Honduras to OAS: Pound sand, take 2

posted at 10:15 am on July 4, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Organization of American States has threatened to suspend or expel Honduras if it doesn’t immediately reinstate deposed president Manuel Zelaya, kicked out of the country after the legislature and the Supreme Court demanded his arrest.  Acting president Roberto Micheletti has called the OAS bluff, according to Xinhua, the Chinese news agency (h/t Steven G):

Honduras’ interim government announced Friday that the country decided to quit from the Organization of American States (OAS).

In a letter to the OAS read by Honduras’ Vice Minister of International Relations Martha Lorena de Casco, it said “This government believes that inside the organization (of the OAS), there is no room for Honduras, for the states that love its freedom and defend its sovereignty.”

The reading of the letter was made in presence of Honduran Acting President Roberto Micheletti.

The government in Tegulcigalpa says they will not negotiate Honduran sovereignty.  That comes at a price, though.  The poor nation relies on OAS aid as well as OAS-influenced support from other nations.  By withdrawing from the regional assembly, Honduras will lose hundreds of millions of dollars they desperately need, especially in this economy.

However, it seems more than odd that the OAS has made such a fetish out of Zelaya while they’re preparing to admit Cuba, with its military junta firmly in place for the last 50 years.  After all, even if the Hondurans botched the removal of Zelaya — and they did — the legislature and the courts have solid grounds on which to remove him.  And while the military conducted the arrest and the extra-legal expulsion of Zelaya from his country, they did not seize power and install a military junta.  Instead, they followed the orders of the civilian government, which retained political power all along.

If Cuba belongs in the OAS, then Honduras belongs as well, and on their own terms.  If the OAS and the Obama administration want to defend democracy, they should stop isolating the democracy that fumbled the legal and justifiable removal of a renegade executive and focus on the dictatorship in Havana.


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