As Honduran foes near a deal, crisis 'almost at an end'
Representatives for Manuel Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti claim an 'exit' is within sight. The people of Honduras just want the crisis resolved.
After three months of a tense political standoff wearing on its citizenry, Honduras is as close as it has been to a deal that could see one of two men step down as president.Skip to next paragraph
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The sides did not release details of a potential agreement, nor had either explicitly agreed to any plan yet. But a possible breakthrough brought hope to Hondurans on the street, who have worried over aid that has been withdrawn from the international community, revoked visas, and the battered image of a country that prides itself on being one of peace.
“It affects my life, it affects the whole world,” says Leoncio Reyes, a small business owner in Tegucigalpa, who added that it’s more important to him that the crisis end rather than which side comes out victorious. The crisis, he says, “has set the entire country back.”
How Honduras got here
Zelaya was arrested by the military June 28 for forging forward with a vote to consider a constituent assembly, even though the Supreme Court had declared such a move unconstitutional. He was packed to Costa Rica, and since then the world community has denounced his ouster as a coup that must be reversed.
Negotiations have failed over the issue of his return as president. Nobel Prize Laureate and Costa Rican President Oscar Arias had attempted a proposal known as the San Jose Accord, but it broke down over the issue of Zelaya's return to the presidency.
Mr. Micheletti and his supporters have insisted that they perpetrated no coup, but rather a constitutional transfer of power took place. They have said Zelaya will never return to office.
Zelaya has been holed up in the Brazilian embassy after sneaking back into Honduras in the wake of failed negotiations on Sept. 21. Micheletti has said that should he step outside, he will face an outstanding arrest on treason and abuse of power charges.
"I wouldn't talk of an end to the political crisis, but an exit, yes," Victor Meza, a Zelaya aide, told reporters, after leaving negotiations today in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. "We have agreed on one unified text that will be discussed and analyzed by President Zelaya and Mr. Micheletti.”