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
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