September 3rd, 2009
01:40 PM ET

U.S. suspends additional aid to Honduras

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/07/honduras.clinton/art.clinton.zelaya.jpg caption="Hillary Clinton says she told President Jose Manuel Zelaya the U.S. supports a restoration of democratic order."]
Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

The U.S. is cutting all non-humanitarian aid to Honduras in an effort to increase pressure on the de facto government to return President Zeyala to power, senior State Department officials told CNN Thursday.

An official announcement is expected to be made by the State Department Thursday afternoon.

The move to cut more than $200 million came as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met Thursday with Zeyala, who in June was seized by the military in his pajamas and forced to leave the country.

The political crisis stemmed from Zelaya's plan to hold a referendum that could have changed the constitution and allowed longer term limits. The country's congress had outlawed the vote and the supreme court had ruled it illegal.

The Organization of American States has been urging the de facto government to promote the so-called San Jose Accord, which seeks an end to the political turmoil and the return of Zelaya to office. The current government, led by Roberto Micheletti, has declined to sign the agreement.

The move by Washington expands a near $20 million freeze in assistance to Honduras after Zelaya was removed from office. The State Department stopped issuing visas in the Central American country last week.

The United Nations and the European Union also have said that they do not recognize Micheletti's provisional government.

Although the U.S. has called Zeyala's outster a coup, it has not formally designated it a "military coup" which, under U.S,. law would mandate a cutoff of all non-humanitarian aid. Thursday’s move does the same for all practical purposes, however.

Filed under: Honduras
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. mARIA

    Oh just shut up golpista. I see you being brain wash. The people from Honduras want him back!!! Bring in Chavez in your argument cause you have nothing.

    September 3, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  2. kbustil

    I think nobody should listen to Zelaya. Because first of all he stole money from the government of Honduras. According from I read yesterday Zelaya stoled $500,000.00. He gave checks to people that did not have anything to do with the government. That is why the country does not want him as a president. Zelaya is just causing problems to Honduras with the president Chavez trying to star war with Honduras. First of all that president has issues too, he needs to bud out of the country and worry about his own. But Zelaya needs to move on or show up to Honduras for he can be arrested for theft. Whoever wrote this report needs to check spelling of the x president of Honduras. It is Zelaya not Zeyala.

    September 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm |