U.S. Policy Should Encourage Lobo's Government to Restore Democracy to Honduras

Jan 27, 2010, 06:58 ET from The Center for Democracy in the Americas

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Democracy in the Americas released the following statement regarding the inauguration of Porfirio Lobo as President of Honduras:

"Today in Honduras, with representatives of the U.S. government looking on, Honduras will inaugurate its new president.  Our government needs to do better than sit in the audience and applaud; it must stand up for our values and the issues that are at stake in Honduras.

"It would be a profound mistake for the Obama administration to restore aid to Honduras without benchmarks and conditions that encourage the restoration of democracy and stability.

"Specifically, the Lobo administration must commit to implementing the San Jose Accords, establishing a truth commission, and creating conditions in Honduras under which a national dialogue can take place in which all citizens can freely and fully debate what steps are needed to reform their nation's institutions without interference from their government.  This is the best route Honduras can take to restore its democracy and return stability to its people, and that is the outcome that U.S. policy should be strongly supporting.

"The Center for Democracy in the Americas also supports the call issued by Amnesty International that the new Honduran president should order a full investigation into abuses committed by the security forces since the June 28, 2009 coup.  Amnesty for actors in the coup d'etat and subsequent human rights violations should not be an option until a truth commission is formed and violations of the law are adequately investigated.  How Honduras proceeds on amnesty will help determine whether President Lobo is fully committed to national reconciliation or to simply using the air brush of impunity to move forward."

The Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) is devoted to changing U.S. policy toward the countries of the Americas by basing our relations on mutual respect, fostering dialogue with those governments and movements with which U.S. policy is at odds, and recognizing positive trends in democracy and governance.

CDA previously offered testimony on the coup in Honduras before the U.S. Congress, and it participated in two post-coup delegations with the Carter Center and with Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL).

SOURCE The Center for Democracy in the Americas