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 30, 2009

State's Rich Fantasy Life

The US State Department has weighed in on the election results in Honduras this morning, and indeed there are no surprises here.

Honduran Election

Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 29, 2009

We commend the Honduran people for peacefully exercising their democratic right to select their leaders in an electoral process that began over a year ago, well before the June 28 coup d'etat. Turnout appears to have exceeded that of the last presidential election. This shows that given the opportunity to express themselves, the Honduran people have viewed the election as an important part of the solution to the political crisis in their country.

Except that the turnout appears not to have exceeded the turnout in 2005, according to the TSE's own firm hired to make the statistical projections and do exit polling. They report a turnout of 47.6% versus the TSE's claim of a 61.3% turnout. Their report has a 2% confidence interval (accurate at 98% level) whereas the TSE's claim is just an assertion, with no numbers presented to back it up. Both sets of results were presented at the 10 pm TSE press conference, but notice who the State Department decided to listen to.

The Honduran people overwhelmingly expressed themselves. Forced democracy where they could not choose candidates who represented them was not the solution for them. It was status-quo or "no go" and they didn't go in droves, despite the State Department's blind eye. Anyone who thinks the election resolved anything in Honduras is naive.

We look forward to continuing to work with all Hondurans and encourage others in the Americas to follow the lead of the Honduran people in helping advance national reconciliation and the implementation of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord. Significant work remains to be done to restore democratic and constitutional order in Honduras, but today the Honduran people took a necessary and important step forward.
One wonders what fantasy world the State Department lives in that the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord will ever be implemented. I hate to tell you, but its dead. The ink wasn't even dry on the signatures when Thomas Shannon publicly agreed to recognize the results of the elections no matter what, nailing its coffin shut. You've made half-hearted efforts to resurrected it, but you're not Merlin. Its not going to come back to life.

So what's the likely US policy going forward? We've now recognized the sham election where exit polling suggests that fewer than half of the electorate actually participated. If the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord is dead and buried, as I contend, then I can only see the State Department returning to its practical, unprincipled stand, exemplified by Lew Anselem's comments on the elections, and a swift return to the status quo, a complete white-wash and acceptance of a 21rst century coup by our government. What a sad bunch of politicians.


Anonymous said...

Valenzuela made a really incisive comment:

QUESTION: … Are you recognizing the results [of the election]?
MR. VALENZUELA: We take note of the results, yes. We recognize that there are results in Honduras for this election. That’s quite clear.


RNS said...

Its like someone confronted him with a steaming pile of excrement isn't it.

Anonymous said...

If you're saying that someone handed him his head, I'd agree.

State keeps impressing me with how inept at diplomacy its diplomats are. Valenzuela was willing to recognize that Lobo will be the next president of Honduras but he dodged and then eventually admitted that State is recognizing the elections. It would not have been all that difficult to say, "We reserve the right not to recognize the government if it does not fulfill its obligation to form a unity government by December 2nd."