Responses to the Coup d'etat in Honduras on Sunday June 28, with special emphasis on producing English-language versions of commentaries by Honduran scholars and editorial writers and addressing the confusion encouraged by lack of basic knowledge about Honduras.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Micheletti tricks OAS again: no visit just propaganda

Telesur, and now AP, are reporting that the OAS has been uninvited by the Micheletti regime due to Insulza's "intransigence".

The choice of words cannot be an accident. Intransigence is the word used repeatedly to describe Micheletti's refusal to accept the non-negotiable return of President Zelaya.

It always seemed mysterious that Micheletti agreed to a visit. Requesting one was one thing; it was part of a strategy to delay and delay.

Micheletti used this as a way to show commabd. He demanded that no foreign minister of an ALBA country be included.

Now Micheletti is demanding the removal of the head of OAS. He gets to bar access to Honduras while still claiming a propaganda victory in the country.

How so? The mere visit was trumpeted in pro-coup press as a form of validation. Not just the overt " now they will see how peaceful things are" (despite road closings continuing and 20,000 Lenca rejecting an attempt by Micheletti to 'open' a bridge built by the Zelaya government-- not to mention strikes by the teachers union, meteorologists, electrical company, health care, and many others numbering tens of thousands of workers).

More than that, Micheletti is functioning as if he were a legitimate head of state. First Arias, now OAS let him be seen as the "President" and in the process allow themselves to be used as props.

As skeptical Honduran colleagues note, treating Micheletti as a valid agent simply reinforces him. In Honduras, his control over most media means he spins things as he wishes and meanwhile plays out the clock.


phoenixwoman said...

If the US media would just report it, it might even have an impact on how the US deals with the coupistas.

--Charles of Mercury Rising

RAJ said...

Good point. So how are the US and other English language media covering this?

So far: as a contest between Micheletti and Insulza, including such gems as the Miami Herald managing to find a professor willing to criticize Insulza for supposedly aligning himself with ALBA.

Meanwhile, none of the stories question what possible goal such a delegation could have had anyway? Micheletti, as reported in the Honduran press, had said he would not discuss the restoral of elected government. His government claimed the visit would lead to normalization of international relations, so their agenda was clear-- but what were the OAS delegates going to accomplish?

US media need to do some reporting about that: if this regime, as is now clear, is so out of touch that it thinks it can convince international governments and organizations to accept the events of June 28 by explaining that they think President Zelaya's actions the week prior were illegal-- which is a position everyone understands and can in no way justify the response of a military-legislative-judicial coup-- then what does any OAS official think might happen?

Again, the Micheletti gang is clear: if only the OAS included participants more open to reconsidering their "case" and left out Insulza who visited and reached a "hasty" decision, they could be reinstated in world forums.

(Bizarrely, Micheletti reportedly wanted Brazil, Germany-- not an OAS member-- and yet said his main criteria was no one from a country that had experienced "21st century socialism". That makes sense of his other wish-list countries, including Colombia-- but Brazil??!! And what's Germany got to do with this?)

Nell said...

I'm somewhat amazed at the high level of this delegation, considering how little there is to gain given the attitudes of the coup regime and the U.S. government. Many of those attending would have just been at today's INASUR conference in Quito, wouldn't they?

RAJ said...

RNS is tracking the changing OAS positions in the post following this one.

I think there are two ways to read the rank of the delegation: one, it is intended to really get through to the coup supporters-- most likely the business community and not the de facto regime per se-- and impress them with the fact that this is not something decided by second-rankers attending a meaningless OAS meeting.

Or, the OAS is trying to respond to Micheletti's expressed request for a delegation of people of distinction. That would be insulting to Arias, as it was specifically a request he made when rejecting Arias as a mediator.

In that regard, we should mention that Honduras' pro-coup newspaper, El Heraldo, reported yesterday that Oscar Arias was under investigation in Costa Rica for "political meddling", which is true (if irrelevant).

Why does this matter? Radio Globo broadcast last Tuesday that they had a paper document outlining a classic "dirty tricks" campaign by which the regime intended to discredit Arias. Is this perhaps one of the first steps in such a campaign?

Together, discrediting Arias and demanding, and receiving, visits from ever-higher-ranking diplomats. while having no intention of changing position, is eerily reminiscent of another bad boy regime in the news recently: North Korea.