August 10th, 2009
02:02 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: Critics of U.S. Honduras stance hypocritical

President Obama spoke out Monday in defense of the U.S. stance on ousted Honduran Presiden Jose Manuel Zelaya.
President Obama spoke out Monday in defense of the U.S. stance on ousted Honduran Presiden Jose Manuel Zelaya.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (CNN) - Critics who say that the United States has not been forceful enough in demanding the return of ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya to power are being hypocritical, President Obama said Monday.

"The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras, are the same people who say that we're always intervening and that Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can't have it both ways," said Obama, speaking at the North American Leaders Summit in Mexico.

"We have been very clear in our belief that President Zelaya was removed from office illegally, that it was a coup, and that he should return," Obama said.

The United Nations and Organization of American States, including the United States, have called for Zelaya's return, but more than one month later, the interim government of Roberto Micheletti remains firm and talks between the two sides have so far been unsuccessful.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper agreed with Obama's stance.

The United States has very clearly stated its position while letting a multilateral process take the lead, he said.

"That's precisely what we want to see from the United States," Harper said.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    The US is being very hypocritcal with respect to Honduras. The US is supporting the return to power of a man who acted illegally and tried to do a Hugo Chavez style takeover. The Honduran courts acted correctly and with the only option they had and ordered the army to remove Zelaya.

    The fact that the US government does not understand how Honduran law works nor even bothers to find this out before issuing a statement. The US now finds itself as the unwilling buffoon siding with every totalitarian dictator in Latin America to reinstate someone who tried to overturn the Honduran constitution.

    Shameful and hypocritical indeed.

    August 10, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Matt

    "We have been very clear in our belief that President Zelaya was removed from office illegally, that it was a coup, and that he should return," Obama said

    Wonderfully said, expect for the indisbutable fact that the Honduran Supreme Court, Legislature and Miltary acted to remove Zelaya in accordance with Honduran law. In other words, your "belief" means nothing. The U.S. should be supporting the constitutional process in Honduras rather than trying to prop up someone who was apparently trying to become a Chavez-esque dictator.

    People who complain our Gringo interference in Latin America are usual upset because we interfere without knowing the facts... just like now.

    President Obama start being part of the solution and not simply part of the problem.

    August 10, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Moderate Democrat

    If Bush were in office, we would send troops to Honduras, but before we were finished, we would get side tracked and invade Cuba.

    August 10, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Joe Publicini

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!

    Zelaya (A freind of Hugo Chavez) was not removed from office illegally, he was trying to destroy their constitution by trying to become president for life. And we have Obama supporting a Dictator instead of a country's Constitution?

    Wake up America!

    August 10, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Mike

    Please don't tangle us in this mess in Honduras, we have other things to worry about.

    August 10, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Dont blame me

    But he was remove LEGALLY.

    By his congress.

    August 10, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    DUH...we've been listening to hypocrisy on this kind of crap for 8 years plus:

    Oh, hell Mr. Musharref, how might we kiss your bum today?

    Chavez is the devil!!!

    Mind if I hold your hand Kingy-poo?

    Saddam must die!!!

    Africa who?

    August 10, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Marty

    Zelaya wouldn't be in this fix had he decided to obey his own country's laws and the decision of the Honduran Congress and the Supreme Court. You are on the wrong side here Mr. President. Given that both Hugo Chavez (aka the "democracy usurper") and Daniel Ortega want him reinstated, you are agreement with some dubious "leaders."

    August 10, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. MY THOUGHTS

    It doesn't matter what he says or does the media, GOP, haters, Fox, Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and so many other Obama haters will have something negative to say. Just listen to the negative remarks that are made regarding healthcare that hasn't been completed yet (still being written by different committees). The media does not take the time to inform the people who are making these comments that no one knows all of the details yet. Please media inform the people how it works. The legislative body writes what The Pres. presents to them , then they discuss it, add and delete, what ever is necessary, what Pres. O thinks the bill should be. There will be much discussion, some modification, or Pres. O. will veto some parts. Then back to the TABLES again. It is no easy job folks.

    August 10, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Hendrik Voss

    The United States has intervened in Honduras for many decades. The U.S. Army School of the Americas has trained the coup leaders Gen. Romeo Vásquez Velásquez, the head of the of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Honduran military, and Gen. Luis Prince Suazo, the head of the Air Force. The leadership of SOA graduates in the coup follows a pattern of anti-democratic actions by graduates of the SOA (renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, WHINSEC).
    The least the U.S. can do right now is to stop the training of the coup army (there are Honduran soldiers being trained at the SOA TODAY!) and to follow the lead of virtually every other nation on the planet by withdrawing the U.S. ambassador. Freezing the bank accounts of the coup plotters would also be a good first step.

    August 10, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    That's a real smart and thoughtful POTUS speaking. A President with brains, not "You're either with us or against us" stupidity that came out of the mouth of our last president.

    August 10, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Hendrik Voss

    This article calls the illegitimate coup regime "the interim government of Roberto Micheletti." The State Department is more advanced in their language than CNN and refers to to the coup regime as "the de facto regime" or the "de facto government." CNN should do the same.

    August 10, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Tatianna

    Obama shouldnt you mind ya business and stop meddaling in foreign govt affairs Afterall, until pressured to do so, you didnt want to address Iran govt aggression and brutality against protesters after election. YOUR A JOKE AND PROOF IS IN YOUR SLIPPING POLLS

    August 10, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Phil

    I find it sickening that the White House has taken the stance that the coup was illegal and the law breaking president should be returned to power. The guy was in thick as thieves with Chavez and was breaking the law trying to change the Consitution so he could be re-elected indefinitely. We are supposed to be supporting the Honduran courts and military for taking a stance other leftist Latin American countries will not. Is our White House now joining forces with the socialists of Latin America?

    August 10, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  15. Steve

    Read the Honduran Constitution. It is not like ours, but that does not make it wrong, just different. Zelaya was legally removed from office because he ceased to be the President of Honduras the moment he suggested that there be a referendum on changing the provision in the Honduran Constitution that prevents a president from serving two terms. Read the Honduran Constitution!! Let them run their country the way they see fit.

    August 10, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Bedtime for Obonzo

    "Critics who say that the United States has not been forceful enough in demanding the return of ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya to power ..." What critics? Hugo Chavez? Zelaya was constitutionally deposed by the Honduran Congress, Supreme Court, and military, and succeeded by the next person in line for the job, from Zelaya's party! He's lucky he was exiled, rather than being locked up in a Honduran prison to await trial. Instead of shilling for Chavez, the Administration should extend its support for President Micheletti.

    August 10, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Call a spade a spade Barack. No need for retraction.

    August 10, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Patrick

    President Zelaya was trying to become the next Hugo Chavez, the Honduran people were right to get rid of him. If the US stood for what is right they wouldn't call for his return.

    August 10, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Susan

    Now, right, tell me that this President is not a smart man! This is exactly the correct stance to take, just as he did with North Korea in getting the journalists released. But I bet none of you can admit to anything positive that he is doing. I am proud of President Obama.

    August 10, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. MatthewDetroit

    You are a SOCIALIST BARACK.
    You are backing the wrong leader.
    You are backing the guy who went AGAINST his congress and his supreme court to CHANGE the Constitution.
    He was going to pull a CHAVEZ and they pushed him out.
    YOU BELIEVE IN SOCIALISM.
    YOU BACK HIM BECAUSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE PRESIDENT FOR LIFE IN THE US.
    YOU ARE A BAD MAN THAT WILL CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION.
    EL PRESIDENTE BARACK.

    August 10, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  21. Objective Thinking

    Obama said: "The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras, are the same people who say that we're always intervening and that Yankees need to get out of Latin America. You can't have it both ways."

    How does he know they are the same people? Seems to me he's assuming that in order to give him an excuse to shrug off the criticism. I, personally, think we intervene too much and should get out of most of the world (militarily). But I NEVER said we are not intervening enough in Honduras. So am I a hypocrite, Mr. President? What's your response to people in my position?

    August 10, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. J.P.

    Honduras acted legally and lawfully in removing Zeyala as any constitutional democracy would.

    There was no "coup." It was a fully legal maneuver, performed in accordance with its constitution, that quickly dealt with a leader who was eyeing at grabbing ultraconstitutional powers, like another leader who shall remain nameless.

    August 10, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. treeguy41

    Honduras,made a necessary LEGAL, ORDERLY change in leadership. The president was replaced by the next in line for the job, after the president became ineligible for the position.By trying to ILLEGALLY change the constitution so he could REMAIN IN POWER INDEFINITELY,IT was no COUP it was a CONSTITUTIONAL IMPERATIVE. GROW A BACKBONE OBAMA! AND SUPPORT YOUR CLOSEST ALLY IN CENTRAL AMERICA.AGAINST CHAVEZ AND THE CASTROS

    August 10, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. honduranboy

    I am honduran, and Zelaya is a bad man.as well as hugo chavez.but the way in which this was handled is dead wron ,and president obama is taking the right stance.
    Zelaya should have been arrested and tried just like every other Honduran citizen would have been.
    This coup was uncalled for and is hurting us terrible.
    And it was totally unconstitutional.
    I don't like obama, hugo chaves or zelaya. But I do like the law.
    And obama is on the side of the law and democrasy here.

    August 10, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |