Monday, June 29, 2009

Senior admin. official on Honduras coup

This is a quote from an unidentified senior Obama administration official speaking on a State Department conference call. This version of that official's remarks were distributed by the State Department:

"...all of you are familiar with the events of this morning and as they played out in the course of the day, and probably also familiar with the statement released by the White House from the President and also from the State Department from the Secretary. In addition to those statements, we’ve been working in the OAS Permanent Council towards a consensus resolution that will condemn the effort to depose President Zelaya of Honduras, calling for his return to Honduras and for full restoration of democratic order. Although that resolution is not done yet, but I think it shows how quickly the OAS under the leadership of a variety of key countries, the United States included, has responded to this event and how relevant the OAS, and in particular the Inter-American Charter, has been in determining how the OAS and the regional countries respond to this kind of event.

Obviously, this has been an event that has been a long time in brewing. We and other regional partners have worked very hard to try to address the underlying causes of it, to address the political polarization in Honduras, and especially to facilitate dialogue between competing institutions to ensure that there was a democratic resolution of the differences in Honduras and a resolution that respected constitutional order.

It’s profoundly regrettable that that was not the case and that this morning the military moved against President Zelaya, detaining him, and then expelling him from the country to Costa Rica. As noted, we’ve condemned this action. We view President Zelaya as the constitutional president of Honduras, and we’ve called for a full restoration of democratic order in Honduras. And we will continue to work with our partners in the OAS and elsewhere to ensure that that happens, but then also to begin to address the underlying political polarization and problems that led to this...."