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Human Rights and Democracy. US Foreign Policy and Human Rights. Pre-WWII/Post-WWII Rhetorical and Reality Carter administration Reagan Jeane Kirkpatrick El Salvador Oscar Arias NGOs. Other Factors and Actors. The OAS Latin American Militaries Cuba

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US Foreign Policy and Human Rights

  • Pre-WWII/Post-WWII

  • Rhetorical and Reality

  • Carter administration

  • Reagan

    • Jeane Kirkpatrick

    • El Salvador

  • Oscar Arias

  • NGOs


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Other Factors and Actors

  • The OAS

  • Latin American Militaries

  • Cuba

  • The general state of Latin American democracy.



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Honduras

  • The plebiscite and the coup

  • US Response

  • Regional Response

  • The Chavez Factor


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The Plebiscite

  • The exact question: ¿Está de acuerdo que en las elecciones generales de 2009 se instale una cuarta urna en la cual el pueblo decida la convocatoria a una asamblea nacional constituyente? = Sí…….ó………..No.

  • Translation:

  • Do you agree with the installation of a fourth ballot box during the 2009 general elections so that the people can decide on the calling of a national constituent assembly? Yes or no.


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The Problem

  • Constitutional prohibitions against extending the term of office of the presidency:

  • ARTICULO 42.- La calidad de ciudadano se pierde:

  • 5. Por incitar, promover o apoyar el continuismo o la reelección del Presidente de la República; y,

  • Further, Article 239 indicates that anyone who has held the office of chief executive cannot be president or vice president and anyone who proposes reform to that prohibition can be barred from holding public office for ten years:

  • ARTICULO 239.- El ciudadano que haya desempeñado la titularidad del Poder Ejecutivo no podrá ser Presidente o Vicepresidente de la República.

  • El que quebrante esta disposición o proponga su reforma, así como aquellos que lo apoyen directa o indirectamente, cesarán de inmediato en el desempeño de sus respectivos cargos y quedarán inhabilitados por diez (10) años para el ejercicio de toda función pública.

  • Additionally, Article 374 bars any amendments regarding the length of the presidential term (amongst other things:

  • ARTICULO 374.- No podrán reformarse, en ningún caso, el artículo anterior, el presente artículo, los artículos constitucionales que se refieren a la forma de gobierno, al territorio nacional, al período presidencial, a la prohibición para ser nuevamente Presidente de la República, el ciudadano que lo haya desempeñado bajo cualquier título y el referente a quienes no pueden ser Presidentes de la República por el período subsiguiente.


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The Problem

  • The Supreme Court and the Congress had ordered Zelaya not to hold the plebiscite.


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The Honduran Constitution

  • Article 81: Toda persona tiene derecho a circular libremente, salir, entrar y permanecer en el territorio nacional.

  • Every person has the right to circulate freely, leave, enter, and remain in the national territory.

  • Article 102:Ningún hondureño podrá ser expatriado ni entregado por las autoridades a un Estado extranjero.

  • No Honduran can be expatriated or handed over by the authorities to a foreign state.


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Regional Responses (Mexico)

  • President Felipe Calderon of Mexico: “On behalf of the people and government of Mexico, and also of the Rio Group, I would like to express our forceful condemnation of the coup d´état carried out in Honduras yesterday and of course, repeat our demand for respect for the institutional order, the constitutional order, the constitutionally elected authorities and specifically, President Manuel Zelaya.”


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Regional Responses (Colombia)

  • Via a communique from the Colombian Foreign Ministry (via El Tiempo):

  • Colombia reafirma su reconocimiento a José Manuel Zelaya Rosales como Presidente constitucional de la República de Honduras y, de acuerdo con la Resolución sobre la Crisis Política en ese país, aprobada en sesión extraordinaria de la OEA en el día de hoy, exige la restauración inmediata, segura e incondicional del Presidente Zelaya a sus funciones constitucionales.

  • Translation:

  • Colombia reaffirms its recognition of José Manuel Zelaya Rosales as the constitutional President of the Republic of Hondruas and is in agreement with the Resolution on the Political Crisis in that country approved during the extraordinary session of the OAS today that requires the immediate, secure and unconditional restoration of President Zelaya to his constitutional role.


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Discussion Questions

  • Should US foreign policy be oriented towards promoting democracy and human rights?

  • What if local democratic outcomes do not dovetail with other US national security objectives?


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