Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Obama Administration and the Honduras Coup

The Obama adminstration faces a dilemma with regards to the recent coup in Honduras. On the one hand, Obama does not want to 'lose Honduras' to the left-oriented president Manuel Zelaya and trigger a further decline in U.S. influence in its backyard. On the other, supporting the coup , or not fully backing the ousted president, puts a lie to his words of new and humble United States foreign policy.

The U.S. has the ability to alter the dyanmic of the situation if it so wants. 70 % of Honduras' exports go to the United States. There is also a sizeable, though now suspended, aid package - and a long established military presence in the country.

The Organization of American States has suspended Honduras' membership and looks poised to bring in other regional leaders to support Zeyala. Latin America's greater political independence really began with the failed coup of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela , a coup met with favor by the New York Times and the State Department. Chavez's reinstatement opened the door to a new and local source of support for various left political groups in Latin America.

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