For Immediate Release


Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460

Zelaya Reported Back in Honduras: Washington Will Have to Choose Sides, Says CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot

WASHINGTON - President Manuel Zelaya's
reported return to Honduras would be a significant move and could force
an end to the political crisis that followed the June 28 coup d'etat, Mark
, Co-Director of the Center
for Economic and Policy Research
, said today.

"This could be the moment of truth for the Obama administration,"
Weisbrot said. "If Zelaya is back, they will have to choose sides. It
is pretty clear that the rest of the world will stand with Zelaya, for
his  return to the presidency, and for the restoration of democracy in

With many heads of state gathered in New York for the annual meetings
of the United Nations General Assembly, it is very likely that they
will take action in support of President Zelaya.

In response to the June 28th coup that overthrew President Zelaya, the
Organization of American States, the UN General Assembly, and other
international bodies called for the "immediate and unconditional
return" of Zelaya to the presidency. The United States response has
been somewhat more ambiguous and has varied over the ensuing months.

The de facto regime has threatened to arrest Zelaya upon his return to
the country.

"The arrest of Zelaya on dubious charges - which the regime has no
legal authority to pursue - would increase its isolation, and possibly
sanctions, from the international community," said Weisbrot.

When Zelaya attempted to return to Honduras in July, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton denounced his actions as "reckless," saying that Zelaya
should give more time for a negotiated solution. Months later, the de
facto regime in Honduras has still rejected proposals by mediator and
Costa Rican president Oscar Arias - proposals agreed to by Zelaya.


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