Secretary of State Clinton’s meeting today with deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was intended to show the support—visibly—of the United States for a return to the status quo ante, but it also served a more important purpose: by getting Zelaya on board with the idea of allowing Costa Rica’s President and Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias to mediate the constitutional crisis, the United States buys time to consider all appropriate options and actions. Cooler heads can now prevail, because we’ll presumably be spared additional acts of the theater of the absurd that saw Zelaya circling high above
Now, everyone can take a deep breath and attempt to resolve the crisis away from the
That includes the
Just after 10:00 p.m. last night, the presidents of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) came together for an emergency meeting in Managua, Nicaragua, to discuss the military coup in Honduras. President Hugo Chávez assured the group that although the member states of ALBA will "do everything that we have to do" to bring President Zelaya back to Honduras and the presidency. This echoes the message from Washington, which has also called for “respect [of] the constitutional order.” The Venezuelan government clarified that it will not militarily intervene “because of the sacred respect for the sovereignty of Honduras."
The overall regional response has been one of solidarity with the ousted leader. The Rio Group, which includes 23 countries from the hemisphere, issued a statement condemning the coup and calling for Zelaya's "immediate and unconditional restoration to his duties." The foreign ministers of SICA (Central American Integration System) also held an emergency meeting and issued a statement strongly condemning the coup, stating that those in power are "against the constitutional and democratic government of President Manuel Zelaya.” The Organization of American States (OAS) called for the “immediate and unconditional return” of Zelaya to the presidency and will convene a Special Session of the OAS General Assembly on Tuesday . The OAS could potentially suspend Honduras from the organization under the 2001 Inter-American Democratic Charter, which bans “the unconstitutional interruption of democratic order.”
For more information on the coup in Honduras, read Christopher Sabatini's June 29 blog post. The AS/COA has also published a resource guide to the evolving situation.