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.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Ian Kelly "There's been No Change In US Policy"
QUESTION: On Honduras, Senator Kerry’s – one of his spokespersons recently said that when Thomas Shannon said that the U.S. would recognize the winner of the November 29th elections, even if Zelaya was not to be put back into power beforehand, that that was undermining the deal that had been reached? Can you respond to that?
MR. KELLY: Well, on Honduras, we, of course, are continuing to call on both sides to begin implementing the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord. One of the key parts of that is setting up a government of unity and reconciliation, and we feel that once that is set up and the other elements of the accord are implemented, that it will be easier for the international community to recognize the elections. And I think that’s the point that Tom Shannon was trying to stress in his remarks that are referred to there.
Really? Shannon said that it didn't matter if Zelaya was returned or not, that the US would recognize the elections anyway, and Craig Kelly repeated this in Tegucigalpa just last week in his failed mission to try to get both sides back on track with setting up a Government of National Unity and Reconciliation. He specifically reassured Micheletti on this point. Both Shannon and Craig Kelly were quite clear on this point.
QUESTION: But doesn’t it sort of allow Micheletti to – kind of a backseat way, to still be part of the process when the U.S. has been pretty explicit that it recognizes Zelaya as the president?
MR. KELLY: We have been very explicit that we recognize the – Zelaya as the democratically elected leader of Honduras. We think that there is a good way forward that the two sides agreed to in principle, and that right now, we need to concentrate on implementing it. It establishes a solid foundation not only for a way forward with the elections on November 29, but it establishes a foundation for a reconciliation in Honduras between the two sides.
And so that’s – that is what our energies and efforts are focused on. We continue to remain in daily contact with the two sides, both through our Ambassador in Tegucigalpa, and I know that Craig Kelly is – and also in constant telephone contact with the two sides. And we just remain committed to the implementation of this accord, and we’re sticking to that.
Notice how Kelly doesn't really answer the question. He just repeats the same points. Why do they matter? Because the US is not actually working towards a solution here. Its decided on the solution and its trying now to impose it from without. The State Department is like someone in a fairy tale closing their eyes and wishing hard that something will come true.
QUESTION: Why do you think that Zelaya doesn’t understand this? He sent a letter to President Obama. It seems to me, or it seems that he – he’s waiting for, from the U.S. – U.S., like a message or a solution of the problem. He doesn’t understand that maybe the problem is in Honduras. How do you feel on that? Is there any sensation of the U.S. Government with this why he continues to – not to solve the problem inside instead of waiting and sending a letter to Obama?
MR. KELLY: Yeah. Well, I’m not going to try and interpret why President Zelaya sent this letter. I’ll just say that we all along have been committed to this reconciliation process, to the restoration of the democratically and constitutionally elected leadership. And we have put a lot of effort into restoring democracy to Honduras. And we condemn the June 28 coup. We supported strong UN and OAS resolutions. We implemented tough measures, including suspension of economic and military assistance. And we have been very actively and very directly involved in a negotiated solution. So, I mean, we have been committed from the very start to this process.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat. In a courtroom this would be called a "nonresponsive" answer.
MR. KELLY: There hasn’t been any --
QUESTION: So the U.S. --
MR. KELLY: -- hasn’t been any change of policy.
Yes there has, Mr. Kelly. When Thomas Shannon said we would recognize the elections no matter what; that empowered Roberto Micheletti Bain to ignore the agreement. It allowed him to make a mockery of it, and of the State Department, by unilaterally establishing a National Government of Unity and Reconciliation. When Craig Kelly repeated the reassurances on this key point to Roberto Micheletti last week, it put the nail in the coffin on the agreement, because there was no longer any reason for Micheletti to carry it out; there's no penalty. The State Department is complicit in letting the coup stand. Letting the coup stand is a change in US policy.