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No, We Can’t: Latin America Must Take the Lead

July 2009

The junta in Honduras is still in power and shows little real sign of budging. And the human rights situation has only gotten worse with the military and police cracking down on peaceful protestors, widespread arrests, alleged torture and the forced exile of social movement leaders who have had to flee the repression. One major reason for the Micheletti regime’s intransigence is the failure of the Obama Administration to act as decisively and quickly as it should have to insist on President Zelaya’s speedy and unconditional return. As many here in the U.S. and in Honduras and the region have surmised — this failure is mainly due to our vested interests in that country that for realpolitik reasons trump human rights and democracy.

Mark Weisbrot of our ally the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington writes in the Guardian (London) that it is time the Latin Americans once again took the principled lead that they did right after the coup. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attempts have failed to resolve the worsening crisis. The honest broker role of the U.S. is once again suspect with the regime’s lobbyists’ ties to the Obama Administration, and specifically Secretary Clinton. For the United States this represents, in the long term, a major wasted opportunity for showing good faith and making a real change in foreign policy especially when dealing with our neighbors to the South.


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