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Two days of intense negotiations in Costa Rica fail to bring about solution to Honduras stalemate.
Following that protest, on Friday a dozen Honduran expats showed up to voice their support for Micheletti. “The Honduran people living in Honduras and abroad are concerned about the world's opinion of the facts,” said Alicia Pinos, who relocated to San Jose three years ago from her hometown, Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital. “I think there’s been a lot of confusion, there's been misinformation and overly hasty condemnation of Honduras … without hearing both sides of the story.”
Despite their differences, supporters of both camps expressed the desire to see a quick end to the talks, realizing Honduras’ future hangs in the balance.
But the dialogue wrapped up Friday without a resolution. Although not etched in stone, it was hoped Friday would be the deadline. Even Arias said it was not impossible to reach a breakthrough in two days, touting his experience as a negotiator. Indeed, Arias’ much-lauded role in helping to bridge nations after Central America’s 1980s military strife — which won him the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize — is today what led Micheletti, Zelaya and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to tap him as chief mediator.
“Whether they reach a resolution in two days is irrelevant,” said Fabian Volio, a prominent San Jose lawyer who served as Costa Rica’s justice minister in 1997-98. “For me what’s important is the leaders came and designated two teams to get Honduras out of this crisis. Those teams should carry it onto the next phase,” he said.
Volio said Thursday-Friday should be regarded as an initial stage, in which “Arias was taking inventory of the issues.”
Rodrigo Carreras, a career Costa Rican diplomat, welcomed Arias’ role as mediator. He noted that the coup occurred a day before Arias took over the rotating presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA), which set the stage for a dramatic return of Costa Rica’s Nobel laureate to the negotiation table.
Carreras said, “I just hope to God he makes them an offer they can’t refuse.”
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