Honduras Folds Part 2

miche291banPhoto of interim President Roberto Micheletti via Fausta

There were reports a couple of weeks ago, that Honduras had caved in to US pressure, but those reports appeared to be premature, being replaced by a rumor that Zelaya would be instead, be charged for his many crimes, and exiled to Spain.

But today, it appears finally, that the Honduran government, and Zelaya have reached an agreement.

Sadly, Honduras caved to US pressure.

The BBC phrases it tactfully: Honduras rivals resolve deadlock

Roberto Micheletti said the agreement would create a power-sharing government and require both sides to recognise the result of November’s presidential poll.

Mr Zelaya said the deal, which requires the approval of the Supreme Court and Congress, would be signed on Friday.

The opponents had earlier been told by US Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon that they had to reach an accord in order to ensure international support for the election on 29 November.

Afterwards, Mr Micheletti announced that a power-sharing deal had been reached that included a “significant concession”.

The interim leader of Honduras says he is ready to sign a pact to end its crisis which could include the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

Honduras had remained steadfast for months that Zelaya’s reinstatement was off the table. What could possibly have caused this abrupt change of heart?

La Gringa, who liveblogged last night’s news, posted

Worst news of all: supposedly Thomas Shannon has been pressuring the congressmen to vote for the restoration of Zelay or else! The exact words were that “Shannon scared the living hell out of everyone here including Micheletti.” Yeah, remember the press conference? “We’re just here to help. We aren’t going to intervene. We’ll respect any decision that the Hondurans make.” Yeah, right. Now they are even threatening elected Honduran officials that they won’t recognize elections unless they vote yes. I’m sure there must be economic threats as well.El Heraldo (in Spanish) makes it clear that US State Dept. envoy for Latin America Thomas Shannon went to Honduras to twist arms: his position was that the November 29 elections would not be recognized unless Zelaya was returned to power. I guess nothing ensures democracy like restoring to power the guy who did his outmost to undermine democracy, at least in Shannon’s eyes.

Thomas Shannon is a name that figured prominently in a report issued today by The Center For Foreign Policy:

Who’s behind the Obama Honduras policy?

The Obama Latin America Team is composed of: Thomas Shannon, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs; Frank Mora, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs and most importantly Dan Restrepo, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at The National Security Council.  Thomas Shannon, who was also Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the second Bush term, seems to have a kind of get along -go along approach with regards to Latin America. Indeed, some of Mr. Shannon’s highlights include:

  • In Honduras: remaining silent as Manuel Zelaya attempted to subvert democratic institutions and the Honduran Constitution and as the Congress and Supreme Court worked to remove Zelaya legally from office, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa and Shannon worked diligently to dissuade the Honduran Congress and protect Zelaya. [3]
  • In Venezuela, Mr. Shannon constantly promoted cooperation between the U.S. and Chávez relating to the drug trade despite evidence-and objections from other U.S. agencies-that the Venezuelan government itself was facilitating narcotics trafficking.  Mr. Shannon also denied support to Venezuela’s civil society and sat by as Chavez dismantled the country’s democratic institutions.  Today, the Mayor of Caracas still cannot get into his office to perform his duties.  In all this, Mr. Shannon’s rationale for shunning Venezuela’s civil society has been that the U.S. and Venezuela have a strategic relationship based primarily on energy. [4]
  • In Nicaragua, Mr. Shannon advocated the continuation of U.S. aid to the Sandinista government despite evidence of overwhelming fraud in the 2008 mayoral race in Managua.  Meanwhile, Mr. Shannon has sought to cut support to Nicaragua’s civil society, in order not to ‘antagonize’ President Ortega. [5]
  • In Bolivia, when President Morales expelled the U.S. Ambassador and DEA from the country, Mr. Shannon was against waiving trade preferences and U.S. aid.  Instead, he advocated that the Bush Administration sign a document by President Morales, which was essentially a ‘mea culpa.’ The U.S.  State Department’s Legal Advisor at the time overruled him and the U.S. didn’t sign the document. [6]
  • In Ecuador, Mr. Shannon has sought to accommodate and improve relations with President Correa despite his dismantling of democratic institutions and evidence that President Correa has connections to the FARC. [7]
  • Another name that has figured prominently in Obama’s twisted Honduran policy:

    Dan Restrepo and The Center for American Progress

    Prior to moving to the National Security Council, Dan Restrepo was the director of the Americas Project at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank, whose President and Chief Executive Officer is John Podesta…

    Read the full report.

    Be sure to note who they believe is the man behind the curtain. Amazingly enough, they reached the same conclusion I did (with a huge assist from Jackstraw) almost two months ago.



    Be sure to check out Fausta’s blog round-up, where I picked up this tasty nugget from Scott Johnson

    It is perfectly fitting that the signal diplomatic triumph of President Obama’s first year in office is the restoration to power of the lawfully deposed Honduran thug and friend of Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega and Hugh Chavez. It is inimical to the national interest of the United States. it is a setback for the supporters of democracy in the beleaguered country of Honduras. And it is a defeat for those who believe in the rule of law. It is, in other words, a triumph of “smart diplomacy.”

    God help us all.

    8 thoughts on “Honduras Folds Part 2

    1. Pingback: Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Honduran government caves into US pressure, agrees to Zelaya’s restitution

    2. Pingback: Being on the wrong side is one thing; aggressively pushing for the wrong side is quite another « Bent Notes

    3. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Honduras Folds Part 2 « Nice Deb [nicedeb.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com

    4. Pingback: Twitted by crisisinhondura

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