U.S. State Department staff have recommended that the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya be declared a “military coup,” a U.S. official said on Thursday, a step that could cut off tens of millions of dollars in U.S. funding to the impoverished Central American nation.
The official, who spoke on condition he not be named, said State Department staff had made such a recommendation to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was expected to make a decision on the matter soon.
Washington already suspended about $18 million in aid to Honduras after the June 28 coup and this would be formally cut if the determination is made because of a U.S. law barring aid “to the government of any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.”
The president of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandez, called for Honduras to be suspended from the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with the United States as a means of putting pressure on the de facto government.
CAFTA offers its members preferential commercial terms.
Despite worldwide opposition over the past two months to the ouster of Zelaya, who was whisked to exile in an army plane, the interim government of former Congress head Roberto Micheletti says it will not be pressured into stepping down.
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Selective Meddle For Communist Dictators
Military coup? It was the Honduran high court that removed Zelaya and appointed Micheletti, the civilian head of Congress, as the interim President, until the next scheduled elections. Besides escorting Zelaya to the airport, by order of the Honduran high court, the Honduran military had nothing to do with the transfer of civilian power and the military was never in control of the government, not even for one minute.
/is there some reason the United States is carrying water for the Castro brothers, Hugo Chavez, and Daniel Ortega here?
Filed under: Blog Entry | Tagged: CAFTA, Central America, Central American Free Trade Agreement, Daniel Ortega, Dominican Republic, Fidel Castro, Hillary Clinton, Honduras, Hugo Chávez, Leonel Fernandez, Manuel Zelaya, Military Coup, Raul Castro, Roberto Micheletti, U.S. State Department |