Sunday, August 9, 2009

Canada Joins OAS delegation to Honduras

It will be interesting to see if the delegation has any luck in convincing the Micheletti govt. that Zelaya should be allowed to return as a lame duck president for a few months and with reduced powers. Why Zelaya ever agreed to this in the first place is a bit surprising. He gains very little. No doubt it was extreme pressure from the U.S. that helped convince him it was the best he could do in the circumstances. It is surprising as well that Micheletti and the coup leaders are so adamant that Zelaya cannot return under any circumstances.
The coup government may finally cave in, in spite of their hard nosed rhetoric about not allowing Zelaya to return. Firstly, the military has said it supports a solution along the lines of the Arias accords. Secondly, the economy is suffering due to many strikes and demonstrations and lost tourist dollars. Thirdly, there is division even among the Liberal party supporters and in particular the presidential candidate of the Liberals who does not support the coup.

Canada joins OAS delegation to Honduras
Last Updated: Friday, August 7, 2009 9:38 PM ET Comments45Recommend11CBC News
Canada's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Peter Kent has been named by the Organization of American States as part of a delegation that will try to persuade the interim government in Honduras to reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

The OAS said Friday that Kent will travel to Honduras on Tuesday along with foreign ministers from Argentina, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

They will be accompanied by senior OAS officials, including OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza.

The OAS hopes the delegation will succeed in pressuring interim President Roberto Micheletti to accept a plan proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, who has been trying to mediate a solution to the political crisis.

The Arias plan would see Zelaya restored as the president of a coalition government, offer amnesty to both him and the coup leaders and hold elections a month early on Oct. 28.

The interim government insists it cannot accept any deal that would restore Zelaya to the presidency because that would violate a supreme court ruling ordering his arrest and a congressional vote removing him from office.

Micheletti says OAS delegation won't change his mind
Micheletti said the OAS delegation is welcome to come to Honduras and learn about what led to Zelaya's ouster, but insisted that he will not be persuaded to allow Zelaya's reinstatement as president.

"No one will come here to give us orders," he said.

Micheletti insists he will leave the presidency in January, when a new president would take power following previously scheduled elections in November.

Zelaya's supporters continued nationwide marches Friday to pressure for his return to power.

Interim leaders have vowed to arrest Zelaya if he sets foot in his homeland on four charges of violating the constitution.

All charges stem from Zelaya ignoring a supreme court order and attempting to hold a referendum asking Hondurans if they want a special assembly to rewrite the constitution. Many people felt he wanted to jettison the constitutional provision that limits presidents to a single term, although Zelaya denied it.

With files from The Associated Press

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