Obama's Policy on Post-Coup Honduras Follows Same Old Washington Script Toward Latin America
Interview with Isabelle van Hook, a research associate with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, conducted by Scott Harris
It's been one year since Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was forced into exile in his pajamas by the nation's military, acting on behalf of the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court. The coup d'etat followed Zelaya's decision to hold a non-binding national referendum on establishing an elected National Constituent Assembly to rewrite the nation's 1982 constitution. After Zelaya's removal from office on June 28, grassroots organizations mobilized to protest the coup, which unleashed violent repression by the Army under orders from the regime's defacto President Roberto Micheletti. The Organization of American States, representing a new wave of progressive governments across the hemisphere, expelled Honduras until democracy was restored.
Initially, President Obama opposed the coup, but over succeeding months, his administration undercut multilateral negotiations to return Zelaya to office in order to oversee the scheduled November presidential election. With U.S. support, the election campaign was held as the Army shut down opposition radio and TV stations, tortured and killed anti-coup activists and arrested thousands of protesters. Most governments around the world rejected the legitimacy of the Nov. 29 election, whose winner was Porfirio Lobo, a conservative businessman with links to those who organized the coup.
Now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Obama administration, is pushing the Organization of American States to readmit Honduras, despite the fact that opposition organizations, activists and journalists continue to be targets of repression and assassination. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Isabelle Van Hook, a research associate with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, who talks about her recent article, "Washington Strikes Out on Honduras," which examines President Obama's failure to depart from the Bush administration's often criticized policies relating to Latin America.
Visit the Council on Hemispheric Affairs' website at www.coho.org to read Van Hook's article, "Washington Strikes Out on Honduras".
Related links: MP3: Full-length Counterpoint interview with Isabelle van Hook, conducted by Scott Harris, July 5, 2010 (21:08) "Hondurans' Great Awakening," by Dana Frank, The Nation Magazine, March 18, 2010 www.quotha.net www.hondurasresists.blogspot.com Radio Progreso Honduras at www.radioprogresohn.org Links to documentation on Honduras human rights violations from respected Human Rights organizations at COFADEH, www.cofadeh.org (Committee of Family Members of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras)
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