The news today from
This is important, because as I’ve noted many times, including in The Christian Science Monitor and other blog postings here, it is the elections that provide the surest, most appropriate escape valve for the crisis that has threatened to overwhelm
Some analysts suggest that the trip should have been taken and heads banged earlier to get an agreement even before today. But that would not have allowed the Arias process—which the United States conceptualized and mid-wifed—to run its course. How ironic it would then have been for the
Still, all the parties must be wary of triumphalism in the agreement today. The road ahead is long and many obstacles remain. Credibility and international legitimacy must quickly be rebuilt around the elections with processes in place to ensure a free and fair outcome. The Honduras Supreme Court and Congress must yet pronounce on Zelaya’s fate, with all parties accepting the result. Outside meddlers who want to keep things stirred up, notably in
No, we’re not out of the woods yet.
At the same time, pronouncements from both Micheletti’s and Zelaya’s camps could complicate this fragile agreement. The Micheletti people are sending around talking points today saying that, “[I]n no way is a restitution of Mr. Zelaya to the presidency automatic under this agreement. The vote in the National Congress is not merely a formality as some media outlets appear to imply. It is the National Congress, in consultation and [with] input from the Supreme Court, who will make the decision whether Mr. Zelaya returns to power.”
This is a dumb move because it has the appearance of walking back from the agreement or at least saying to the Zelaya people, we really hosed you and putting them on the defensive. For his part, Zelaya is crowing about his own imminent return.
Here’s an idea for both sides: why don’t you just be quiet to give the negotiated solution the best opportunity to work in support of the country’s long-term national interests?
One final point. The agreement that Shannon and team worked out does show that, despite all the hand wringing about the
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
San Salvador, El Salvador
Julio Rank Wright
Christian Gómez, Jr.
Johanna Mendelson Forman