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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

False Dialogue?

Will the real Carlos Lopez Contreras stand up. Last evening, Carlos Lopez Contreras, Foreign Minister for Roberto Micheletti, said "Neither the OAS nor the international community should intervene," that the crisis should be solved by Honduran's using Honduran law. This seems very clear. It's a response to the OAS President José Miguel Insulza's offer to come to Honduras to facilitate dialogue between Micheletti and Zelaya.

However, unreported in Honduras, but reported in the English language press, today Carlos Lopez Contreras "invited a representative group of foreign ministers" from the membership of the OAS, US State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly informs us. These foreign ministers are invited to travel to Tegucigalpa for talks. Ian Kelly says the US "welcomes this announcement and looks forward to supporting that initiative."

Either Carlos Lopez Contreras has had a complete change of heart about the OAS and dialogue, or this has another meaning. I'd like to believe he's had a change of heart, but I don't. As I outlined in our posting Non Talk Talks, this is not really an effort at dialogue to resolve the issues in any way the international community would recognize; this is more of their "get people to listen to us" program. While details are scarce at this point, it appears that Carlos Lopez hand picked the group of foreign ministers, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't try to control their contacts once they're in Honduras.

UPDATE 5:24 PM PDT: Clarin, an Argentinian newspaper, reports that the OAS delegation will consist participants from Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic, and be headed by José Miguel Insulza.


John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

My memory may not serve me right, but during the Q & A session after the press release, he was asked about who might be part of the dialogue. He did mention the possibility of "la Santa Sede" - the Holy See, the Vatican. It is thus very interesting that today Cardinal Rodríguez met with the Pope.If some one has the transcript or a recording of the questions you might check it to hear if he mentioned the possibility of representatives from OAS nations, including some of those who came previously, but not the OAS per se. If that's so, that would solve the apparent consistency. But I am not sure of his full answer to the question of possible persons to help mediate.

RNS said...

None of the coverage I saw suggested anything about the Vatican. In fact, I've found no direct coverage of this event, either in English or Spanish. Every source I can find seems to know about it from Ian Kelly's statement and in no other way. There's no Honduran press coverage of it at all, except in La Tribuna's "Minuto a Minuto" headline column. Maybe tomorrow.

Clarin just posted a supposed OAS group that resembles the OAS group from the last failed OAS mission to Honduras, and I updated the post with their info.

Interesting that Cardinal Rodriguez had an audience with the Pope today, and the Vatican press office felt it necessary to also indicate when monseñor Luis Alfonso Santos had his last audience (June 2008 for the curious).

John (Juancito) Donaghy said...

I listened fairly closely to the press conference and question period. The questions were rather hard-hitting! (Maybe that's why there wasn't much press.) I specifically recall the mention to "la Santa Sede."

Thus today's visit of the cardinal with the pope and the cardinal's visit with COHEP last month and his alleged meeting with the presidential candidates before they met with Arias may all be related. The coup supporters may see him as a major player in all this.

But then last night (before the statement of the foreign minister) I caught the end of someone on Radio Globo calling on the Cardinal to gather the other bishops and seek an alternative. (I think there was also a plea for them to take back their July 3 statement.)

Why did the Vatican press office add the date of the last audience of Bishop Santos with the pope? There has been a rumor, based on a twisted news report, that said that Bishop Santos had spoken with the pope last month and the pope had come out against the coup. And if this were true, the pope would be in direct opposition to the cardinal. However, my take is that Bishop Santos was trying to tell people that the Cardinal's position was not necessarily the pope's but that the pope had not taken a position against the coup. (The language is twisted a bit, but the point of the bishop was that the cardinal could not state that the pope supported his position. I don't think the cardinal has said this.)

RNS said...

The Clarin story about the compositionof the OAS group is confirmed in other sources this evening.

"We are not going to do the same thing as the last mission," Insulza said. "We have heard everyone, now is the time to promote negotiation."

The mission will depart for Honduras either late Friday or Saturday.