Organization of American States on Honduras military coup

Modern Democracy shipwreck
Peeters, Bonaventura the Elder
Storm on the Sea

June 29, 2009

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, said that the organization "will not accept a return to the past in the continent," and it will not make any concessions to a regime proclaimed following a military coup after the illegal arrest of the constitutional President of Honduras, Jose Manuel Zelaya. Mr. Insulza said that "in our region, military taken part in coups are not accepted" and added that "we will not acknowledge the same power that provoked the constitutional break-up". The OAS will only be open to dialogue, he said, "if it contemplates the return of President Zelaya to his legitimate position."
In a joint press conference with the President of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes –with whom he will travel to the capital of Nicaragua to attend the meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Rio Group-, Insulza reiterated his condemnation of the coup d’Etat headed by the military, who arrested and expelled President Zelaya in a violent and illegal manner. Besides informing that the Foreign Ministers of the OAS Member States will meet in Washington Tuesday in a Special General Assembly, Mr. Insulza advised that, in the case of Honduras, Article 19 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter could be applied. Article 19 determines that any unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order constitutes "an insurmountable obstacle to its government’s participation in sessions of the General Assembly, the Meeting of Consultation, the Councils of the Organization, the specialized conferences, the commissions, working groups, and other bodies of the Organization." Mr. Insulza insisted that the only path opening for the authorities proclaimed on Sunday morning is that of "international isolation." The highest OAS representative praised the reaction of the institution and stressed that the official condemnation issued by the Permanent Council "distances the organization from dark periods in the history of our continent", and sets it at the head of the fight for democratic values. "We want to change it, we are trying to achieve it because we are convinced that its future relies on its ability to end all the negative issues that hurt our countries so much in the past." In the OAS "of today they are all equals, they are all ruled by the same principles, and democracy is the fundamental principle," he added. Mr. Insulza travels today to Managua with Salvadoran President Funes to take part in the SICA and Rio Group summits. He will return Tuesday to Washington, DC to attend the Special General Assembly starting at 16.00 EST.


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