Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the U.S. stands by Honduras

Sao Paulo, Brazil. The United States rejected any interventionist measure in Honduras to postpone the general elections of November 29 as requested by the Brazilian government with the intention of restoring former President Manuel Zelaya.

According to the Brazilian press, the Under Secretary for Political Affairs of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, Vera Machado, asked her U.S. counterpart, William Burns, for support to pressure the current government to delay by two weeks the presidential elections in Honduras, in order to reinstate the dismissed president.

"The idea of the Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim was postponing the elections so that supporters of President Zelaya and interim President, Roberto Michelleti, could reach an agreement to reinstate Zelaya in power. The United States did nothing about this request because it is not considered a viable choice," said newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.

U.S. Undersecretary for Latin America, Arturo Valenzuela, said yesterday before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, that the current process "is an election consistent with the constitutional mandate to renew the presidential and congressional mandates" and they are not "an invention of a government in search of an exit or a way to clean a coup."

Last week, Sen. Richard Lugar, Republican leader in the Foreign Affairs Committee, called on countries in the region and especially Brazil to recognize the elections in Honduras, regardless Zelaya's return to power.

"If the elections of the 29th meet international standards of balance and transparency, we strongly support the recognition of these elections. The countries of the region, Brazil in particular, should consider recognizing the elections as the only solution to the crisis in Honduras," said Lugar.

According to a diplomatic source quoted by the newspaper, Brazil viewed with displeasure the decision by the governments of Peru and Colombia to recognize Sunday's elections in Honduras.

Should Mexico decide to recognize the elections, it would join nations like the United States, Colombia, Peru, Canada, and Panama in favor of Honduran democracy, which would cause a division in the region, the official said the O Estado de Sao Paulo.

Translated from El Heraldo

Latin America's left-leaning governments are desperate for Manuel Zelaya's reinstatement. With the U.S. on Honduras's side, however, there is not a damn thing they can do.  Chew on that, Lula.

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