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.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Micheletti Fools State Department

RAJ and I wondered last night as we drove home, who the intended audience for Micheletti's rather empty gesture was. To refresh your memory, what Roberto Micheletti offered to consider doing was step out of the public spotlight for a week, but first, he would have to consult with everyone. Its a hollow offer because its only an offer to step out of the public spotlight, not to step aside from office. As his Minister of the presidency, Rafael Pineda noted, "he will only absent himself from public functions, not necessarily from the responsibilities to administer the interests of state."

We couldn't see an internal audience for Micheletti's statement, so assumed an international audience was intended. Indeed, because of the way the statement was crafted, using subjunctives, we wondered who would be suckered into thinking he was actually leaving the presidency for 8 days?

Manuel Zelaya called it a "maneuver for misleading fools." The Brazilian Chancellor, Celso Amorim, said of Micheletti's proposal "from a legal point of view, he never should have been in the government." But the US State Department took the bait. Robert Wood, a State Department spokesman, said today, "We welcome that he is going to take a leave of absence and expect its prompt implementation. This will allow some breathing space for the process in Honduras to go forward." Sigh.

Update 3:00 PM PDT: Apparently I'm right. The State Department was fooled by Micheletti's statement into thinking he was abdicating control of the government while he was "absent". Here's the exchange from today's daily press briefing that provides the damning evidence of their ignorance:

QUESTION: And who runs the country while Mr. Micheletti is on vacation?

MR. WOOD: That’s a good question. I don’t really know the answer to that. I’m sure there is one and I’ll try and get one.

The answer Mr. Wood, is that Roberto Micheletti runs the country while he's on this so called "vacation". I refer you to the statements of his Minister of the Presidency, quoted above.


Anonymous said...

Oh, but wait! It's not done! We get this gem:

Question: Who is in charge when Micheletti steps down?

Answer: We refer you to Mr. Micheletti and the de facto leadership. We reiterate that steady steps to implement the Accord will enhance prospects for transparent, fair, and free elections that will contribute significantly to ultimately resolving Honduras’ political crisis. The formation of a government of national unity is critical to implementation of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord.

So, there you have it, folks. If you want to know what the State Department thinks, ask Roberto Micheletti.


RNS said...

Amazing. It took them until 4 pm PDT to post that answer, more than an hour after I posted the answer, and more than 6 hours after Rafael Pineda made the statement making it clear Micheletti remains in control during his "vacation".

Is it possible that the "vacation" is something Craig Kelly cooked up and sold to Micheletti while he was in Honduras? I can see no other reason for the State Department to jump aboard the bandwagon so quickly. Even Panama didn't move that fast.