By Emile Schepers
There is nothing really new today, except that Xinhua reports that President Manuel Zelaya has warned that the startup of the election campaign in Honduras will bring more trouble, as fair elections can not be held under an illegal coup regime and most of the region's governments have stated that they will not recognize the result of such an election as legitimate.
The election is for president, for the 128 member unicameral Congress, for local offices and for 28 legislative delegates to the Central American Parliament. The election takes place on November 29, although there was talk of holding it earlier and an earlier date -- October 25 -- is part of the original settlement plan proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias.
Tomorrow (Tuesday Sept. 1) President Zelaya will be in Washington D.C. to discuss the situation with the Organization of American States. By rights he should get an honor guard, and a 21 gun salute and be met at the airport by President Obama, as the Obama administration recognizes him as a head of state. Heads of state under international law are all considered equals, whether they be the President of China (Population: 1.3 billion. Land area: 3.7 million sq miles) or the Grand Master of SMOM, the world's smallest state entity (Population: Zero. Land area: Zero).
So the diplomatic protocol for all of them means that their only equal in the host country is that country's head of state. Honduras is a sort of medium sized country in the great scheme of things, with population 7.5 million and land area 43 thousand square miles. But if Zelaya does not get the 21 gun salute and the rest of it (and I doubt he will), I am sure it is the least of his worries. The main thing he wants from the United States is for the Obama administration to officially declare the military coup to be a military coup, to cut off remaining lifelines to the Micheletti crowd, to freeze the bank accounts in the U.S. of the main coup plotters, and maybe most important of all, for the United States government to join almost all the other governments in the area in decling that it will not recognize the results of the November 29 elections unless Zelaya and constitutional normalcy are restored.
So watch this space for news of what happens with Zelaya's discussion with the OAS tomorrow.
Monday, August 31, 2009
By Emile Schepers