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CCR Statement and Open Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Readmission of Honduras into OAS

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July 27, 2010, New York – On July 30, 2010 the Organization of American States’ High-Level Commission on Honduras is expected to make recommendations to the OAS member states with regards to the readmission of Honduras into the OAS. After the coup in June 2009, the OAS suspended Honduras’s membership. CCR’s Executive Director, Vincent Warren issued an Open Letter today to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking issue with Clinton’s characterizations of the situation in Honduras and the United States’ persistent lobbying of OAS member states for normalization of relations. 

“The United States is taking a dangerous approach in leveraging its influence to lobby for the  normalization of relations by the OAS,” stated CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren. “It rewards illegal, anti-democratic and violent regime change and should be abandoned.”
In the letter, Warren elaborated on a number of grave concerns about the situation in Honduras, particularly with regard to ongoing and serious human rights violations. The concerns were summarized into four main points:
1. The human rights situation in Honduras is dire and has continued to deteriorate;
2. The November elections were widely criticized. They were not “free and fair” as characterized by Secretary Clinton;
3. The situation in Honduras and the debates surrounding it have been clouded by pervasive disinformation about the events leading up to the coup, the public survey President Zelaya planned to conduct, and the purported legality of the actions of the military and Congress in removing him; and
4. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission established by the Lobo government has been cited by Clinton as a sign of progress in Honduras. However, the legitimacy, mandate, scope and methodology of the Commission have been questioned and criticized throughout Honduras and the international human rights communities. 
Given these concerns, Warren stated, “The United States should not be supporting normalization of relations with the anti-democratic regime of Porfirio Lobo.  Nor should any member state of the OAS.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.