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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Porfirio Lobo Visit To Colombia Cancelled

Porfirio Lobo Sosa, the Nationalist candidate for President, and his party's candidate for Mayor of Tegucigalpa, Ricardo Alvarez, were scheduled to leave Honduras during the height of the campaign to meet with politicians in Colombia, or so reports CM&, a Colombian TV station and website.

Lobo Sosa was invited by Colombian Senator Jairo Clopatofsky, and they had appointments with the Mayor of Bogotá, Samuel Moreno, and the head of the police, General Oscar Naranjo. However, Colombian President Uribe, when asked to grant them an audience, thought it might exacerbate relations, already tense, with Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and so told Clopatofsky, "the best thing would be to wait until he is President-elect to receive Señor Pepe."

Lobo Sosa and Alvarez were due to arrive in Bogotá Wednesday.


Victor said...

As I said yesterday, Columbia as well as Panama will recognize the elections along with the United States. I couldn't find the original article that I saw this in, but this report should make it clear that this will be the case. Not sure which will be the next Latin American country to break ranks - Mexico perhaps?

RAJ said...

Still no news media reports that support this, sorry. Some right wing blogs, sure, but not news media.

Colombia may well follow a right wing line. But again: the issue isn't whether you can line up some right wing support for this. The issue is what the majority of the world will do.

Victor said...

Actually, in this case, the 'majority' of the world really doesn't matter. The US is the most important trading partner of Honduras. If they recognize it, that's half the battle. Nicaragua won't recognize it anytime soon, but they can't do anything about it because they need Honduras for it's Atlantic ports more than Honduras needs them. It will take time and the countries will trickle in and none will make a big deal about it, but what is the alternative? Once Zelaya's terms is up, who would lead the country besides the winner of the election?

Tambopaxi said...

...Ricardo Martinelli, President of Panama was quoted in interview with Panama's "La Estrella" as saying that Panama will recognize the results of the upcoming elections...

Jake said...

rns said...

Yes, right wing President Martinelli has made public statements in the last week that his country will recognize the results of the elections, which he believes will elect the right wing Porfirio Lobo Sosa to the Presidency.

Uribe has not yet said anything aobut recognizing the elections, but it would not surprise me since he is also a right wing president.

RAJ said...

@Victor: it does matter if governments do not recognize an election. It doesn't mean the person who the country involved says "won" doesn't govern; but it means that they govern under a cloud. And foreign aid from Spain is not something to dismiss so easily.

There are illegitimate elections all over the world. Recognition of their results is corrosive to public trust in elections. Public trust in elections is lower in Honduras than anywhere else in the hemisphere.

As for Panama: I have no doubt Martinelli's government will recognize the elections. But do pay attention to what he actually says: it is not a plain and simple "I will recognize these elections no matter what". Even he is giving himself a way out in case fraud is widespread. Only the US has gone so far as to say they will recognize elections no matter what.

Victor said...

I would be very surprised if you see any fraud - at least, other than is typical since there has never been an election without a little bit of cheating somewhere. In this case, the leader of the opposing party is the frontrunner, so it would be hard to suggest that Micheletti's people cheated to elect their opponent. Zelaya's candidate dropped out and he never had a chance, anyway. I think everyone will go out of their way to be sure there is no major fraud.
By the end of 2010, I expect this will all be in the past, with all countries except perhaps the Chavez group having normal relations with the Government of Honduras.

RAJ said...

Victor, I find your way of characterizing the other regional governments exceptionally problematic: "the Chavez group" presumably means ALBA, but the groups that have expressed concern include Unasur and the OAS. Just today, Brazil and Argentina have formally stated they will not recognize the scheduled elections.

Rather than using terms that make clear that you are reducing this issue to a contest with Chavez-- which has been characteristic of a certain kind of right-wing argument from the beginning-- you might want to consider the actual complexity of hemispheric relations.

And beyond the hemisphere, why are you ignoring Spain's statement that they also will not recognize the elections? Because you cannot simply gloss Spain as part of "the Chavez group"?

Your image of what kinds of electoral fraud can be committed is also rather limited. The concern that many observers have raised is with the potential for the TSE to act to give the impression of higher voting levels in the presidential election, to cover up the effects of any boycott. Daniel Altschuler has published a fine analysis of the possibility of comparing municipal turnout to presidential turnout, in which he writes

Assuming that the TSE does not inflate the number of votes cast to augment the election's perceived legitimacy (such fraud is not beyond the realm of possibility), this comparison could reveal a great deal about the legitimacy of Honduran political institutions in voters' eyes.

You betray your fundamental ignorance of Honduran politics by characterizing independent candidate Carlos H. Reyes as "Zelaya's candidate". For you, it is clear, the specific Honduran circumstances take a back seat to some illusory fight against Hugo Chavez. But no matter what happens with this election-- including if a majority of world governments recognize the government after it is installed in late January-- there will remain large numbers of people in Honduras who do not accept the elections as legitimate; and that is the key constituency that has been lost in this mangled piece of foreign policy.