Honduras Coup's Preconditions Leave Nothing to Negotiate
By Al Giordano
One of the moments of yesterday's unforgettable drama in Honduras that most sticks in my mind today was the press conference by illegitimate "president" Roberto Micheletti and three aides: the gorilla and his chimps.
After befuddling himself with his claims of a "psychological invasion" by Nicaragua, and with various rambling references by his senile wingmen to Luis XIV and events in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Micheletti and his Simian Council then called for "negotiation" with the Organization of American States (OAS), and today sends a delegation to Washington in pursuit of just that.
The problem is, that the precondition set by the coup government for said "negotiations" leaves nothing to negotiate. The coup's "foreign minister," Enrique Ortez. has repeated this mantra various times:
"There is only one thing that is not negotiable: the return of ex-president Zelaya."
Got it? Any thing on the table for said "negotiations" has as a precondition that an illegitimate military coup (with civilian window dressing), or its next generation of illegitimate designees, would have to be in charge. Thus the rug is pulled out, beforehand, on any of the other suggestions the coup rulers could make. Micheletti's offer of "early elections" is nonsense. Nobody can trust "elections" run by a clique that has already demonstrated its total contempt for, ahem, the results of elections. If they don't like the result, they'll just hold another coup. And that's probably a moot point anyway because no country can hold fair and free elections when it, at whim, suspends the most basic constitutional rights of freedom of assembly, association, transit, the press, due process and from unwarranted search and seizure in one's home.
This is the same "foreign minister," by the way, whose skills at diplomacy included this statement, last week, about US President Obama:
"The (US) president of the republic, with all due respect to the little black man ('negrito'), doesn’t know where Tegucigalpa is. We know where Washington is and we’re are obligated, as a small country, a democratic pygmy, to clarify the concepts for him and read to him, maybe in his language, what’s going on."
And as comical punctuation to his defense of his small country in the context of a larger one, Ortez, speaking last week about neighboring El Salvador, said:
"It's not worth talking about a country so tiny that you can't play football in it because the ball lands in another country."
This isn't a government. It's a clown show... a macabre one, in which the clowns are armed with machine guns and, like Batman's super-villains, are shooting them at the audience.
One of the coup's top military officials, Colonel Herberth Bayardo Inestroza, brazenly admitted to the Miami Herald last week that "we broke the law," in carrying out the coup, followed by a shoulder shrugand so what? But among his most chilling statements - including an advance justification for political assassination by military snipers - was this gem:
"It would be difficult for us, with our training, to have a relationship with a leftist government. That's impossible."
In other words, elections, if the people choose a government that is not right of center, will be ripped up by this gang of military thugs.
That, too, is a precondition, and one that disproves the coup's claims of being a civilian matter.
I have no doubt that the OAS will tell these usurpers the same: that they are not legitimate interlocutors for the country of Honduras (as hundreds of thousands of the country's citizens in the streets yesterday underscored quite well), so they have nothing to negotiate.
Tomorrow, the legitimate President in forced exile Manuel Zelaya is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The hour has now arrived for Washington to classify Honduras as a "military coup," triggering the cut-off of aid to a country whose budget is 65 percent dependent on foreign assistance.
As I mentioned this weekend, the only substitute source of funding to whom the Honduran coup regime can then look is to organized crime and narco-traffickers, as well as the gang ex-Cubans that have funded violent terrorists like Luis Posada Carilles. Then Honduras will become a matter not just for the State Department and the Pentagon, with its base in Honduran territory, but also for Homeland Security, its Immigration and Customs Enforcement division (say goodbye to your US visas, oligarchs), and the US Department of Justice, its DEA and FBI.
The Honduran coup - terrible as it is - could carry the silver lining of forcing a faster reorientation of US law enforcement agencies in the hemisphere, as every day that it survives Honduras grows as a beehive and laboratory of hardened criminality and its practitioners across the hemisphere. Diplomacy and the US Department of State really can't do that much about it. The hour approaches when Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder will have more to do with the next steps out of Washington toward the Honduras regime than Secretary Clinton and her ambassadors. And the coming dragnet holds promise to nail some of the terrorist players in the Oligarch Diaspora as well that have operated for too long with a wink and a nod from previous administrations in Washington.
Every day the Honduras coup survives, more and more of the hemispheric cockroaches will flock to it to use as base for their international operations in crime and violent terrorism. Having them all gathered in one kitchen could have the unintended consequence of making the job easier for the exterminators; all under one shoe. One, two, three... stomp.
Update: From the US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly, today:
"We deplore the use of force against demonstrators in Tegucigalpa in recent days... Once more we call upon the de facto regime and on all actors in Honduras to contain all acts of violence, and seek a peaceful, constutional and lasting solution to the serious divisions in the country, by means of dialogue."
(I've translated that from a Spanish-language report so its possible that it varies slightly from the original statement in English.)
But this underscores my point: This situation has evolved beyond the capacity of diplomacy to solve it. Calling for "dialogue" - although its what diplomats do, including in their sleep - isn't going to shake anything loose from the Simian Council. It is time for State to move aside and bring on the officials with the badges.