Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Honduras suspends diplomatic relations with Argentina
Will coup leaders in Honduras ever accept the inevitable and allow the country's duly elected president to return to power? That question, which has been asked repeatedly in regional capitals since the military seized power in June, was back in the news again this week when Honduras suspended diplomatic relations with Argentina. The move was in retaliation for the South American country's expulsion of Honduras' ambassador a week earlier for what it said was a failure to protest the coup, according to Cable News Network (CNN). The ambassador, Carmen Eleonora Ortez Williams, was appointed by Jose Manuel Zelaya before his ouster and remained in her post as Honduras' new government, led by the legislature's leader, Roberto Micheletti, took over. The United Nations, the Organization of American States and the European Union have refused to recognize the Micheletti government and have called to Zelaya to be restored to power. Argentina had asked Ortez to leave for "for supporting the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti," CNN said, so Honduras ordered Argentina's diplomatic personnel to leave Tegucigalpa, the capital, within 72 hours. Honduras said its relations with Argentina would be "channeled" through the Argentine embassy in Israel, CNN said. The Honduran military seized power after Zelaya insisted on holding a referendum to extend term limits, even though the legislature had outlawed the vote and the supreme court said it was illegal. Micheletti, who was named provisional president by the legislature after Zelaya was sent into exile by the military, denied that a coup had taken place and said Zelaya was removed constitutionally.