July 19, 2009
The talks are finished for now, with no resolution. The coup regime in Honduras, which ousted President Zelaya exactly 3 weeks ago, has rejected the 7-point proposal put forth by designated mediator Oscar Arias, president of Costa Rica. Zelaya’s delegation in Costa Rica had earlier stated they had accepted the proposal, but later said they accepted debating the proposal, and didn’t comment on whether or not they had unconditionally accepted all seven terms laid out by Arias.
The coup regime today introduced a counter-proposal, which would not have allowed for President Manuel Zelaya’s return to the presidency, but would have allowed his return to Honduras, to be tried and imprisoned for alleged constitutional violations. The coup regime and those participants in the June 28th coup d’etat that involved the violent kidnapping and forced exile of President Zelaya, have claimed that a coup did not take place, but rather a “rescue” of the constitutional order. They claim that President Zelaya was violating the constitution by proposing a non-binding national survey on the possibility of future constitutional reform. Most strange in this claim is that a non-binding survey, which means it doesn’t legally matter what the outcome is, to consult the people’s will regarding their constitution is somehow a violent crime that justifies kidnapping, forced exile, and 3 weeks of imposed national curfew, suspension of constitutional rights and repression of the people. Who are the real criminals?
After the several hours of meetings today with Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, the designated delegations announced the outcome. The coup regime stated it was “sorry,” but it was rejecting in its entirety the 7-point proposal set out by Arias. The delegation for the coupsters also tried to once again tell the world a coup had not taken place in Honduras, and that dictator Roberto Micheletti is the constitutional president of Honduras. Blah, blah blah.
President Zelaya’s delegation reaffirmed their commitment to the mediation process and verified they had accepted the 7-point proposal from Arias as a point of debate, particularly point 1, the restitution of Manuel Zelaya to the presidency of Honduras. Even President Oscar Arias — the mediator (via Washington) — confirmed that point 1 was the essence of the entire negotiation. The Zelaya delegation declared the talks as “failed” and “over,” but Arias called for another 72-hours to work on a solution that will prevent a civil war from erupting in the Central American nation. “Give me another 72 hours to work tirelessly on a solution, in order to avoid bloodshed,” Noble Peace prize winner Arias said before the international media that were anxiously awaiting the outcome of today’s meetings outside the presidential residence in San José de Costa Rica.
Another 72 hours? Stalling, or a sincere attempt to prevent civil war? Be it either, too much time has already passed that has allowed for the coup regime to violate more than a thousand citizen’s human rights, assassinate and injure dozens others, and consolidate itself in the government.
How will Washington react now? Will Obama-Clinton continue to skirt the issue of a “coup” and the return of Zelaya to power and back the 72-hour request by Arias? Probably. And Clinton lawyer and Advisor Lanny Davis will continue to make roadways in Washington for acceptance of the coup regime in Honduras.
Meanwhile, the outrage is growing in Latin America over Obama’s request (happily accepted by Colombian president Alvaro Uribe) to occupy 5 new military bases in Colombia. This agreement, which was consolidated in the Oval Office this past June 30, 2009, as Obama simultaneously and cynically declared the Honduran coup “illegal,” will turn Colombia into a dangerous launching pad for US military operations in the region, never seen before in history. $46 million of US taxpayer monies was already approved by Congress — as requested by Obama — for pumping up the capacity of just one of the Colombian bases that US forces will occupy. The base in Palanquero — central Colombia — is set not just for counter-drug operations, which is the usual justification for US military presence in the region, but also for “hemispheric security operations.” Hmmm, security operations? Against whom? Maybe neighboring Venezuela and Ecuador, two nations that are in revolution and maintain anti-imperialist doctrines.
The people of the US and the world should express outrage and disgust at this violent, intimidating and threatening massive US presence in Latin America, authorized by “agent of change” Barack Obama.
Eva Golinger is the author of The Chávez Code and Bush vs Chavez. This article was first published on her blog on 15 July 2009. Visit her blog Postcards from the Revolution: <www.chavezcode.com>.