Zelaya Reported Back in Honduras: Washington Will Have to Choose Sides, Says CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot

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President Manuel Zelaya's reported return to Honduras would be a significant move and could force an end to the political crisis that followed the June 28 coup d'etat, Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said today.

The arrest of Zelaya on dubious charges - which the regime has no legal authority to pursue - would increase its isolation, and possibly sanctions, from the international community

President Manuel Zelaya's reported return to Honduras would be a significant move and could force an end to the political crisis that followed the June 28 coup d'etat, Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said today.

"This could be the moment of truth for the Obama administration," Weisbrot said. "If Zelaya is back, they will have to choose sides. It is pretty clear that the rest of the world will stand with Zelaya, for his return to the presidency, and for the restoration of democracy in Honduras."

With many heads of state gathered in New York for the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, it is very likely that they will take action in support of President Zelaya.

In response to the June 28th coup that overthrew President Zelaya, the Organization of American States, the UN General Assembly, and other international bodies called for the "immediate and unconditional return" of Zelaya to the presidency. The United States response has been somewhat more ambiguous and has varied over the ensuing months.

The de facto regime has threatened to arrest Zelaya upon his return to the country.

"The arrest of Zelaya on dubious charges - which the regime has no legal authority to pursue - would increase its isolation, and possibly sanctions, from the international community," said Weisbrot.

When Zelaya attempted to return to Honduras in July, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced his actions as "reckless," saying that Zelaya should give more time for a negotiated solution. Months later, the de facto regime in Honduras has still rejected proposals by mediator and Costa Rican president Oscar Arias - proposals agreed to by Zelaya.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that was established to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. CEPR's Advisory Board includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Janet Gornick, Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Luxembourg Income Study; Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at Harvard University; and Eileen Appelbaum, Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University.

Center for Economic and Policy Research, 1611 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 293-5380, Fax: (202) 588-1356, Home: http://www.cepr.net

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