As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Neogtiations In Honduras

Some better news out of Honduras. After a meeting between ousted President Mel Zelaya and Secretary of State Clinton today, a diplomatic agreement has been brokered, though I don't think it will be entirely smooth.

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on Tuesday accepted a U.S.-backed effort by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias to mediate an end to the political crisis in Honduras and said talks with his rivals would begin on Thursday.

"Our first meeting is set for Thursday, in Costa Rica," Zelaya, told Honduran radio from Washington, saying he would meet the "protagonists" of the June 28 coup that ousted him.

But Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, faces mediating between sharply opposed positions.

Zelaya said that his reinstatement as president was "nonnegotiable," adding of the talks, "What this is is not a negotiation, this is the planning of the exit of the coup leaders."

In Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, who was appointed president by Honduran lawmakers after the coup, also said he accepted Arias as a mediator, but added his government maintained his position that Zelaya could not return.

If you can squint and sort of see the outlines of any deal, let me know. But dialogue can bear fruit if given enough time and backing. You could see some sort of deal where Zelaya gets to serve out his term (which has less than a year left) in exchange for a vow not to change Presidential term limits. And then the people of Honduras get their elected leader and can choose another one. Obama made a good statement:

"America supports now the restoration of the democratically-elected president of Honduras, even though he has strongly opposed American policies," Obama said in a speech in Russia.

"We do so not because we agree with him. We do so because we respect the universal principle that people should choose their own leaders, whether they are leaders we agree with or not," he added.

Sounds reasonable to me, which is why he'll get endlessly attacked for "siding with Castro and Chavez."

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