Day 7: Coup Government In Honduras Withdraws From OAS

By Eva Golinger, Postcards from the Revolution, July 4, 2009

Well, it's official! The Organization of American States (OAS) doesn't need to bother suspending Honduras from the OAS because the coup government has decided it is withdrawing from the most important regional body in the Americas. Roberto Micheletti, the dictator who was sworn in as de facto president in Honduras on Sunday, after the democratically elected president Manuel Zelaya was kidnapped at gunpoint by masked soldiers and forced into exile, has said, "to hell with you OAS", "we don't need you either!" During Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza's visit to the Central American nation to hand deliver the 72-hour ultimatum demanding the coup government step down or face suspension (the most severe sanction the OAS can impose), coup leader Roberto Micheletti gave a speech before supporters and later issued a formal statement withdrawing Honduras from the OAS, declaring, "we don't have to respond to anybody, we are a sovereign nation". The OAS visit was intended to reach some kind of dialogue or solution to the crisis in Honduras since the coup occurred on early Sunday morning, yet the coup government held tight to its position of power.

On Saturday, the OAS will convene a new meeting to review the results of its failure in Honduras and the decision of the coup government to defiantly ignore the regional body's intentions to resolve the conflict peacefully (if that is even possible at this point). Several presidents, such as Cristina Fernandez of Argentina and Rafael Correa of Ecuador will travel to Washington for the special OAS follow up meeting to the Honduran crisis.

President Zelaya had hoped to return Saturday to his elected post, yet the situation in his country, post-coup, is more complicated than originally imagined. Hondurans supporting Zelaya marched cross the nation to the capital, Tegucigalpa, on Friday to send a message to the OAS General Secretary that they are waiting for their legitimate president to return.

If the Obama administration doesn't formally sanction the coup government in Honduras and suspend all relations, as every other country around the world has done so far, a terrible precedent will be set in the hemisphere, allowing for coups that produce "friendly" results for Washington. The United States is pleased with the outcome of Sunday's coup, which deposed a leftist president aligned with countries like Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia, but at the same time is not happy with the method - a military coup- to achieve the end goal. However, if Washington continues without firmly condemning the coup government's actions and withdrawal from the OAS, Obama will lose all credibility in Latin America.

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