Over 55 Organizations and Scholars Call on Obama Administration to Warn Honduran Regime Against Further Violence

For Immediate Release

Latin American Experts
Contact: 

Dan Beeton, (202) 239-1460

Over 55 Organizations and Scholars Call on Obama Administration to Warn Honduran Regime Against Further Violence

WASHINGTON - 56
representatives of organizations and academic experts on Latin America
and scholars issued the following statement today:

The Obama administration's recent statements are endangering the lives
of Hondurans, including the president Manuel Zelaya. From the Wall
Street Journal
, July 18, 2009:

"A senior U.S. official said Friday the Obama administration continues
to stress to Mr. Zelaya its opposition to him trying to return. The
official said Washington fears another attempt by Mr. Zelaya could
reignite political tensions while undercutting efforts to find a
negotiated settlement. 'Zelaya is well aware of our position," the
official said.'"

Such statements are very disturbing, especially combined with the fact
that the administration has not issued a single warning to the coup
government, which has already shot and killed peaceful demonstrators,
that such human rights abuses are unacceptable.

In fact, there has not been a single
statement from the Obama administration since President Zelaya was
overthrown on June 28, condemning the violations of human rights and
civil liberties committed by the coup government. These violations
include shootings and beatings; arrests, intimidation and deportation
of journalists; and the closing of independent radio and TV stations.
These abuses have been documented and condemned by the Inter
American Commission for Human Rights
, by
human rights organizations such as Human
Rights Watch
, Amnesty
International
, the Committee
to Protect Journalists
, Reporters
Without Borders
, and a report from the Honduran
Committee for the Relatives of the Disappeared Detainees
.

President Zelaya is, as President Obama has pointed out, the legitimate
president of Honduras. He is also a Honduran citizen, and has the right
to return to his country. The United States government should be
defending democracy in Honduras, and the civil and human rights of its
citizens - not trying to make it look as though those who defend these
rights are doing something wrong.

The Obama administration's position puts it outside the consensus of
the hemisphere and the world, which has called - through the OAS and
the UN General Assembly -- for the "immediate and unconditional"
reinstatement of President Zelaya. The repeated
refusals
of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
when asked by the press, to say that the United States government also
seeks Zelaya's reinstatement have
further muddied the waters about where the administration stands. Such
ambiguity feeds the resolve of the dictatorship to try and run out the
clock on President Zelaya's remaining months in office.

The United States has trained and funded the Honduran army; the
generals who led the coup were trained at the School of the Americas in
Ft. Benning, Georgia; the Obama administration by its own admission was
in discussions with the Honduran military up to the day before the
coup. All of this places greater responsibility on the administration
to help reverse this coup. Yet the administration has refused to take
even modest steps such as freezing the bank accounts of the
perpetrators, despite appeals from the legitimate government of
Honduras and from civil society.

We call on President Obama to condemn the human rights abuses committed
by the dictatorship, and to make it clear that violence against the
civilian population is a crime that will not be tolerated by the
international community; and to make it clear to his own State
Department that the United States government stands with the Honduran
people and all other governments, for the immediate and unconditional
return of the elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya.

Signed,

Tim Anderson

University of Sydney

Australia

William Avilés

Associate Professor of Political Science

University of Nebraska, Kearney
 

Nikhil Aziz, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Grassroots International 

Elizabeth Bast

International Program Director

Friends of the Earth U.S.
 

Jules Boykoff

Associate Professor of Politics and Government
Pacific University
 

Oscar A. Chacón
Executive Director

National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities

James D. Cockcroft
Honorary Editor
Latin American Perspectives

Lauren Coodley

Professor of History
Napa Valley College

Pablo Delano
Professor of Fine Arts
Trinity College
Hartford CT

Arturo Escobar

Professor of Anthropoology

UNC, Chapel Hill

Linda Farthing
Journalist, independent scholar

Mario D. Fenyo

Professor of History
Bowie State University
 

Luis Figueroa
Associate Professor of History

Trinity College

Hartford, Connecticut 

Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Executive Editor

BlackCommentator.com

Dana Frank

Professor of History

University of California, Santa Cruz

Gavin Fridell

Assistant Professor, Department of Politics

Trent University
 

Gilbert G. Gonzalez

Professor Emeritus
University of California, Irvine

Manu Goswami

Department of History

New York University

Greg Grandin
Professor of History

New York University

Peter Hallward

Professor of Modern European Philosophy

Middlesex University, UK

Art Heitzer

Chair

National Lawyers Guild Cuba Subcommittee

Doug Hertzler

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Eastern Mennonite University

Katherine Hoyt

Co-Coordinator
Nicaragua Network
 

Forrest Hylton

Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Relations

Universidad de los Andes (Bogota)

James Jordan

Coordinator
Campaign for Labor Rights
 

Gil Joseph
Farnam
Professor of History and International Studies

Yale University

Chuck Kaufman

Co-Coordinator
Alliance for Global Justice
 

Benjamin Kohl

Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair
Geography and Urban Studies

Temple University

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus (Economics)

Simon Fraser University, Canada 

Eric LeCompte

SOA Watch

John Lindsay-Poland

Latin America Program Director
Fellowship of Reconciliation

Florencia E. Mallon

Julieta Kirkwood
Professor of History

University of Wisconsin 

Luis Martin-Cabrera

Assistant Professor, Literature

University of California, San Diego

Frederick B. Mills

Professor of Philosophy

Bowie State University

Kirsten Moller

Executive Director

Global Exchange

Robert Naiman

Policy Director

Just Foreign Policy

Diane M. Nelson

Department of Anthropology

Duke University
 

Héctor Perla Jr.

Assistant Professor of Latin American & Latino Studies

University of California, Santa Cruz

Adrienne Pine

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

American University

Beatrice Pita

Faculty Supervisor for lower division
Spanish
Dept. of Literature
University of California, San Diego

Vijay Prashad

George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of
International Studies
Trinity College

Peter Ranis

Professor Emeritus

CUNY Graduate Center

Gerardo Renique

Associate Professor, Department of History

City College of the City University of New York

Milla Riggio

James J. Goodwin Professor of English
Coordinator, Trinity-in-Trinidad Global Learning Site
Member, Executive Board of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and
Politics 

William I. Robinson

Professor of Sociology

Global and International Studies

Latin American and Iberian Studies

University of California-Santa Barbara

Rosaura Sanchez

Professor, Department of Literature
University of California, San Diego

T.M. Scruggs

School of Music
University of Iowa

Kent Spriggs

Counsel

School of the Americas Watch

Richard Stahler-Sholk

Professor, Political Science

Eastern Michigan University

Miguel Tinker Salas

Professor of History

Pomona College

Steven Topik

Professor of History

University of California Irvine

Alberto Toscano
Lecturer in Sociology

Goldsmiths, University of London

Maurice L. Wade

Professor of Philosophy, International Studies, and Graduate Public
Policy Studies

Trinity College

Hartford, CT
 

Jeffery R. Webber

Assistant Professor, Political Science
University of Regina, Canada

Mark Weisbrot
Co-Director

Center for Economic and Policy Research

John Womack, Jr.

Professor of History Emeritus

Harvard University

 

 

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