Viernes, 10 de julio de 2009

Honduran Power Struggle Polarizes U.S. Democrats, Republicans

By Janine Zacharia

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- The legality of :Manuel Zelaya’s ouster as president of Honduras is dividing Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. at the same time that it is polarizing Hondurans.

Democratic President :Barack Obama, a day after Zelaya was physically whisked out of power June 28 by the military, called the ouster illegal. Secretary of State :Hillary Clinton met with Zelaya in Washington July 7 and announced negotiations that could facilitate his return.

Clinton refused to meet with a delegation of the Honduran National Congress and the private sector, which is backing :Roberto Micheletti, who was installed as the nation’s new president upon Zelaya’s ouster, ignoring an appeal by 17 Republican U.S. senators for her to do so.

Instead, the delegation -- which has hired a top Washington lawyer, Lanny Davis, to help with its public relations -- found a warm reception among Republicans on Capitol Hill including Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Florida Republican and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“There is a growing consensus that what took place in Honduras on June 28 was a legal process in response to Mr. Zelaya’s repeated constitutional violations and breaches of the rule of law,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement.

Term-Limit Referendum

Zelaya’s opponents accused him of ignoring court rulings and seeking to retain power by changing the constitution through a referendum on term limits.

The delegation, which included a former Honduran ambassador to the U.S., a former secretary of state and a current congressman, held a press conference this week at the National Press Club and a press conference call in Washington arranged by Davis’s firm, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Davis is perhaps best known as serving as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky affair.

Adolfo Franco, a former assistant administrator for Latin America at the U.S. Agency for International Development and a backer of Republican presidential nominee ,John McCain during his presidential run, said if Zelaya returned to Honduras he would find a way to extend his rule.

“He’d do everything to perpetuate himself in power,” Franco said at a forum sponsored by the Council of the Americas in Washington yesterday. “I don’t think he’s eager to return to power for three or four months.”

Franco said Clinton, by refusing to meet the delegation opposed to Zelaya, demonstrated a lack of “understanding of the situation” in Latin America and Honduras.

Today, a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee meets to discuss the U.S. response to the situation in Honduras.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janine Zacharia in Washington at [email protected].

Last Updated: July 10, 2009 10:31 EDT


Publicado por Corazon7 @ 12:55
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