Classified By: amb. Hugo Llorens, e.o. 12958 1.4(b) and (d)
¶1. (C) Summary: As the Zelaya and Micheletti teams prepare to engage for a second round of talks in Costa Rica July 18 on restoring the constitutional order in Honduras, the fate of any deal that may emerge from the talks will most likely be determined by a relatively small number of opinion-makers and power brokers in Honduras who are not part of either Zelaya’s administration or Micheletti’s de facto regime. This message profiles some of these figures and their potential roles in making or breaking a political agreement, using the color scheme laid out in ref B and previous. End Summary.
¶2. (C) Carlos Flores: President of Honduras 1998-2002 and elder statesman of the Liberal Party, Honduras’s largest
political party. Flores also publishes one of the country’s major daily newspapers, “La Tribuna,” which has been critical of Zelaya’s presidency. Zelaya views him as a political rival and obstacle to his plans to transform the Liberal Party. Little happens in Honduran politics without Flores knowing about it. Still, he claims he had no advance knowledge of the June 28 coup, even though the decree and analysis that coup defenders cite as proof of Zelaya’s intent to dissolve Congress and convene a constituent assembly following his constitutional reform opinion poll appeared the morning of the coup in “La Tribuna.” Since the coup, Flores has quietly sought to promote dialogue among key players to resolve the political crisis. Since at it’s heart the crisis is a feud within the Liberal Party, he is extremely well placed. His daughter, Lizzy Flores, is Vice President of Congress and rumored to have been uncomfortable with the way Zelaya’s removal was rushed through Congress June 28.
Hue: pastel pink
¶3. (C) Ricardo Maduro: Zelaya’s immediate predecessor as President of Honduras (2002-2006) and elder statesman of the National Party. Maduro is well respected among the White Team and within the Honduran and international business community. Maduro has sworn to the Ambassador that he had no foreknowledge of the June 28 coup. However, most of his party strongly supported Zelaya’s removal, more so than the ruling Liberal Party, which is split over the issue. But Maduro is a man of considerable intellect and strategic vision who can be persuaded that a political compromise that restores the consitutional order is in Honduras’s, and therefore the National Party’s, best interest.
Role: potentially very helpful
¶4. (C) Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez: The Archbishop of Tegucigalpa has long been one of the most respected and beloved figures in Honduras, or at least he was until he publicly endorsed the coup and the Micheletti regime on live television July 4, causing him to be vilified by the Red Team. He has called for peace and reconciliation but also urged Zelaya to stay out of Honduras. In recent days, he has backed away somewhat from his earlier endorsement of the coup, we think under instructions from the Vatican. He told the Ambassador the evening of July 16 that he would support an agreement brokered that would allow President Zelaya to return to Honduras. His early support for the coup nonetheless undermined his credibility as a potential mediator. Still, his blessing for any agreement could sway significant numbers from both the Red and White camps.
Stature: high (but falling among reds)
Role: Potentially important as a ratifier
Get it? Anyone associated with Zelaya is RED. Anyone associated with the thugs who overthrew him is WHITE.From behind the Ambassador’s tinted lenses, you can be pastel pink, eggshell, almond, powder puff, lilac, ivory-blush, snowblind, sunbleached, birch, passionate pink, fuschia, peach, magenta, blood red, crimson, or lily white. There’s no color code for “honest,” “competent,” “concerned about the people,” or any other qualities of leadership– just how “red” they are. Idiocy continues below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »