The OAS considers Honduras readmission: Is U.S. influence positive or dangerous?

The OAS considers Honduras readmission: Is U.S. influence positive or dangerous?

Washington : DC : USA | Jul 27, 2010 at 3:06 PM PDT
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On July 30, 2010 the Organization of American States' High-Level Commission on Honduras is expected to make recommendations to the OAS member states regarding the readmission of Honduras into the OAS. The OAS suspended Honduras's membership after a governmental coup in June 2009.

The United States has persistently advocated a normalization of relations between the OAS and Honduras. However, not all agree on this policy. Today the Center for Constitutional Rights' Executive Director, Vincent Warren issued an Open Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking issue with Clinton's characterizations of the situation in Honduras and with the U.S. lobbying of OAS member states in this regard.

"The United States is taking a dangerous approach in leveraging its influence to lobby for the normalization of relations by the OAS," stated CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren. "It rewards illegal, anti-democratic and violent regime change and should be abandoned."

In the letter, Warren elaborated on a number of grave concerns about the situation in Honduras, particularly with regard to ongoing and serious human rights violations. The concerns were summarized into four main points:

1. The human rights situation in Honduras is dire and has continued to deteriorate;

2. The November elections were widely criticized. They were not "free and fair" as characterized by Secretary Clinton;

3. The situation in Honduras and the debates surrounding it have been clouded by pervasive disinformation about the events leading up to the coup, the public survey President Zelaya planned to conduct, and the purported legality of the actions of the military and Congress in removing him; and

4. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission established by the Lobo government has been cited by Clinton as a sign of progress in Honduras. However, the legitimacy, mandate, scope and methodology of the Commission have been questioned and criticized throughout Honduras and the international human rights communities.

Given these concerns, Warren stated, "The United States should not be supporting normalization of relations with the anti-democratic regime of Porfirio Lobo. Nor should any member state of the OAS."

Primary source: Center for Constitutional Rights

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José Miguel Insulza, OAS secretary General
José Miguel Insulza, OAS secretary General, made a presentation at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on June 17, 2010. Photo source: Organization of American States, used with permission.
Billie Greenwood is based in Davenport, Iowa, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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