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Honduran military to 'share' power for 3 months w/ Zelaya

by fairleft Fri Oct 30th, 2009 at 02:36:03 PM EST

The official Honduran crisis is likely coming to an end, with agreement reached to share power till Manuel Zelaya serves to the end of his term, January 27, 2010. How does Zelaya share power at gun point with the military, which monopolizes weaponry and police power? Yeah, right, but we'll see, things are not completely hopeless, people power 'from below' is surprisingly strong in Honduras. Details on the agreement are provided by Greg Weeks:

Friday, October 30, 2009
The end of the Honduran crisis?

Details remain sketchy, and may not be entirely ironed out. But the New York Times has the following:

"The accord allows a vote in Congress on Zelaya's possible restitution with the prior approval of the Supreme Court," Mr. Micheletti said in televised comments late Thursday. "This is a significant concession on the part of our government." "We are satisfied," Mr. Zelaya said, according to Reuters. "We are optimistic that my reinstatement is imminent."

La Prensa reports that the agreement consists of the following points. Other outlets have said the negotiators will meet again today, but it is not clear if the points themselves are not set or if it is just a matter of settling the logistics. Here is a quick translation:

1. La creación de un gobierno de unidad y reconciliación nacional.
The creation of a national reconciliation and unity government.

2. Rechazo a la amnistía delitos políticos, y demoratoria de acciones procesos penales.
Rejection of an amnesty for political crimes, and delay for penal processes.

3. Renunciar a una convocatoria a una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente o a reformar la Constitución en los artículos constitucionales irreformables.
Reject the convocation of a National Constitutional Assembly or reform of the unreformable constitutional articles.

4. Reconocer y apoyar las elecciones generales y el traspaso de Gobierno.
Recognize and support the general elections and the transfer of Government.

5. La transferencia de autoridad sobre las Fuerzas Armadas al Tribunal Supremo Electoral.
Transfer of authority over the Armed Forces to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

6. La creación de una comisión de verificación para hacer cumplir los puntos del acuerdo.
Creation of a commission of verification to ensure compliance with the points of the accord.

7. La formación de una comisión de la verdad para investigar los sucesos antes, durante y después del 28 de junio de 2009.
The formation of a truth commission to investigate the events before, during, and after June 28, 2009.

8. Solicitar a la comunidad internacional la normalización de las relaciones internacionales con nuestro país.
Request from the international community normalization of international relations with our country.

9. Apoyar una propuesta que permite un voto en el Congreso Nacional con una previa opinión de la Corte Suprema de Justicia para retrotraer todo el Poder Ejecutivo previo al 28 de junio.
Support the proposal that permits a vote in the National Congress with previous judgment from the Supreme Court to make the Executive Power retroactive to before June 28.

From the U.S. and corporate globalization borg perspective, Thomas Shannon is succinct:

US envoy Thomas Shannon said that Honduras needed to regain foreign support to legitimise the forthcoming November [29] polls.

"This type of support will ensure not only that it (the election) takes place peacefully, but also the reintegration in the international community and reopening the doors of international financial institutions," Shannon said.

More details, the few there are, are provided about 'power sharing' and other tricky matters by Democracy Now and its Honduran correspondent:

JUAN GONZALEZ: Oh, sure. I said, how would the power-sharing agreement work? Has it been spelled out in the document?

ANDRÉS CONTERIS: The power sharing has not been spelled out in detail in the document, and this is a very controversial point, especially by the resistance that has been nonviolently struggling against the very repressive coup regime over the past four months. And so, we are not clear what powers the President will have when he is restored to the presidential palace.

Another point that does not have a lot of clarity has to do with the truth commission that is to be established. One of the points had been that there was going to be an amnesty for both sides. That no longer is the case. And there is an arrest warrant out for President Zelaya. That arrest warrant could in fact still be upheld when he leaves the embassy. And so, who knows if he'll ever even make it to the presidential palace. But it will be very, very important for the truth commission to do a deep investigation into all of the allegations on both sides.

AMY GOODMAN: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that there was a deal that was made, but even as they sign this, does it have to be approved by the Congress in Honduras? And do they support Zelaya?

ANDRÉS CONTERIS: It does need to be approved by the Congress only. That was the point that was agreed upon, that President Zelaya did agree to. And basically, it's not known how the Congress is going to vote. President Zelaya, of course, does not have many friends in the Congress.

However, the point is that the Congress knows that the international community needs to support and validate the elections on November the 29th. And in order for them to do that, the international community has said that President Zelaya needs to be restored to power. So that means that many of the legislators will be supporting the restitution of President Zelaya, because they want the international community to validate the elections, especially Porfirio Lobo, who is the head of the National Party, and he is the leading presidential candidate in the elections next month.

JUAN GONZALEZ: What's been the reaction of the popular movement that has supported President Zelaya, because I would assume that some of them would see any kind of a power-sharing agreement as, in essence, a major concession on his part, given that he would only have a few months left in office?

ANDRÉS CONTERIS: You're very right about that, Juan. There are [inaudible] raising serious questions about that, especially those who have been very severely beaten and hospitalized. That includes Carlos H. Reyes, an independent presidential candidate, and he was hospitalized for weeks after a severe beating. But that repression even took place, in very intense ways, yesterday, the very day that the accord was agreed upon. So, there's not a lot of trust in terms of how this regime is going to continue to operate, given their record, and also--not only in terms of repression, but given their record in terms of delaying as long as possible before allowing the President to return to power.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we want to thank you, Andrés Thomas Conteris, for joining us. Andrés is holed up and has been since the President, the elected President Zelaya, went into the Brazilian embassy, as well.

Finally, the media suppression and direct violence against the 'people from below' and their candidates will continue up to the November 29 election. The conflict in Honduras is not really about Zelaya, but about a simmering conflict between most of the population and U.S.-dependent elites, according to David L. Wilson:

The local elite and the U.S. media insist that the nonbinding referendum Zelaya wanted to hold on June 28 was a power grab.  In reality Hondurans would simply have been asked whether they wanted to vote in the November general elections on a constituent assembly to rewrite the 1982 Constitution.  If this actually came about, the new Constitution might well allow presidential reelection, but it's not easy to see how any constituent assembly could finish its work in time to keep Zelaya in office after his term expires on January 27, 2010.

A more likely motive for the coup lies in the Honduran oligarchy's fear of what would happen if the people got a chance to write their own Constitution. . . .

The growth of social movements in Honduras reflects a pattern.  Everywhere you look in the hemisphere, the protagonists of the drama are increasingly "the people from below" -- los de abajo, as Mariano Azuela called the subjects of his novel of the 1910 Mexican Revolution.

I agree, though I guess Wilson is too optimistic about the strength of popular forces against the forces of global capitalism. But I don't know, you weirdly get a different and more optimistic perspective when you're on the ground in the third world (still okay to call it that?).

Thanks for the information, however reports of a deal appear premature.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Fri Oct 30th, 2009 at 08:21:24 PM EST
I am still rubbing my eyes....

My god how much has the US changed since... let's say JFK or Reagan.. or.... Roosevelt...

From now on I believe in fairy tales...

My last crossing point is to believe that the UE and the US can create new finantial regulations which will screw Goldman by making banking boring again...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat Oct 31st, 2009 at 01:28:33 PM EST

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