Mark Weisbrot on Senator Lugar's Call to Recognize Honduran Election

Senator Richard Lugar's office has issued a statement supporting recognition of the Honduran elections on November 29. Just Foreign Policy President Mark Weisbrot comments:

This is not surprising, Lugar has been with his party leadership on this all along, including his letter in July that got the State Department to write their response that appeared to blame Zelaya for the coup. Honduras has become a real cause for the Republican party leadership, which sees it as a strategic battle in their long-term fight against the Latin American left (which for them includes Lula). Although Lugar is of course different from them, for some reason he has joined with them in this battle.

This has to be a disappointment to people who see Lugar as a moderate, since it is tough for a moderate to defend the position that a a group of people can overthrow the elected president, arrest, jail, and beat thousands of people, torture and even kill some people, close down opposition media intermittently throughout the legally designated 3-month electoral campaign period, and then have a valid "election" -- no matter how "clean" it is on election day.

 Lugar's statement will give some lobbyists, pundits, editors, etc. some ammunition to say that not only the wingnuts that hold this position.

The State Department effectively has the same position as Lugar in what it is trying to accomplish, but for now is reluctant to state it unambiguously, so as not to further distance itself from Latin America. So it does help all parties, including the State Department, that want to legitimate the election.

But I don't think it changes the equation -- unless there are major changes on the international diplomatic front, which do not appear to be in the making, come November 30th Honduras will still not have a government that is recognized by the region or the world as legitimate. And that means this problem doesn't go away.

 

 

 

Dick Lugar

 

U.S. Senator for Indiana

 

Date: 11/18/2009 • http://lugar.senate.gov

 

Contact: Andy Fisher • 202-224-2079 •

 

 

 

Lugar Supports Recognition of Honduran Election

 

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar released the following statement in response to reports that Honduran lawmakers will not decide whether to restore ousted President Manuel Zelaya until after upcoming presidential elections scheduled for November 29. The Honduran Congress has said that it will meet Dec. 2 to decide if Zelaya should return to the presidency to finish his constitutional term, which ends in January 2010.

 

“I support the October 30 agreement that was adopted by both President Manuel Zelaya and de facto President Roberto Micheletti to end the Honduran political crisis. This agreement, negotiated with the help of the Organization of American States among others, allows the Honduran Congress, taking into account the opinion of the Supreme Court, to decide whether to reinstate President Zelaya for the remainder of his term. The agreement required both parties to abide by Congress’s decision. I understand that the Honduran Congress will vote on President Zelaya’s reinstatement after the November 29 election. This decision is consistent with the October 30 agreement,” Lugar said.

 

“I applaud the Department of State’s efforts to encourage implementation of the accord, as well as its commitment to fund election observation missions by both the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. If the November 29 election meets international standards for fairness and transparency, I strongly support recognizing the results. Countries in the region, Brazil in particular, should consider that recognition of the election will be the only way for Hondurans to look beyond the 5-month-old crisis. While we must be mindful of the historical precedent, recognizing the November 29 election would be the best solution to avoid prolonging the crisis.”

 

# # #

This is at once disheartening and outrageous. That in the 21st Century, and in a US regime supposedly committed to the rule of law and promotion of democracy and peace throughout the world, the Re-thugs wingnuts appear legitimated somewhat by a character like Lugar. Reminds me of Foster-Dulles, who prior to being Secretary of State had been the attorney for Guatemalan/Honduras' life-sucking United Fruit Company (which continues to support covertly military governments in Central America, effectively supports the Honduras illegal coup regime), still active with its named changed to Chiquita Banana company. Foster-Dulles masterminded the coup in Guatemala. Maybe, like him, Lugar will justify his zeal in protecting U.S. interests wedged hard into the permanence of the Honduran coup regime by professing to be so Christian as Foster-Dulles was, that he saw as a sin any attempt to hinder the action of any US Overlords who for more than two centuries have regarded Central America as their own Hacienda paying slave wages to a work force of cadaverous indentured servants.

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