Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) has Secretary of State Hillary to explain our U.S. foreign policy on Honduras. Thank you. Essential topic. Lugar is basically saying: why are we doing what we’re doing?
Following the Senate protocol of gentility, Lugar gently forges ahead:
I request that the Department provide interested Members a detailed clarification of the steps that it has taken, and intends to take, in response to the events that transpired in the run-up to and period after the forced removal of President Manuel Zelaya from Honduras,” Lugar wrote to Clinton.
Your explanation of U.S. policy toward Honduras and your outreach to the Senate can improve the prospects of confirming Mr. Valenzuela before the Congress recesses in August,” Lugar wrote. The Senate is scheduled to go on recess August 8.
The Honduran Congress, Supreme Court and Military jettisoned former President Manuel Zelaya out of the county for insisting on holding an unconstitutional referendum the day before he was removed from the country, to query citizens about extending his, or any, president’s term in office. Roberto Micheletti, a member of Congress, was installed as interim President until the November elections. According to the Honduras Constitution, a president is not authorized to call such a referendum. Congress may do so, but a president may not. Zelaya had ballots printed in Venezuela and shipped in. Unconstitutional.
Zelaya has not been allowed to enter the country since. He is spending most of his time in neighboring Nicauragua and camping on the border.
The Obama administration sternly counseled the Michelletti government to reseat the democratically elected President Zelaya. Michelletti refused. The U.S. has withheld $1.6 million in military aid, is threatening to withhold $16 million in economic aid. We revoked the visas of four Honduran diplomats. We have advocated for mediation with Costa Rican president being the mediator. It appears the mediation has failed on every level.
Obama et al took days to advise, kinda-sorta, the Iranian government to mind how their thugs were beating and killing the Iranian citizens, but Honduras upholds their own constitution, and we offer no support. We have offered no support to a country who was on track to become another Venezuela under the rule of a power-theiving president.
Senator Lugar is doing the right thing. Now I hope he takes the kool-aid that will be offered from Clinton and says “no thanks,” and continues the conversation on a very serious note.