The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Dan Beeton (CEPR), 202-239-1460

Obama Administration Must Support Human Rights In Honduras

NGO's and Scholars Say Latest Statement from Hillary Clinton Gives Blank Check To Honduran Military


A group of organizations, scholars, and academics who
specialize in Latin America released the following statement late Friday:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's latest statement, which appears to
hold President Zelaya responsible for any potential further violence by
the Honduran government against civilians, is unacceptable. It is very
disheartening to see the United States government go against the
international consensus that has called for the immediate and
unconditional return of President Zelaya.

Even worse, such statements could be seen as a blank check to the
Honduran military and others to use violence against peaceful
protestors who support their elected president.

Clinton's statement called Zelaya's attempt to return peacefully to his
country "reckless," and said that "We have consistently urged all
parties to avoid any provocative action that could lead to violence,"
implying that Zelaya is responsible for the violence against his
unarmed supporters.

Given that neither Clinton nor President Obama, nor any U.S. official,
has even once criticized the Honduran dictatorship for the violence and
political repression of the last four weeks, Clinton's pointing the
finger at Zelaya is especially threatening to the human rights of

By contrast, the shootings, beatings, arrests and detentions of
journalists, closing of radio and TV stations, and other repression
have been documented and condemned by the Inter
American Commission for Human Rights
, by
human rights organizations such as Human
Rights Watch
, Amnesty
, the Committee
to Protect Journalists
, Reporters
Without Borders
, and a report from the Honduran
Committee for the Relatives of the Disappeared Detainees

On July 23rd, an international
commission of human rights organizations
- including the
International Federation of Human Rights and the Center for Justice and
International Law - concluded that "grave and systematic violations of
human rights" have taken place in Honduras since the military coup.

Yet the Obama administration has been silent in the face of these

By echoing the statements of the coup leaders, Clinton has also put the
United States further outside the international community. By returning
to Honduras, Zelaya is attempting to implement the resolutions of the
United Nations General Assembly and the Organization of American
States, which called for his immediate and unconditional return to the
Presidency. He participated in the mediation process headed by Costa
Rican President Oscar Arias and agreed to the proposal put forth by
Arias, but the de facto government would not budge.



Border Agricultural Workers Project

Coalition for Peace and Democracy, Los Angeles, CA

Committee in Solidarity With the People of El Salvador

Just Foreign Policy

Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, Los Angeles, CA

National Family Farm Coalition

Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Oregon

School of the Americas Watch


William Aviles, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of
Nebraska at Kearney

Dr. James D. Cockcroft, Ph.D., writer and online professor, SUNY

Jennifer N. Costanza, MA, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology,
Brown University

P. Gabrielle Foreman, Visiting Distinguished Professor of Africana
Studies, Bowdoin College, 2008, Professor of English and Comparative
Literary Studies, Occidental College, Los Angeles

Dana Frank, Professor of History, University of California, Santa Cruz

Jane Franklin, Historian, Author

Armando Gonzalez Caban, Latin American Perspectives, University of CA

Greg Grandin, Professor of History, New York University

John L. Hammond, Hunter College and Graduate Center, City University of
New York

Doug Hertzler, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Eastern Mennonite

Derrick Hindery, Assistant Professor of International Studies and
Department of Geography, University of Oregon

Eric Holt-Gimenez, executive director, Food First/Institute for Food
and Development Policy

Florencia E. Mallon, Julieta Kirkwood Professor of Latin American
History, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Peter and Gail Mott, Co-Editors, INTERCONNECT

Jocelyn Olcott, Department of History, Duke University

Adrienne Pine, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, American University

Suyapa G. Portillo Villeda, PhD Candidate, Cornell University/CFD
Fellow, Pomona College

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

Marcus Rediker, Professor and Chair in the Department of History,
University of Pittsburgh

Milla Riggio, James J. Goodwin Professor of English, Trinity College,

Dr. Christine J. Wade, Associate Professor of Political Science and
International Studies, Washington College, Maryland

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