Honduran De Facto President Now Says He Is Open to Zelaya's Return

Honduran de facto President Roberto Micheletti recently announced that he would be open to allowing overthrown president Manuel Zelaya to return to office. Zelaya was ousted in a coup after being accused of illegally trying to change the Honduran constitution.

One day after receiving a phone call from the United States pressuring the government by withdrawing diplomatic visas for four high-level officials, Micheletti confirmed that he had reached out to President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica. Arias had previously proposed a 12-point plan, referred to as the San José Accord, which would allow Zelaya to reclaim his position.

Arias's proposal would allow Zelaya to complete his term, which ends in January, but elections would be moved up by one month. The plan would exempt Zelaya from prosecution until after leaving office, and would leave him with significantly limited executive powers while he carried out his term. But now Micheletti faces a struggle to convince the current Honduran government and business leaders to agree with the proposal.

“Today is an important day,” a Honduran official stated, “President Arias essentially has Mr. Micheletti calling to say he thinks the San José Accord is a good framework, but that to make the accord work, he needs help building political support inside the country.” The Honduran congress had previously examined Arias’s proposal and ended negotiations because of widespread disapproval of Zelaya’s return. Honduran lawmakers and the Supreme Court have argued that the only way Zelaya can return to office is if he faces trial.

Congress met on Wednesday to review the Arias proposal and concluded that "Impunity should not exist in this country.” Congressman Antonio C. Rivera echoed the sentiment, saying, “No one is above the law.”