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 6, 2009

State Department View of the "Unity" government fiasco

As reported by the AP just two hours ago, Ian Kelly, speaking for the US State Department, characterized the unilateral formation of a "unity" government by Roberto Micheletti as a failure. Kelly is quoted as saying "it is urgent that this government be created immediately".

But that is precisely the problem: as long as the US demands that the "unity" government be created "immediately", then it is unclear why Micheletti's actions are unacceptable.

Surely what the US should be saying is something like, "It is urgent that this government be created through consultation by President Zelaya and other political actors in Honduras, not just by the usurper who claims to be the Honduran president?"

Ah, but how can he? By negotiating with Micheletti as if he was equivalent to the constitutionally elected president whose office he seized in a military-backed coup, the US has tacitly accepted the status he claims.

Instead of a numbered point dealing with the restoration of President Zelaya, it would in retrospect have been a lot more productive if all the negotiations from the San Jose Accord on had been about how to remove Micheletti from power.

AFP adds more to the shorter AP report of what Ian Kelly said, and it continues a long-established pattern of the US trying to be fair and balanced and laying blame on both "sides", as if there were equal power here to have changed the outcome:
We urge both sides to act in the best interests of the Honduran people and return to the table immediately to reach agreement on the formation of a unity government.
This entirely ignores the fact that Micheletti assumed control of the process in an unequal way, taking onto himself to choose the cabinet from among nominees. Zelaya was trapped in a classic no-win situation: either send names in (thus accepting the claim of authority) or don't send names in (and risk, as he has been, being portrayed as equally at fault).

Kelly is quoted as saying.

We're disappointed that both sides are not following the very clear path laid out [in the Accord].

Really? the very clear path? A clear path would have had a clear date by which the Honduran Congress was expected to rule on the restoral of Zelaya. A clear path would at least have noted that this decision had to precede the formation of a government of "unity and national reconciliation". And would it be too much to ask that a clear path include definition, nay, even a mention, of who was in charge of overseeing the formation of the "unity" government?

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