Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Members of Honduran De Facto Regime Barred from Spain

BRUSSELS – Spain will prohibit the entry of members of the Honduran de facto regime who are preventing the restoration of constitutional order in that country, Spanisn Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said here Monday.

The European Union is scheduled on Tuesday to approve a statement regarding Honduras in which it will warn the de facto government in Tegucigalpa that it will prepare more restrictive measures if the political situation does not improve.

Moratinos said at a press conference that, once the decision is made, “Spain, starting tomorrow, will take measures to prevent the entry into the national territory of a significant number of figures” within the current Honduran regime. Those officials, he said, are “the ones who continue blocking” the return of constitutional order and of President Mel Zelaya, ousted by the military on June 28.

Moratinos said that the elections called for Nov. 29 in Honduras, “will have no legitimacy” if they are not held within the framework of the return to constitutional order and the return of Zelaya, whose term ends in January.

In addition, Moratinos said that this is the stance of all Latin American countries and also of the U.S. administration, and thus “the European Union will maintain that same position.”

The Spanish minister said that the declaration scheduled for approval on Tuesday by the EU Council of Ministers constitutes “a clear sign of the defense of the constitutional order” in Honduras.

The document says that “since no peaceful accord has been achieved, the EU will be prepared to take new restrictive measures that are directed at those members of the de facto government who seem to be blocking the progress toward arriving at a negotiated solution based on the San Jose Accord.”

Drafted by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, that accord calls for Zelaya to return and lead a national unity government and for a political amnesty that would protect both the coup plotters and the ousted head of state, who stands accused of various offenses by the de facto regime.

While Zelaya has accepted the plan, the leader of the de facto regime, Roberto Micheletti, flatly rejects the reinstatement of the elected head of state.

The European Commission announced last week that the EU would not send observers to the November general election in Honduras, citing the absence of conditions for the vote to be held within a framework of democracy and freedom.

Zelaya’s ouster has also led the EU to freeze negotiations on an association accord with Central America, including Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The U.S. government has said that if the de facto regime in Tegucigalpa remains intransigent on the question of Zelaya’s reinstatement, Washington will not recognize the winner of the Nov. 29 presidential election.

“There’s a sense that the de facto regime was thinking if we can just get to an election that this will absolve them of all their sins,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley told reporters early this month. “That is not the case.” EFE