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09TEGUCIGALPA1035 2009-10-09 21:30:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tegucigalpa
Cable title:  

TFH01: DIALOGUE OF GUYAMURAS: UPDATE ON OAS

Tags:   PGOV KDEM PREL HO 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEGUCIGALPA 001035 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA A/S TOM SHANNON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/09/2019
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PREL HO
SUBJECT: TFH01: DIALOGUE OF GUYAMURAS: UPDATE ON OAS
SUPPORTED NEGOTIATIONS

TEGUCIGALP 00001035 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador Hugo Llorens, reasons 1.4 (b & d)



1. (C) Summary: The formal negotiations launched by the OAS
Foreign Ministers have gotten off to a smoother start than
expected. Beginning on October 7, both commissions, with
support from an OAS secretarial team, have held daily
sessions and have been able to achieve agreement or concurred
on modification on five of the San Jose Accord's 12 articles.
Both commissions have wisely agreed to deal with the less
controversial aspects of the Accord first and left the most
difficult for last, including the restoration of President
Zelaya. In a conversation with the Ambassador on October 8,
Zelaya said he was doubtful that Micheletti would deal in
good faith, but he said he had instructed his team to
negotiate in a flexible and constructive manner. He
predicted that we would know in the next couple of days if
there was any serious possibility of a deal. End Summary.




2. (C) The OAS Foreign Ministers were able to successfully
launch the negotiations between representatives of President
Manuel "Mel" Zelaya and regime President Roberto Micheletti.
Both sides agreed that a solution to the crisis requires
direct negotiations by the Hondurans themselves, and have
nationalistically named the process, Dialogue of Guaymuras,
in place of the San Jose. (Note: Guaymuras is a term used by
Spanish explorers to describe Honduras before the
colonization. End Note). The Zelaya team is composed of
three members: Minister of Governance Victor Meza, Minister
of Labor Mayra Mejia, and Resistance movement leader Juan
Barahona. The Micheletti side's three members are: former
Supreme Court Magistrate Armando Aguilar, political
consultant Arturo Corrales, and former Supreme Court
President Vilma Morales. Both the Zelaya and Micheletti
commissions have demonstrated good will and professionalism.
Meza and Aguilar, as respective commission chairs, have been
especially articulate and set a positive tone for the
dialogue. In the opening session on October 7 both sides
engaged in a two hour session and reached agreement on the
agenda. The agenda set by both sides includes review of the
San Jose Accord (as the basic framework for the talks),
suggested modifications and modalities for the implementation
of the Accord, and the creation of a Political-Social Pact.



3. (C) Beginning on October 8, both commissions began an
article-by-article review of the San Jose Accord. The two
commissions adopted a pragmatic approach to the talks by
first reaching agreement on the less controversial aspects of
the Accord. Based on these discussions, both sides were able
to secure agreement on final text for three of the San Jose
Accord's 12 articles. These included Article 1 (which deals
with the creation of a government of national
reconciliation). With regards to Article 2 (political
amnesty) the two sides agreed to delete this article from the
Accord and not require political amnesty. In the
discussions, the Zelaya side initially accepted the amnesty
noting that the request for political amnesty had originally
been proposed by the Micheletti side in the talks held last
July in San Jose. The Micheletti side said they no longer
supported the political amnesty. This moved the Zelaya team
to back away from political amnesty and agreed to remove this
article from the Accord. (Note: Chief of Defense General
Romeo Vasquez Velasquez spoke to the Ambassador on the
evening of October 8 and privately convey his opposition to
the decision to delete the political amnesty clause of the
accord. The Honduran military high command supports
political amnesty believing that it provides them protection
against any attempt to hold them criminally liable for having
carried out the arrest and extradition of President Zelaya.
The elimination of this article will make it harder for the
Honduran Armed Forces to support an agreement. We have
passed on this message privately to both sides and they have
agreed to reconsider their positions. End Note). Finally,
both commissions were able to agree on Article 3, whereby
both sides commit to not seek to convene a constituent
assembly.



4. (C) Both commissions convened this morning at nine. We
understand that they agreed to modify Article 4 (which called

TEGUCIGALP 00001035 002.2 OF 002


for moving up the date of the elections from November 29 to
October 28). Both sides support holding elections on
November 29 as scheduled. They were also able to reach
agreement on Article 5 (to second the Honduran military to
the Supreme Elections Tribunal beginning at the end of
October ) or one month prior to the elections.



5. (C) The Ambassador spoke to President Zelaya the evening
of June 8 to discuss the OAS Foreign Ministers visit and the
negotiations. The Ambassador expressed the view that the OAS
Foreign Minister's visit had gone well. The Ambassador added
that the negotiations had gotten off to a good start and that
both sides seemed to be acting in good faith. Zelaya said he
was skeptical of Micheletti's willingness to reach a final
agreement. However, he said that he had made a commitment to
the Foreign Ministers to do everything in his power to
achieve a negotiated agreement under the San Jose framework.
He said that the decision by the regime to allow him to meet
twice with his three-member commission had helped his side
fashion a good negotiating strategy. He said he had
encouraged his team to be flexible and constructive in the
talks and agreed that it was best to attempt to build
momentum in the negotiating process by dealing with the less
controversial aspects of the discussions first. Zelaya
predicted that we would know in the coming couple of days if
the Micheletti side was willing to consider his restoration,
which he stressed was not negotiable. In the discussion,
Zelaya said he understood that the political amnesty issue
would cause problems for the military and he said he was
willing to go back and raise this in the next round of talks.



6. (C) Comment: For now the process is in the hands of two
professional negotiating teams. The hope is that the
negotiations will lead to agreement on most aspects of a
deal. A broad agreement on most aspects of San Jose will
hopefully generate the momentum and help build popular
pressure on Zelaya and Micheletti to put their differences
behind them and push for a final historic consensus.
LLORENS