Honduran Coup Government Showing Sensitivity to U.S. Pressure -- More is Needed
While the United States remains focused on health-care reform and back-to-school activities, the impact of the Honduras coup in June continues, much out of the popular media. But yesterday, signs emerged that the State Department may be preparing to take a public stand against the coup government. As SOA Watch reports:
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Earlier this week, the SOA graduate-backed Honduran military coup regime refused all diplomatic options to return democracy. The U.S. State Department responded by asserting that visas to Hondurans would no longer be granted under the coup. Late yesterday State Department officials made it clear that they are considering legally defining the situation as a "military coup." This would create an automatic cut-off of all remaining aid to Honduras.
The coup regime immediately responded by saying that they would allow the rightful President Zelaya to return with amnesty, but not as president. Clearly the coup leaders are caving to the pressure.
You can read more about the coup's impact on the Honduran people in this eyewitness account from longtime Sojourners friend Marie Dennis.
Or learn more by watching this 10-minute news clip, which documents the violence and human rights violations that continue to occur:
As Christians and people of conscience learn about the human rights abuses, we cannot remain silent. First, please pray for the people of Honduras, especially those being held in detention and those suffering brutal acts of oppression by the military police. Next, encourage the State Department to officially label the Honduras coup a "military coup."
1. Call the State Department at 202-647-5171 or 1-800-877-8339 and ask for Secretary Clinton. Deliver the following message: "Legally define the de facto regime in Honduras as a military coup, and insist on human rights protections for the people of Honduras."
2. Call the White House at 202-456-1111 and repeat the same message: "Legally define the de facto regime in Honduras as a military coup and insist on human rights protections for the people of Honduras."
The U.S. government has been very cautious in its approach to the coup, but after 60 days of watching human rights degrade, it is time for action.
As a woman from Honduras shared, "If they can take our president in the middle of the night, what could they do to us, who are nothing to them?"
Elizabeth Denlinger is the deputy director of policy and organizing for Sojourners.