The Ambassadors of Honduras, Argentina, and other countries to be announced will speak to the press tomorrow on the accord signed October 30th for the restitution of President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Washington Office on Latin America.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 3:00pm
WHERE: Bloomberg Room, National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington D.C.
WHO: H. E. Eduardo Enrique Reina, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras to the United States
H. E. Héctor M. Timerman, Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the United States
Moderated by Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
Introduction by Vicki Gass, Senior Associate for Rights and Development, Washington Office on Latin America
The OAS <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=-1&url_num=3&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oas.org%2Fconsejo%2Fresolutions%2Fres953.asp> and UNASUR <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=-1&url_num=4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.comunidadandina.org%2Funasur%2F10-8-09Dec_quito.htm> , the Union of South American Nations, have taken the position that they will not recognize the Honduran elections of November 29 unless President Zelaya is restored to office. The President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, also took this position on August 17 in a joint declaration <http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=-1&url_num=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.presidencia.gob.mx%2Fen%2Fpress%2F%3Fcontenido%3D47547> signed with President Lula da Silva in Brazil.
The October 30th accord between Roberto Micheletti, leader of the de facto regime, and President Manuel Zelaya, clearly centers around the restitution of the President and the reversal of the coup. Although the accord provides for the Honduran Congress to vote on this issue, it is clear from the language of the agreement that the signers – including Michelleti, who was President of the Congress before the coup — have committed to a vote that promptly restores President Zelaya to office. For example, the agreement states:
"The decision the National Congress adopts should establish a basis for achieving the social peace, political tranquility and democratic governability the society requires and the country needs." This clearly commits the Congress to voting for the restoration of the elected president.
Furthermore, according to diplomatic sources involved in the agreement, both Thomas Shannon, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs – who helped broker the agreement – and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave their assurances that the accord provided for President Zelaya's prompt restoration.
President Zelaya has said that if he is not reinstated by Thursday, November 5, the October 30th accord will no longer be in effect. Since the rest of the hemisphere has backed Zelaya on this issue from the beginning, it is clear that the November 29th elections will not be seen as legitimate if Zelaya is not returned to office.
The Ambassadors will discuss these issues, the latest developments, and the significance to the region of reversing the coup d'etat of June 28th.