Sunday, September 27, 2020

Hillary Clinton Expected to Meet With Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to meet with recently ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya according to an unnamed State Department source.

This meeting will be one more turn in an ongoing diplomatic dance that began on June 28 when the Honduran military, acting on orders from its Supreme Court, forcibly removed Zelaya from office.  Storming the presidential palace, troops forcibly placed the president, still wearing his pajamas, on a plane to Costa Rica.

While acknowledging that it had some idea that trouble was coming to this Central American country, the US has declared the coup to be “illegal” and a “terrible precedent”.

The Honduran crisis began when Zelaya defied his country’s Supreme Court by proceeding with a non-binding poll on writing a new constitution that many think would take away term limits, allowing him to seek a second term next year.  Zelaya has raised concerns amongst other political leaders in his country by associating himself with a group of leftist Anti-American leaders allied with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

This past Sunday, the ruling government headed by Roberto Micheletti thwarted an attempt by the deposed leader to return home when it refused to allow his plane to land in the nation’s capital of Tegucigalpa.  Zelaya vowed to return and later landed in Managua, Nicaragua.

Last week’s military-backed coup is reminiscent of similar actions of violence that came to define the 1960’s and 70’s in Latin America.  However, despite some protests, for the most part, the transition to a new president in Honduras has been peaceful.

That has not stopped a host of nations from condemning the action.  For the first time, the Organization of American States (OAS) voted to suspend Honduras from the association invoking a part of its charter that can suspend a country for an interruption of democratic order.

For the Obama Administration, this is the first major Latin American issue diplomatic issue it has to address. The president has been direct in voicing support for democracy in the region and putting the US in the unusual position of siding with Venezuela’s Chavez.

During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Obama pledged to give more attention to the Western Hemisphere. Disappointed after 8 years of neglect under the Bush administration, many experts in the region have provided a laundry list of issues to tackle from the Cuban embargo to the war on drugs and immigration.  For its part, the US hopes to regain some of the influence it once wielded in its own back yard.

Times Online

Washington Post

Washington Post

Reuters

Los Angeles Times

Comments

  1. It’s never a good sign when the US is an agreement with Venezuela. “The US has declared the coup to be ‘illegal’ and a ‘terrible precedent’.” Why do people keep calling it a coup d’etat? It WAS NOT!!! Zelaya was detained by the military in compliance with an order from the courts of law and they did not replace him with a military commander, the pattern that fits most Latin American coups. I don’t understand why Hillary Clinton wants to meet with this mini-Chavez, don’t get me wrong, I am not like the GOP saying that we should be condemning Zelaya or his actions, I just think that for once, we should leave it up to them to decide what’s best for THEIR country and let them mind their own business–not threatening to impose an embargo or anything of that sort. Didn’t Biden just say that Israel can bomb Iran if they wanted to, because they ARE a sovereign state after all?!? Why can’t we do that with Honduras?