General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez is out as commander of the armed forces of Honduras. This afternoon, President Porfirio Lobo Sosa swore in the former Inspector General of the Armed Forces, General Carlos Antonio Cuéllar Castillo, as head of the armed forces of Honduras.
General Vasquez Velasquez was not due to be replaced in this position until next December, but international pressure is cited in the Tiempo story as the reason for his removal now. The story says that the international community does not want anyone linked with the coup in Lobo Sosa's government.
Lobo Sosa explained that Cuéllar would serve in this position until he was due to retire, in 2013. Cuéllar, La Prensa reported, will make recommendations to Lobo Sosa about the 5 officials who should head each of the branches of the armed forces and form his equivalent of the Joint Chiefs.
General Carlos Cuéllar was one of the Generals charged by the Honduran Public Prosecutor with exiling President Manuel Zelaya Rosales on June 28, so its hard to see how moving from one golpista General to another is actually a response to international pressure to not have anyone associated with the coup as part of the Lobo Sosa government, but maybe its the degree to which Romeo Vasquez Velasquez is linked to the coup that necessitated his removal. In any case, this is not a radical change.