Military-backed Honduras government digs in its heels

An Organization of American States (OAS) mission to Honduras concluded today without securing a commitment from the military-backed government of Roberto Micheletti to a deal brokered by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias.  Under the so-called San Jose Accord, the constitutionally-elected-but-militarily-deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya would be allowed to return to office until new elections are held in November.  The accord also gave blanket amnsetry to the perpetrators of the coup. 

Micheletti summarily rejected any deal that would return Zelaya to power, even if only temporarily.  And in so doing, he pretty much dared the international community to bring it on. According to the Times, he told the visiting OAS delegation (which included ministers from Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic), “We are not afraid of anyone’s embargo. This country can get by without your support.” 

Not exactly the sentiment of a politician with the best interests of his people at heart. 

These tough words from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair seem to strike the right tone. 

“Mr. Micheletti’s rejection of the San Jose Accord proposed by President Arias and the Organization of American States is deeply disappointing.

“The June 28 coup, Mr. Micheletti’s uncompromising power-grab, and the growing evidence of abuses of authority–remarkably similar to those we have condemned by Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez–cast a dark shadow over every aspect of preparations for the elections scheduled for November.

“Mr. Micheletti has chosen crisis over resolution, and his dare to the United States to pursue sanctions – against a country in which almost half of all people live in dire poverty – is troubling.”