Thursday, September 03, 2009

Pressure Honduras, But Heaven Forbid The US Withhold Aid To Hamas! (Updated)

Apparently the US is tired of the Honduran's insistence on following their constitution in kicking out Zelaya, who wanted to circumvent it:
The Obama administration on Thursday cut all non-humanitarian aid to Honduras over the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, making permanent a temporary suspension of U.S. aid imposed after he was deposed in June.

The State Department made the announcement as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was meeting with Zelaya. Spokesman Ian Kelly did not say how much assistance would be cut but officials have said previously that more than $200 million is at stake. Kelly said it affected "a broad range of assistance to the government of Honduras."

"The Secretary of State has made the decision, consistent with U.S. legislation, recognizing the need for strong measures in light of the continued resistance to the adoption of the San Jose Accord by the de facto regime and continuing failure to restore democratic, constitutional rule to Honduras," Kelly said in a statement.

The San Jose accord, brokered by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, aims to return Zelaya to power with limited authority until elections now set for November. But Zelaya's replacement, Roberto Micheletti, has refused to accept it, prompting Clinton's decision to cut aid.
A pity that Clinton has not seen fit to apply such pressure on Iran, with whom she did not appear to be nearly so comfortable with during her presidential campaign.

For that matter, if the US can pressure Honduras and withhold funding on a question of their own constitutional law, why is the US so eager to give money to a terrorist group like Hamas?

Where is the pressure on the terrorist group to return Gilad Shalit?
Apparently, Hillary's "need for strong measures" is only against the weak.

UPDATE: Rick Richman writes along similar lines in Chicago Democracy in Honduras:
If you can’t get Iran or North Korea to talk to you, if Russia has not exactly pushed the reset button you sent them, if China is not a country you can antagonize (if you want to continue to sell Treasury bonds), the next best thing may be to land on Honduras.
He also underlines the absurdity of this whole incident:
The San Jose Accord would require Honduras to ignore multiple rulings by its Supreme Court that the removal of former President Zelaya was constitutional (and done pursuant to its order, not by military action taken without prior legal authorization). It would require Honduras to act contrary to the consensus of all organs of the Honduran government, including its Congress and representatives of the church and civil society—a consensus communicated to the foreign ministers of the Organization of American States when they visited Honduras on August 24-25 and heard from them all.

It is a strange definition of coup d’etat that includes action authorized by the Honduran Supreme Court, ratified by its Congress, and supported by a consensus of its political parties and civil society.
I guess that at this point the US will take its 'victories' where it can get them, against weaker nations.
Like any other bully.

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