Reports of a Deal in Honduras Are Premature

By Al Giordano

US officials and commercial media organizations are popping champagne corks prematurely over a reported US-brokered “deal” to return Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to (limited) power, but the two sides that reportedly signed the agreement already disagree over what exactly it says.

Reuters reports that coup “president” Micheletti has agreed to step down:

”I have authorized my negotiating team to sign a deal that marks the beginning of the end of the country’s political situation,” Micheletti told reporters on Thursday night.

He said Zelaya could return to office after a vote in Congress that would be authorized by the country’s Supreme Court. The deal would also require both sides to recognize the result of a Nov. 29 presidential election and would transfer control of the army to the top electoral court.

If approved by Congress, Zelaya would be able to finish out his presidential term, which ends in January. It was not clear what would happen to other elements o f the agreement if Congress votes against Zelaya’s restoration.

(Bold type mine, for emphasis.)

But Micheletti’s claim that a Congressional vote to restore Zelaya would require Supreme Court authorization is a flat out lie, according to a source with Zelaya inside his Brazilian Embassy refuge in Tegucigalpa: “That is what the golpistas have put out, but that is NOT the accord… The Supreme Court gives its non-binding opinion to the Congress, but the key is that all of this takes time, time that the golpistas want to keep taking.”

While there is some healthy distrust already over whether Congress will gin up on its end and really vote to restore Zelaya, that probably will be easier to accomplish than many believe. Two words: Pepe Lobo. The National Party candidate for President, Lobo is leading in the polls. He obviously wants very much for the November 29 “elections” to become internationally recognized elections. His party holds 55 of 128 seats in Honduras’ unicameral legislature, just ten short of a majority. There are at least 22 Liberal Party members that have publicly indicated they want Zelaya back as president, plus 11 minor party legislators most of whom are likely to go along with such a deal. Faced with such a patchwork majority, look for most of the 62 Liberal Party members in Congress to fold and go with the flow. The Congressional vote is not likely to prove a stumbling block to implementing this agreement.

The real problem could be the authoritarian Supreme Court. Micheletti’s invention of a non-existent clause in the agreement, one that requires the court’s approval of it, points to where the stalling tac tic will come from. This is the same Supreme Court that carried out the coup d’etat on June 28 and has micro-managed the regime’s affairs all summer and fall on a level that would not be appropriate or legal in most countries. Because Honduras’ 1982 Constitution is such a self-conflicted document with many articles that contradict each other, the court has been cherry-picking which laws to discard and which to interpret, often badly.

What the summer of 2009 in Honduras has demonstrated is that democracies need not only worry about excesses of executive branch power. In this case, it is the judicial branch that proved the primary and most dangerous usurper of democracy.

If Micheletti keeps insisting that this so-called “agreement” requires Supreme Court ratification, look for this game to go into extra innings before any resolution can happen.

On the other hand, if Secretary Clinton and her team of negotiation babysitters got their ducks and supreme court members in line ahead of time – reflecting a level of attention to detail that they haven’t displayed all summer long – then, yes, this deal would be likely to succeed.

The devil will be in the details, and their implementation. Until it’s clear that the Supreme Court or Congress won’t stand in the way, there is no deal.

And I’ll repeat: The problem won’t likely come from Congress, but, rather, a continuance of the real problem all along: the despotic, arbitrary and anti-democracy tendencies of the Honduras Supreme Court.

Update: Pepe Lobo weighs in, exactly as we predicted he would:

"We are willing to be cooperative in Congress with the agreement of the negotiators," Porfirio Lobo, a National Party lawmaker who is favored to win the Nov. 29 presidential elections, said Friday. "The best decision for Honduras will be taken."

(And it's worth noting, once again, how embarrassingly clumsy and wrongheaded the La La Land prognostications are from a certain golpista corner of the Ugly American diaspora of the expat community in Honduras. Last night, the anonymous blogger who calls herself La Gringa told her gullible readers: "presidential candidate Pepe Lobo is asking the Nacionalistas to abstain." The sheer stupidity and inability to deduce what is in Lobo's best interests is staggering, but also typical.)

Update II: Statement from the National Resistance Front Against the Coup d'Etat:

1. We celebrate the coming restitution of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales as a popular victory over the cruel interests of the golpista oligarchy. This victory has been won through more than four months of struggle and sacrifice by the people, that in spite of the savage repression unleashed by the repressive corps of the state in the hands of the dominant class has known how to resist and grow in conscience and organization becoming an uncontainable social force.

2. The Dictatorship's signature on the document that establishes "the return of the executive branch to its status prior to June 28" represents explicit acceptance of what in Honduras had been a coup d'etat that must be removed to return to institutional order and guarantee a democratic environment in which the people can make use of its right to transform society.

3. We demand that the agreements that are signed at the negotiating table be ratified expeditiously by the National Congress. In that sense, we alert all our compañeros and compañeras nationwide to join in the pressure actions so that the document is complied with immediatley.

4. We reiterate that the National Constituent Assembly is an absolute aspiration of the Honduran people and a nonnegotiable right for which we will continue struggling in the streets, until achieving the refoundation of society to exist in justice, equality and true democracy.


Tegucigalpa, M.D.C. 30 de octubre de 2009

(Translated by Narco News.)

Update III: I've now uploaded a .pdf copy of the agreement signed in Tegucigalpa.

Update IV: And now, in English.



I knew I could count on you

 To tell me what is *really* happening down there. Thanks for clearing this up for me.

End of coup

I just diaried this over on the Daily Kos, quoting from this article. Great analysis, as usual.

It's going to be interesting to see if the Supreme Court will also bow to pressure or if it's going to turn out to be even more insane than Michelletti.

Thanks for some cold facts

Thanks for some cold facts Al, I've been waiting to see what you have to say about this before believing anything.


While I distrust Gringa lady

While I distrust Gringa lady almost 100% and it makes rational political sense for Lobo to encourage the Nacionalistas to vote for restitution, the quote is simply that they will go along with the accord in that they will definitely take up the vote in Congress, not that they will vote any certain way.

Lobo and the rest have been saying Guaymuras began that they will respect whatever comes out of the negotiation.

Having said that, I totally agree that the Supreme Court is going to try to find ways to delay their Opinion, and it may indeed be that restitution is unconstitional, using whatever rationale they find at hand.

Is this deal worthy of celebrating in the first place?

Anyone else notice Michelletti's media ploy of sueing Brazil for allowing Zelaya to stay at their embassy one day before this deal was announced? BBC used the farce to declare the coup government and "interm" govermnent and the coup as simply the "exile" of Zeyala. If this deal was already in the works -- why the theatrics? Seems like a convenient chance to put Honduras back into the media and reintroduce the coup plotters as legitimate.


I don't know about the rest of you, but I think this deal screams defeat for Zeyala. It tells the world that if you want to oust left-wingers or various leaders who are undiserable to the West all you need to do is conduct a, preferablly bloodless, coup, then come to a "peaceful" power-sharing deal once you ensure your "legitimate" rise to power through "elections." This whole charade parallels how the British were able to put MDC in a power-sharing government in Zimbabwe, but that attempt had many failures... this time they perfected the art of regime change. Worthy of applause for their ingenuity no doubt, but not a cause célèbre.

What happened to the Constituyente?

So what is going to happen now as far as Honduran Constitutional Reform goes?  Regardless of the timeframe of this deal, doesn't it bother you that Zelaya basically conceded the Constituyente in order to secure a more limited "victory"?  This seems like it's been his game for a while now.  Avi Lewis did a great feature for Al Jazeera on the resistance in Honduras, and it seemed like they were all upset with how readily Zelaya dropped the Constituyente; what's the feeling on the ground now?

What do these fanatics want?

It's amazing that the pro-coup bloggers keep popping up at DailyKos even though Pepe Lobo is a right-wing candidate who turned against the coup.  It's chilling that Ros-Lehtinen, DeMint and other teabagger congressmen aren't happy with the idea of an election without bayonets, even though a conservative is projected to win.

>What do these fanatics really want, if an elected right-wing government is no longer enough?  Do they want Micheletti to declare himself president for life, send out Colombian death squads to expunge the countryside of leftists, and herd all the survivors into a corporate sweatshop?

Or do they just want to keep using Honduras as a laboratory for their future plans for the US - where they know they can't win a fair election?


Will the Supreme Court be the Joe Lieberman of Honduras?

or is no one (other than Joe) that stupid?

Election Observers

Why is la gringa(lagringasblogicito) recruiting expats as election observers for The Tribunal Supremo Electoral?  Who is she and whats her stake in all this?

Maybe response needn't be 'celebration', but perhaps some relief

This may not be the bellwether triumph one might have hoped for, yet, still, if this should go through, and be more or less upheld, it certainly looks to me like though not a complete and utter defeat for the Honduran military and its allies in the oligarchy, well, it's a pretty clear setback.

I think they pretty much thought they could overthrow the elected government and have it completely accepted, and instead they were resisted by an astoundingly mobilized citizenry, they were confused at several turns by a deposed President cleverer than they were, and they were summarily rejected by a united Latin America, and the USA chose to (weakly, with obvious distaste) back its Latin American allies over its former Honduran military toadies.

It's a good thing.  Compared, at least, to the alternative, of the military/oligarchy having faced no opposition and no reversal whatsoever.


Oscar Arias was in Panama yesterday meeting with President Martinelli. Could it be that....?

@ Okke, @ Robert

Okke - I was just talking with a friend knowledgeable in these sorts of things and the topic was which mansion in Panama Micheletti will get as consolation prize! You guys get all the scoundrels!

Robert - I haven't seen Avi's video, but the suggestion that Zelaya somehow sold out or backed down on the Constituent Assembly is not borne out by the facts. The Constituent Assembly was always going to be something that happened after his presidential term ends in January, because it would require a special election to select delegates to it. Even the original plan - to put a yes or no question on the November 29 ballot (the famous "cuarta urna") would have only set in motion events for the next presidential term.

I'm not sure what anybody is suggesting that gave you a different impression. You can see from my translation of the Frente (the "resistencia") statement today, there's not a whiff of suggestion of disappointment in Zelaya.

@Al: Micheletti to Panama?

Well, you've got to give them credit for planning. While Panamanians are used to hosting the scum of Latin America in political asylum, there could easily be some protest against the arrival of yet another dictator. BUT: Starting today, Panama celebrates its "Dias de Patria"; independence from Colombia, Day of the Flag etc. So this weekend and most of next week the country will be on holiday, there are traffic jams to the beaches as we speak.

Panama has maintained a low profile on the Honduran coup, and the oligarch dailies (which are the only dailies we have here next to the tabloids which keep the oligarch dailies afloat) have generally gone along with the "Zelaya violated the constitution" spin while repudiating the role of the military (Panama has no military since Noriega was hauled away to the US and nobody wants it back either for obvious historical reasons).

So yeah, the setting is perfect and has been perfect for a while. It's easy to see this one coming.

Which mansion? Noriega's mansion in one of the upscale neighborhoods is still empty. His friends, believing the narco kingpin would return to Panama, just painted it last year or so.

Edit: It just occurred to me that it would only be fair to demand that Micheletti arrives here in the middle of the night and wearing pajamas. You know, for good measure.

Restitution-related program activities

Laura Carlsen has a thoughtful overview of the ways in which this agreement is a victory and a challege.

It is a done deal in the sense of being a signed agreement, though the actual text won't become public until after the Honduran Congress has taken it up, but as rns says at Honduras Coup 2009, "All that happened is that a mechanism for how to proceed was agreed to."

No one is obliged by this very last-minute figleaf of restitution, even in the unlikely event that it does happen promptly, to grant any real legitimacy to the upcoming elections.  And no one in this country should forget that neither Pres. Obama nor Sec. Clinton ever troubled themselves to acknowledge, much less condemn, the violence and repression that the coup regime unleashed against the Honduran people.

@ Nell

Nell - I expect to have the text of what was signed before dawn, which I will of course share here.

Text of the agreement

Great news, Al!  Let's hope that when the official version gets published (as a decree, they say) it will match up...

Uff, not sure...

I feel pretty uneasy about all of this. It is certainly a step forward but I agree with Roy Chaderton, Venezuelan Ambassador to the OAS ... that we need to hold off on the "orgy of congratulations." As the WSJ points out today, this news gives the Obama Administration a way out -- an easy way to officially get behind the elections. Already, the foot-dragging has reduced Zelaya's remaining time in power to only a few weeks and I can't imagine that anyone on the coup side is going to be moving quickly on this. How many deadlines have we seen come and go?

I'm not afraid of the Congressional vote (well, sort of, but I agree that if it gets to a Congressional vote, they'll vote him back in) ... I'm much more afraid of a presidential campaign that gets into full swing while the process to reinstate Zelaya drags on and on. If the media can create the illusion of a vibrant, democratic process going on with the coup government in a "caretaker" position, it will be easy to make Zelaya's reinstatement seem less and less relevant until it almost becomes a symbolic act with almost no time left.

Anyway, those are my concerns and I can see the above scenario easily happening. While we obviously need to keep up the pressure, I don't see how that's going to speed anything up.

I think the two most important things to happen now are:

1) As much pressure as possible to expedite the reinstatement of Zelaya so that he is able to take advantage of the political power that comes with holding the presidency, and

2) An enormous emphasis on the explosion of a social movement in Honduras that demands constitutional reform -- a movement with sustainability and the support & attention of the international community.


PDF of the signed agreement

Agreement is posted at Adrienne Pine's.

Al, you've convinced me about the Supreme Court, but

if the other "Al" is right, the Supremes may not get a chance to wobble the accord. see:

Al Jazeera quotes Arturo Corrales, a negotiator for Michelleti, that Zelaya wll not return to power.  Congress is in recess, all the Deputies are home campaigning, and will not reconvene until after the election.

I would be more skeptical about Corales' remark if I hadn't read some of the snotty remarks made by Alfredo Saavedra, President of Congress, @RAJ.  "I will not have my schedule dictated" and that once the agreement reaches Congress, he will contact the leadership of the political parties and decide how to proceed.  The agreement was hand delivered to Congress and treated as normal mail by the Sargeant of Arms because of the recess.

These guys have the emotional maturity of third graders - the exact same kind of acumen that would think-up blasting the embassy with "Rato de Dos Patas."

Text of accord as published in Tiempo

The following was published it Tiempo. I noticed how frequently it was urged in the text to call off demonstrations and civil actions.  I think that's noteworthy.  Also, FWIW, the accord basically occurs along the outline long advocated by the former Defense Minister (and Judge, and long-time official and elected deputy) Edmundo Orellana, who insisted in his columns in La Tribuna that the sole legal reparation for the crisis would be for the Honduran Congress to negate its illegal and un-Constitutional declaration of 28 June, which is what is proposed that they do (clearly, among other things, including the repeated emphasis on no constituent assembly):

A más tardar el jueves de la semana entrante debe estar conformado e instalado el gobierno de unidad y reconciliación nacional, que tendrá que dirigir el todavía depuesto presidente Manuel Zelaya Rosales, según el Acuerdo final que suscribieron ayer las dos comisiones negociadoras.

Desde el pasado 28 de junio, cuando se produjo el golpe de Estado contra Zelaya Rosales, el país ha vivido bajo una crisis política, la cual está a punto de culminar en forma definitiva luego que representantes del gobierno interino que dirige Roberto Micheletti, firmaron el “Diálogo Guaymuras-Acuerdo Tegucigalpa/San José.

El Acuerdo Tegucigalpa/San José, que debe ser aprobado por el Congreso Nacional, establece entre otros aspectos que el escrito entró en vigencia el 30 de octubre y fue entregado al Poder Legislativo para su discusión y aprobación. El 2 de noviembre se conformará la Comisión de Verificación; y a más tardar el 5 de noviembre se debe conformar e instalar el gobierno de unidad y reconciliación.

A continuación el Acuerdo íntegro:

Diálogo Guaymuras Acuerdo Tegucigalpa/ San José, para la reconciliación nacional y el fortalecimiento de la democracia en Honduras.


Nosotros, ciudadanos hondureños, hombres y mujeres convencidos de la necesidad de fortalecer el Estado de Derecho, al amparo de nuestra Constitución y las leyes de nuestra República, profundizar la democracia y asegurar un clima de paz y tranquilidad para nuestro pueblo, hemos llevado un intenso y franco proceso de diálogo político para buscar una salida pacífica y negociada a la crisis en que nuestro país ha estado sumido en los últimos meses.

Como fruto de ese diálogo en el que ha predominado la cordura, la tolerancia y el espíritu patriótico de todos sus participantes, hemos redactado un acuerdo político que habrá de permitir restablecer la convivencia ciudadana y asegurar un clima apropiado para la gobernabilidad democrática en nuestra patria. Este acuerdo, estamos seguros, marcará el camino hacia la paz, la reconciliación y la democracia, demandas urgentes de la sociedad hondureña.

La concertación de este acuerdo demuestra una vez más, que los hondureños y hondureñas somos capaces de practicar exitosamente el diálogo y gracias a él y a través del mismo, alcanzar las altas metas que la sociedad demanda y la patria nos exige.

En virtud de lo anterior, hemos convenido en los siguientes acuerdos.


Para lograr la reconciliación y fortalecer la democracia, conformaremos un Gobierno de Unidad y Reconciliación Nacional integrado por representantes de los diversos partidos políticos y organizaciones sociales, reconocidos por su capacidad, honorabilidad, idoneidad y voluntad para dialogar, quienes ocuparán las distintas secretarías y subsecretarías, así como otras dependencias del Estado, de conformidad con el artículo 246 y siguientes de la Constitución de la República de Honduras.

En vista que con antelación al 28 de junio, el Poder Ejecutivo no había remitido a consideración del Congreso Nacional el proyecto de Presupuesto General de Ingresos y Egresos, de conformidad con lo establecido en el artículo 205, inciso 32 de la Constitución de la República de Honduras, este gobierno de unidad y reconciliación nacional respetará y funcionará sobre la base del presupuesto general, recientemente aprobado por el Congreso Nacional para el ejercicio fiscal 2009.


Para lograr la reconciliación y fortalecer la democracia, reiteramos nuestro respeto a la Constitución y las leyes de nuestro país, absteniéndonos de hacer llamamientos a la convocatoria a una Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, de modo directo o indirecto y renunciando también a promover o apoyar cualquier consulta popular con el fin de reformar la Constitución para permitir la reelección presidencial, modificar la forma de gobierno o contravenir cualquiera de los artículos irreformables de nuestra Carta Fundamental.

En particular, no realizaremos declaraciones públicas ni ejerceremos ningún tipo de influencia inconsistente con los artículos 5; 239; 373 y 373 de la Constitución de la República de Honduras, y rechazaremos enérgicamente toda manifestación contraria al espíritu de dichos artículos y de la ley especial que regula el referéndum y el plebiscito.


Para lograr la reconciliación y fortalecer la democracia, reiteramos que, de conformidad con los artículos 44 y 51 de la Constitución de la República de Honduras, el voto es universal, obligatorio, igualitario, directo, libre y secreto, y corresponde al Tribunal Supremo Electoral, con plena autonomía e independencia, supervisar y ejecutar todo lo relacionado a los actos y procesos electorales.

Asimismo, realizamos un llamado al pueblo hondureño para que participe pacíficamente en las próximas elecciones generales y eviten todo tipo de manifestaciones que se opongan a las elecciones o a su resultado, o promuevan la insurrección, la conducta antijurídica, la desobediencia civil u otros actos que pudieran producir confrontaciones violentas o transgresiones a la ley.

Con el fin de demostrar la transparencia y la legitimidad del proceso electoral, instamos al Tribunal Supremo Electoral a que autorice y acredite la presencia de misiones internacionales desde ahora hasta la declaratoria del resultado de las elecciones generales, así como del traspaso de poderes que tendrá lugar, conforme con el artículo 237 de la Constitución de la República, el 27 de enero de 2010.


Para lograr la reconciliación y fortalecer la democracia, ratificamos nuestra voluntad de acatar en todos sus extremos el artículo 272 de la Constitución de la República de Honduras, conforme con el cual las Fuerzas Armadas quedan a disposición del Tribunal Supremo Electoral desde un mes antes de las elecciones generales, a efecto de garantizar el libre ejercicio del sufragio, la custodia, transparente y vigilancia de los materiales electorales y demás aspectos de la seguridad del proceso. Reafirmamos el carácter profesional, apolítico, obediente y no deliberante de las Fuerzas Armadas hondureñas. De igual forma, coincidimos en que la policía nacional deberá sujetarse estrictamente a lo que prescribe su legislación especial.


Para lograr la reconciliación y fortalecer la democracia, en el espíritu de los temas de la propuesta del acuerdo de San José, ambas comisiones negociadoras hemos decidido, respetuosamente, que el Congreso Nacional, como una expresión institucional de la soberanía popular, en uso de sus facultades, en consulta con las instancias que considere pertinentes como la Corte Suprema de Justicia y conforme a la ley, resuelva en lo procedente en respecto a “a retrotraer la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo a su estado previo al 28 de junio hasta la conclusión del actual período gubernamental, el 27 de enero del 2010”. La decisión que acepte el Congreso Nacional deberá sentar las bases para alcanzar la paz social, la tranquilidad política y gobernabilidad que la sociedad demanda y el país necesita”.


Para lograr la reconciliación y fortalecer la democracia, disponemos la creación de una Comisión de Verificación de los compromisos asumidos en este Acuerdo, y de los que de él se deriven, coordinada por la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA). Dicha comisión estará integrada por dos miembros de la comunidad internacional y dos miembros de la comunidad nacional, estos últimos serán escogidos uno por cada una de las partes.

La Comisión de Verificación será la encargada de dar fe del estricto cumplimiento de todos los puntos de este Acuerdo, y recibirá para ello la plena cooperación de las instituciones públicas hondureñas.

El incumplimiento de cualquiera de los compromisos contenidos en este Acuerdo, comprobado y declarado por la Comisión de Verificación, producirá la activación de medidas que establecerá la Comisión para el transgresor o los transgresores.

Con el fin de esclarecer los hechos ocurridos antes y después del 28 de junio de 2009, se creará también una Comisión de la Verdad que identifique los actos que condujeron a la situación actual, y proporcione al pueblo de Honduras elementos para evitar que estos hechos se repitan en el futuro.

Esta Comisión de Diálogo recomienda que el próximo Gobierno, en el marco de un consenso nacional, constituya dicha Comisión de la Verdad en el primer semestre del año 2010.


Al comprometernos a cumplir fielmente los compromisos asumidos en el presente Acuerdo, solicitamos respetuosamente la inmediata revocatoria de aquellas medidas o sanciones adoptadas a nivel bilateral o multilateral, que de alguna manera afectan la reinserción y participación plena de la República de Honduras en la comunidad internacional y su acceso a todas las formas de cooperación.

Hacemos un llamado a la comunidad internacional para que reactive lo antes posible los proyectos vigentes de cooperación con la República de Honduras y continúe con la negociación de los futuros. En particular, instamos a que, a solicitud de las autoridades competentes se haga efectiva la cooperación internacional que resulte necesaria y oportuna para que la Comisión de Verificación y la futura Comisión de la Verdad aseguren el fiel cumplimiento  y seguimiento de los compromisosadquiridos en este Acuerdo.


Toda diferencia de interpretación o aplicación del presente Acuerdo será sometido a la Comisión de Verificación, la que determinará, en apego a lo dispuesto en la Constitución de la República de Honduras y en la legislación vigente y mediante una interpretación auténtica del presente Acuerdo, la solución que corresponda.

Tomando en cuanta en el presente Acuerdo es producto del entendimiento y la fraternidad entre hondureños y hondureñas, solicitamos vehementemente a la comunidad internacional que respete la soberanía de la Republica de Honduras, y observe plenamente el principio consagrado en la  Carta de las Naciones Unidas de no injerencia en los asuntos internos de otros Estados.


Dada la entrada en vigencia inmediata a partir de  este acuerdo a partir de su fecha de suscripción, y con el fin de clarificar los tiempos de cumplimiento y de seguimiento de los compromisos adquiridos para alcanzar la reconciliación nacional, convenimos el siguiente calendario de cumplimiento.

*30 de octubre de 2009
1.- Suscripción y entrada en vigencia del acuerdo.
2.- Entrega formal de los acuerdos al Congreso para los efectos del punto 5, del “Poder Ejecutivo”.

*2 de noviembre de 2009
1.- Conformación de la Comisión de Verificación.

*A partir de la suscripción del presente Acuerdo y a más tardar el 5 de noviembre.
1.- Conformación e instalación del Gobierno de Unidad y Reconciliación Nacional.

*27 de enero del 2010
1.- Celebración del traspaso de gobierno.

*Primer semestre del 2010 
1.- Conformación de la Comisión de la Verdad.


En nombre de la reconciliación y el espíritu patriótico que nos ha convocado ante la mesa de diálogo, nos comprometemos a cumplir de buena fe el presente Acuerdo y lo que de él se derive.
El mundo es testigo de esta demostración de unidad y paz, a la que nos compromete nuestra conciencia cívica, y devoción patriótica. Juntos, sabremos demostrar nuestro valor y decisión para fortalecer el Estado de Derecho y construir una sociedad tolerante, pluralista y democrática.

Firmamos el presente Acuerdo en la ciudad de Tegucigalpa, Honduras, el día 30 de octubre del 2009. 


Aprovechamos la ocasión para agradecer el acompañamiento y los buenos oficios de la comunidad internacional, en especial a la Organización de los Estados Americanos, y a su Secretario General, José Miguel Insulza; las Misiones de Cancilleres del Hemisferio; el presidente de Costa Rica, Oscar Arias Sánchez; el gobierno final de los Estados Unidos, su presidente Barack  Obama; y su secretaria de Estado, Hillary Clinton.


Para efectos internos, el Acuerdo tiene plena vigencia a partir de su firma.

Para efectos protocolarios y ceremoniales, se llevará a cabo un acto público de suscripción el día 2 de noviembre del 2009.
Tegucigalpa Municipio del Distrito Central, 30 de octubre del 2009.


Comisión negociadora por             Comisión negociadora por
Roberto Micheletti:                     Manuel Zelaya Rosales:

Armando Aguilar Cruz.                 Víctor Orlando Meza López.
Vilma Cecilia Morales Montalbán.         Maira Janeth Mejía del Cid.
Arturo Gerardo Corrales Alvarez.         Rodil Rivera Rodil.

pajarito loco


A little bird spoke to me this morning. Don't know if it was the same one that spoke with Al Giordano recently, but it was probably a friend. This one identified itself as 'Pajarito Loco'.

Its story was this. It noted that some of the candidates had withdrawn from the election in protest of the conditions under which it was being run. One of the parties that was without a candidate got together and decided to place Zelaya's wife on their ballot. She and a majority of the candidates of that party committed to pursuing the Constituiente.

Michelleti's coup group could not protest, as they had encouraged parties to put forward new candidates. Since the election was close in time, the electoral commission made rubber stamps to be stamped on each ballot before it was filled out, with her picture, name, and a box for possible mark. The people spoke.

Pajarito Loco would not comment on the results.

@Al (Constituyente)

"Robert - I haven't seen Avi's video, but the suggestion that Zelaya somehow sold out or backed down on the Constituent Assembly is not borne out by the facts."

I fully believe that in the end, Zelaya does want to see a Constituent Assembly.  But how can you claim that he's not backing down when the agreement signed - if indeed it is the one recently posted above - includes a section titled "SOBRE LA RENUNCIA A CONVOCAR A UNA ASAMBLEA NACIONAL CONSTITUYENTE O REFORMAR LA CONSTITUCION EN LO IRREFORMABLE"?

More importantly, how do you think this "renunciation" affects the dynamics of the organizers on the ground who have been fighting for the Constituyente for so long now?


Also, if you're interested in checking out Avi's video:


@ Robert

Robert - My reading of that clause in the agreement is that it only applies to the next few months if Zelaya returns to the presidency. It does not apply to anyone else, not even his wife and children.

To get the best reading on how the resistance feels about these turns of events, see the translation I posted in the update above with the Frente's statement yesterday. It continues to push for the constituente.

I respect Avi a lot but he has a tendency, I think, to look too hard for social movements to eat or eliminate political leaders associated with them. While that is the dynamic in some lands, my more extensive time reporting throughout Honduras gives me a different perspective. Sometimes people can look to hard to write the same story in every land, but every land and its movements are very very unique.

Agreement text now available for download


Now translated to English

And here's a translation of the agreement (thanks to Cadejo4).

@P Krumm: I like it!

And since Senora Zelaya is even more popular than her husband, it could very possibly work.   :-)

What is particularly interesting — to me, anyway — is to see just how much the coup plotters fear the expression of the public will in any setting other than one that they utterly control. The golpistas insisted upon, and got, a clause forbidding Zelaya from holding so much as a non-binding opinion poll for the rest of his short time in office (which is bizarre, as the Constituent Assembly for which he was pushing would have happened well after he’d left office anyway). But just because he’s not allowed to push for a National Constituent Assembly, doesn’t mean nobody else can -- whether it be Mel's wife or the Frente.

The Truth Commission


I liked the subjective "feel" of the agreement.  The coup not only failed but Hondurus will not simply revert to the status quo ante.  It read to me like there is a lot of space for the by now well organized & experienced Honduran Resistance to formulate a better democracy.  I felt Point 7 calling for the "normalization of relations" between Hondurus and the "International Community" was a tribute to the economic costs of the coup.

Point 6 establishing the Truth Commission states:

For the purpose of clarifying the events occurring before and after June 28, 2009, a Truth Commission will also be created to identify acts that led to the current situation and provide the people of Honduras with elements to avoid repetition of these events in the future.

I think this is an acknowledgement that the Honduran populace is mobilized and organized and there is no going back to a pre-coup innocence. It would seem to me that "elements to avoid repetition" of a coup might include some kind of prosecutions.  This also opens the door for airing the human rights abuses of the past 4 months that have been well documented.

Of course, the Oligarach could try to stall on establishing the Commission and water it down but the people are now an organized force and Point 6 is in the Agreement.

Military hobbled?

I didn't quite know how to read Point 4 re the police & military.  It seems to subtly acknowledge the military was/is out of line.  I sensed there might be some post coup, post Agreement repercussions?  There seems to me to be some sort of subtext to Point 4 that eludes me.  Any Fieldhands know how to interpret point 4?

4. Regarding the Armed Forces and the National Police

To achieve reconciliation and strengthen democracy, we affirm our willingness to comply, in all its terms and conditions, with Article 272 of the Constitution of the Republic of Honduras, in accordance with which the Armed Forces are placed at the disposition of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal from one month before the general elections for the purpose of guaranteeing the free exercise of suffrage, the custody, transport and surveillance of electoral materials and other security aspects of the process. We reaffirm the professional, apolitical, obedient and non-deliberative character of the Honduran Armed Forces. Likewise, we agree that the National Police should strictly abide by the terms of its special legislation.


impressions from the English text

I found the text of the Agreement rather frustrating. The next government will be made by representatives of all parties? And the army is in charge of guaranteeing free and fair elections?? The electoral council seems extremely powerful, so I guess it depends on who controls that one. I did not see anything about guaranteed right to peaceful assembly in preparation of the elections. The only nice thing is the rather desparate begging in the end for foreign aid and no foreign pressure:-)

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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