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July 28th, 2009
03:15 PM ET

US suspends 4 visas of diplomats in Honduras' de facto government


Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

The State Department said it revoked four visas of individuals and is reviewing the visas of all others serving in the de facto Honduran government which ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya last month.

The four individuals currently serve in the government of Roberto Micheletti. Each obtained "A-1" visas, diplomatic visas which allow them to travel to the United States on official government business, while serving under President Zelaya, but now serve in the de facto goverment led by Roberto Micheletti. The ban applies also applies to their families.

State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly called the move "consistent with our policy of the non-recognition" of the de facto regime.

"We don't recognize Roberto Micheletti as the President of Honduras. We recognize Manuel Zelaya," Kelly said.

Kelly said the US was supporting efforts by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias to bring an end to the political standoff that escalated after the ouster of President Zelaya on June 28. The United Nations and Organization of American States condemned the coup that pushed Zelaya out of the country and have called for his reinstatement as president.

The move comes on the heels of a letter by Zelaya to President Obama in which he asks the US president to ratchet up diplomatic and economic pressure on the Micheletti regime, including canceling visas of leaders of the de facto government and freezing their bank accounts.

The United States has already suspended some programs but has not instituted a full suspension of aid pending a review of the situation. Kelly said the US is currently "reviewing all of our bilateral programs with Honduras."


Filed under: Elise Labott
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. yunto

    I just can believe US is so blind Zellaya is unstable. It is obvious he is Chavez friend, and also the Narcs. Why nobody is listening to the people of Honduras, they don't want Zellaya, Chavez, Narc. Zellaya is violating the rights of a nation. Honduras is being punished for wanting its democracy back. Honduras small, poor, is fighting this bullies alone.

    July 29, 2009 at 4:35 am |
  2. Clarence

    We don' t need representatives from a de factor government from Honduras wandering around Washington, D.C. Their actions in Honduras were wrong and undemocratic. Additionally, we shouldn't allow that kind of political behavior to occur in the Americas.

    July 28, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  3. Michael C. McHugh

    There are big probelms in Honduras and all over Latin America that can't be simply wished away, including massive corruption, crime, poverty and unemployment. We have to figure out some policy of improving living standards down there, while trying to avoid support for dictatorships, In this sense, I have no more use for military dictatorships of the right than the Castro brothers in Cuba,

    In the end, they will have to figure out some way of doing this for themselves, although I think reforms in the World Bank/IMF that would make them more user-friendly for internal devlopment in these countries would be helpful, and not just in Latin America.

    July 28, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  4. Ramone Diaz, Venezuela

    I agree 100 % with Cindy. let honduras solve this situation. The US has enough problems to take care at home. Zelaya is a puppet of Chavez and a criminal. Roberto Micheletti represents the autentic democratic will of the hondurian people. Is The State Department blind?

    July 28, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  5. Tammy, Houma, LA

    I'm so glad this administration was for the plight of the poor. When you hurt the aid to Honduras, you often hurt the most poor and vulnerable who receive our help in very concrete ways. Their voices, unfortunately, often go silent. They aren't just numbers. They aren't pawns in a political game so that Chavez and Zelaya and Obama and the rest of the world can be the schoolyard bully (reeks of George W. Bush administration antics to me). Instead, they are breathing, loving, amazing people that I am so blessed to work with and call friends. (and not the psuedo facebook and twitter kind). It is quite apparent that the Obama administration only honestly helps those who fit their agenda (because apparently Hondurans aren't smart enough to choose their own government in the eyes of ours, and well if we starve them and take away their medical aid they will bend down to the will of a man who befriends dictators). So much for helping those in need in the third world who really can use it.

    July 28, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  6. Cindy

    In truth what Honduras does is really none of our business. We can't go around telling other countries how to run their governments. We need to butt out of it and deal with our own problems...and boy there are MANY of them!

    Cindy..Ga.

    July 28, 2009 at 3:50 pm |