletti was unwilling to accept the key nonnegotiable issue, Zelaya’s return to the presidency.
Meanwhile, civic organizations are now in their 25th day of protests in Honduras demanding Zelaya’s return. A national strike is called for Thursday and Friday by labor organizations to step up the pressure on business people who support the coup. Zelaya has threatened to enter Honduras “by land, sea or air” from one of the neighboring Central American countries.
“The coup leaders are going to fall, the international community has them isolated and the Honduran people will remain in the streets until their defeat,” Juan Barahona, a leading protest leader told TeleSUR TV.
For more on the stalled talks between the coup leaders and President Zelaya see: Honduras Talks Stall, Peril Looms