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Honduras in Turmoil Three Months After Coup

More than three months after a coup removed him from office, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and his rival, interim President Roberto Micheletti, remain at loggerheads. Ray Suarez speaks with Marcelo Ballve of New America Media about the situation.

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    And joining us from Tegucigalpa is special correspondent Marcelo Ballve of New America Media, an organization of ethnic news outlets in the United States.

    Marcelo, welcome.

    You have been covering the talks meant to break the impasse between the forces of Micheletti and Zelaya. Is there any progress to report today?


    There appears to be some progress on five of the nine points under discussion, but they were really stuck on the most important point, which is the restitution of President Manuel Zelaya.

    They have just broached that point today. And, really, it's the sticking point in these negotiations. So, today really is the key day in terms of resolving this political crisis.


    The sticking point would seem to be irreconcilable. Zelaya has — has insisted all along that he must be reinstated, hasn't he?


    Zelaya has insisted all along that he's the rightful leader of Honduras, that his being toppled on June 28 was — went against the laws of the country. The international community has agreed with him.

    But the interim government has been very stubborn in resisting the international community's request to reinstate him.


    You have been talking to the negotiators for both sides. Have they managed to work out any of the details of the smaller points of contention?


    Well, they have agreed on some details. But, really, the — the question that they're burrowing into today is the question of, if Zelaya is returned, when he would be returned, under what conditions he would be returned.

    And they have been on the ninth floor of a hotel here in downtown Tegucigalpa discussing that. They have agreed on some points. They have made progress on five of the nine points. One of the points they had agreed on — they have agreed on is that there won't be a political amnesty as part of this deal.

    They have also agreed on the fact that the November 29 presidential elections will remain on that date. But, again, if — if Zelaya isn't reinstated, the United States and other — other members of the international community have decided not to recognize those elections, or at least they have threatened that.

    The — the protesters who support Zelaya say they will boycott those elections if Zelaya isn't reinstated first. So, there's really a lot of uncertainty hanging over those elections if these negotiations don't work out.