The Real News: Massive Turnout for Zelaya’s Return Launches New Chapter of Honduran Struggle
Jesse Freeston: “Largest gathering in Honduran history” receives deposed leader’s return, but where to now for Honduran resistance movement?
Following the June 2009 coup d’etat that forcibly removed President Zelaya from power, Honduras’ participation in the Organization of American States (OAS) was suspended by unanimous decision of the 33 member states. Today, nearly two years later, there appears to be nearly unanimous support for Honduras’ readmission, with only Ecuador indicating that it is still opposed.
Though the U.S. administration lobbied intensely for Honduras’ return to the OAS ever since the coup regime held flawed elections in late 2009, today’s vote is the direct outcome of an agreement mediated by the presidents of Colombia and Venezuela. The agreement allowed, among other things, for Zelaya and other deposed officials to return from exile without immediate fear of prosecution, a key demand for the majority of South American countries that were opposed to lifting Honduras’ suspension.
However, Honduran human rights organizations and social movements argue that it is too early to normalize Honduras’ relations with the hemisphere, as politically motivated killings and attacks continue with complete impunity and many of the key actors in the coup still occupy key positions in the government.
The Real News: Two Years After Coup, Deposed President Returns to Honduras
The deplorable state of human rights and democracy in Honduras has been further highlighted by a letter sent yesterday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 87 members of Congress. Citing the ‘threats and violence reportedly directed against human rights defenders, activists, opposition leaders, members of the LGBT community and journalists’ the letter calls on the U.S. administration to suspend all police and military assistance to Honduras.
- Suyapa Portillo, Adrienne Pine, John Lindsay-Poland, Jesse Freeston, Alexander Main
Congressional letter available here.
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