By: Emile Schepers
Not a very long commentary tonight as I am blogging on a rented computer at a Fedex outside Youngstown, Ohio.
1. EUROPEAN UNION CONFIRMS WILL ONLY DEAL WITH ZELAYA. The minister of foreign affairs and cooperation of Spain is quoted in the Spanish daily El Pais as saying that both Spain and the European Union will only deal with the government of Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, not with the coup de facto government of Roberto Micheletti. The minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, however, phrased this as the EU being willing to "follow the path" of the United
States in this matter. Other sources had suggested that while Spain seems to be taking a strong stand, other EU countries were less enthusiastic. The EU has a special commercial setup with the Central American countries in preparation which was supposed to get underway at the end of this year, but the Honduras coup has complicated things.
2. ZELAYA WILL TALK TO HILLARY CLINTON TOMORROW, THURSDAY. Manuel Zelaya is in DC, has met with delegates of the O.A.S. and tomorrow will meet with Hillary Clinton to make his case for increasing sanctions on the coup regime and not recognizing the results of the November 29 elections if Micheletti does not stand down. Note that this is not regular diplomatic protocol: Visiting heads of state are normally met by the host head of state -- Barack Obama -- and not the foreign minister. The Mexico City daily "El Financiero" reports that Zelaya plans to emphasize the acts of repression by the police and military which are designed to make examples of a certain number of people so as to intimidate the population. He denounced the fact that the Micheletti regime has signed on as an advisor a certain Billy Joya, as Zelaya put it "very well known by the international community because in the 1980s he was the angel of death, in charge of cutting out tongues, gouging out eyeballs, and castrating [people]". He says that Joya is wanted in Spain and the U.S. for his crimes. He says that the non-binding referendum he and others were trying to carry out was necessary because in Honduras about 6 families have taken over the powers of the state, and democracy needs to be restored.
3. U.S. FUNDS STILL GOING TO HONDURAS. The Cuban News Agency (ACN) reports that USAID has projected a total $47 million to the coup government for 2009, and that in spite of pressure for cutoff, this is still being delivered. This money includes funds to facilitate the November 29 general elections, which the left is boycotting and which UNASUR and many other international bodies and countries are declaring they will not recognize if Zelaya is not restored.
The demand that the US not recognize these elections carries with it the strong implication that the US should also cut off this funding for the elections.
I wish I could be a fly on the wall to listen in to the Zelaya-Clinton meeting tomorrow, but probably we will all just have to wait for press reports. Tune in again tomorrow evening.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
By: Emile Schepers