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State Department Reverses and Honduran Agreement Falls Apart; Resistance Plans to Boycott Elections
In a stunning reversal, a US-brokered agreement that had seemed to pave the way for reinstatement of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya fell apart a week later on November 6 when the Honduran Congress failed to vote on President Zelaya’s reinstatement. The Obama Administration opened the door to the agreement’s failure when it reportedly stated on November 5 it would accept the November 29 elections for a new president as legitimate even if President Zelaya were not reinstated, effectively taking off pressure on the coup government and allowing the coup to stand.
The reversal of the Obama Administration’s position has been condemned by the Honduran resistance, leading members of the U.S. Congress, and other governments in the region. The Organization of American States has announced it will not send observers to the election, which the resistance and others argue cannot be considered fair and legitimate with the country controlled by a coup government that has engaged in wide-spread repression and denial of basic rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the right to assembly. Murders, disappearances, arrests, and beatings have characterized the country since the June 28 coup ousted the elected President and flew him into exile before he slipped back into the country and took up residency in the Brazilian embassy on September 21.
President Zelaya’s efforts in June to push forward a non-binding referendum on whether or not to convene a constituent assembly to consider a new constitution challenged the ruling powers in Honduras, prompting the coup. The coup has been widely denounced by the international labor movement; the Honduran labor movement is an active leader of the resistance, which continues to demand a constituent assembly.
Solidarity groups are urging calls to the White House (202.456.1414) and the State Department (202.647.4000) opposing the Administration’s reversal that effectively allows the coup to stand.
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