Thursday, February 25, 2010

Romeo Good Night

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.


Tambopaxi said...

Well, it's a start; incremental change is better than nothing. Wish Lobo would start making some incremental changes with respect to corruption and poverty...

Boehmaya said...

It's not either a "start" nor a "change" at all, which was already an understatement.

Actually the whole coup junta is intact with the exception of Vásquez Velázquez. All the generals accussed by the PM of being involved in the coup are still there. All of them. Tiempo reports:

La Junta de Comandantes está integrada por seis oficiales que actualmente son el jefe del Estado Mayor, Carlos Antonio Cuéllar Castillo; el subjefe del Estado Mayor, general de división Venancio Cervantes; el comandante de la Fuerza Aérea, general Javier Prince; el comandante del Ejército, general Miguel Angel García Padgett; el jefe de la Fuerza Naval, capitán de navío Juan Pablo Rodríguez y el Inspector General de las Fuerzas Armadas, cargo que está vacante porque hasta ayer lo ocupaba el hoy jefe del Estado Mayor.