San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arias called ‘puppet' by de facto government in Honduras

Roberto Micheletti, Honduras´ de facto president, went on air with a Honduran radio station Wednesday with strong words for the Costa Rican mediator of the Honduran conflict.

Calling Costa Rican President Oscar Arias “a puppet” manipulated by different international interests, he told Radio HRN that Arias “has ceased to be a proper mediator.”

“Not only is it his position, but the way he has expressed his position. One day he says we should proceed to elections and the next he says we should not,” said Micheletti, who assumed the presidency in the ousted president´s absence.

Micheletti continued, “Nobody, absolutely nobody, has the ability to stop the elections.”

The talk show came on the same day Arias played host to the five frontrunners in the November presidential election in Honduras. The Costa Rican leader told the candidates that the elections will not be recognized by the international community if ousted president Manuel Zelaya is not returned to power immediately.

Arias´ warning was not absent of international support. The United States sent a high-level diplomat to Costa Rica on Monday to back him in his warning to the candidates.

“We support Arias´ effort to reunite them,” said Craig Kelly, the principal deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. State Department. He added that the U.S., which recently slashed aid to Honduras, backs any diplomatic effort to “realize the points of the San José Agreement.”

Arias´ press team told The Tico Times it is unlikely that Arias will respond to Micheletti publicly.

Most recently, Micheletti has been told he is not welcome in Spain or the United States by leaders in those countries.

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