June 29th, 2009
03:22 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton: U.S., OAS working to restore order in Honduras

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the United States was working with allies to ensure deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's safety and to get him restored as president.

Clinton told reporters the political conflict in Honduras "has evolved into a coup" and the U.S. was "considering the implications" of the move for U.S. aid.

"We think that the arrest and expulsion of a president is certainly cause for concern that has to be addressed and it's not just with respect to whether our aid continues, but whether democracy in Honduras continues," Clinton said. "It's important that we stand for the rule of law."

The military deposed Zelaya early Sunday and flew him to Costa Rica. Roberto Micheletti, president of the Congress, was named provisional president.

Clinton called Sunday's events "unfortunate" and "a test of the inter-American system's ability to support and defend democracy and constitutional order" in the Western Hemisphere.

She said a delegation from the Organization of American States will be heading to Honduras as early as Tuesday "to begin working with the parties" on the restoration of constitutional government there.

On Sunday the OAS issued a statement vehemently condemning the coup and
calling for Zeyala's immediate return.

But Clinton hinted the U.S. wasn't fully supportive of Zeyala's actions that led to the coup, referring to "political polarization in Honduras" and a lack of confidence in Honduran institutions.

Zelaya had been at odds with the other branches of government over a referendum he wanted to hold Sunday. The nation's Supreme Court had ruled the
referendum was illegal and Congress had voted not to hold it.

He disregarded those actions and vowed to hold the vote Sunday anyway.

She said that the U.S. would work the OAS to "ensure that Honduras moves
successfully towards its scheduled presidential elections in November."

"All parties have a responsibility to address the underlying problems that led to yesterday's events in a way that enhances democracy and the rule of law in Honduras," Clinton said.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Obama Victim

    just like they were working to get those girls out of that North Korean prison?? so how long have they been over there now.......?? Obozo strikes again

    June 29, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Mississippi Mike

    Zelaya was removed by the Supreme Court and replaced by Congress. The guy is done. The only reason Obama likes him so much is because Zelaya is a power-hungry crook and Obama looks up to him for his audacity and ability to make evil happen.

    June 29, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  3. Bill, Bloominton IL

    democrats messing with another country's government. What a surprise.

    June 29, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. The Original No Incumbents 2010

    This is the best thing that could have happened to Honduras. This moron was in bed with Hugo Chavez and Castro. The president wanted to ignore the Constitution and become more like a king and Congress with the military answered with a definitive NO! How is that not democracy working at its best? Maybe that is what has all the other world leaders who wish to be kings worried.

    June 29, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. TCM

    Obama's nervous about the Honduras...hmm....why is that? Citizens upset at a president that's biased to certain groups? Favors certain changes in the moral fiber of the land? Wants to change the constitution of the country to resemble more socialistic tendencies? Perhaps...all Americans should observe this action taken by a population that's fed up with the incompetency in government.

    June 29, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. Carl Benefield

    Wow! Notice that the Obama revolution is distressing many nations in the world at this time, more to come? Is this really what a stable foreign policy is supposed to do?

    June 29, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. Stephanie

    Why are we intervening in this country's internal affairs? Double standard between Honduras and Iran? Why?

    June 29, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Blue is my favourite colour

    @ Obama Victiim.

    Obama, I'm sure has the Korean Journalists on his "to do" list, along with about 1,000 other things. Kim Jung Il is using these women as pawns, not Obama. I'm sure there are state dept and DOJ staff that are working hard to get their release negotiated. Also, Obama knows that you can't negotiate directly with "dear leader", as he is insane and every word will be taken as a threat. When dealing with an insane Napoleonic tyrant, it is best to tread carefully.....You don't know that, obviously, but Obama sure does.

    June 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. john

    I am from Honduras. The news once again is totally distorting what is really happening on the ground. Zelaya broke the law. The Supreme Court of Honduras said that his actions were illegal. The Congress of Honduras said that his actions were illegal. The military is simply upholding the law of the land. Obama and Clinton appear to have no idea what is going on. Zelaya is a strong supporter of Chavez. Just look at Chavez's reaction. Let the people of Honduras decide what is best for themselves.

    June 29, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Randolph Carter

    Stephanie wrote:
    Why are we intervening in this country's internal affairs? Double standard between Honduras and Iran? Why?

    I'd guess we have some sort of business interest there. That's how these things usually work in that part of the world. Halls of Montezuma and all that... Have a nice day!

    June 29, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Marc

    TCM – Zelaya was probably not the best thing for Honduras, but you really think that a military coup-détat is the ebst way to prove it? Don't try it at home dude, it's sort of illegal here (too).

    June 29, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Chris - Seattle

    If I understand correctly the former President was trying to change the constitution, without the support of any laws or people to allow himself another term in office, which is what sparked the military into action to prevent him from fulfilling his self serving attempt to be the ruler of Honduras for another term!

    June 29, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. PARKER


    June 29, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. LacrosseMom

    Honduras is a sovereign nation just like Iran is.

    @ Mississippi Mike....... where do you get your news?! The "Supreme Court and replaced by Congress"???? NOPE. A Military coup OVERTHREW a..... DEMOCRATICALLY .......... ELECTED president!

    The people of Honduras, VOTED for their president and the military decided they did not want him!

    IS THIS FREEDOM? Sounds like the Fascists to me!

    June 29, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. j

    Please read our constitution before taking a posture. Please CNN en Espa;ol, play again all the promises made by Mr. Chavez and that you (CNN en Espa;ol) have marked as lies.

    June 29, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    What's happening in Honduras is what needs to be happening in Iran.

    June 29, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Pio Salvador

    I have business interest in Honduras, have enjoyed Hondurean Coffee and good Cuban Cigars; business is been good and was planning long term investment sin the country.

    This changes all, I don't know who is rigth or wrong but I am sure that other investros will look the country with different eyes. This is not good at all, But what else can you do???When Zelaya became a servant of Chavez the country went down the drain.

    They will in time recover and some from of govermment will come up, but I will never come back.

    June 29, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Marc

    Just to make it clear, the guy was in collision course with all the other branches of the local federal government just because he had external (Chavez and the other 'Bolivarians') and some internal support.
    The way he was dealt with was clearly antidemocratic.
    Somehow, someway, the whole situation has to be dealt having the normalization of the local democracy as the primary target.
    Since the new government is looking for legitimacy and international support, and starting it in a bad way by trying to deny the fact that it WAS a military coup, they can and have to be forced by US and OAS autorities to deal with the way it has to... democratically.

    June 29, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. Shari, NY

    Stephanie: Dole and Chiquita are American companies which have interests in Honduras. Check the label on the bananas you eat! Parsley and chamomile (which help some people sleep well) also make their way in from this Central American country to the US shores.

    Carl: Nations have been in distress from the days of Julius Caesar. Obama's recent arrival has zilch to do with recurring state of affairs.

    Love to you all!

    June 29, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. TCM

    "...WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says the weekend ouster of Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya was a "not legal" coup and that he remains the country's president...."

    Obama wants other countries to obey laws? You mean like the law he broke by firing Walpin? What a thug hypocrite.

    June 29, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. tate

    Wish we would do the same for our facist.

    June 29, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. TCM

    Marc –

    Don't be a patsy for Obama's cause; he's the most Anti-American person to step foot in the white house.....the end justifies the means...I'm sure that if we didn't have brave souls like Patrick Henry, John Adams...etc...we'd still be under English rule....Thank God conservative minds rose up and took our land away from them; yes it was "illegal," as you say, at the time.
    I guess some people here just love their country more than others; and more often than not, it's conservatives defending the AMerican way of life, while liberals (Lacrosse Mom?) are chipping away at the soul of this country...(of course in the name of "fairness")

    June 29, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |