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Press Release - JINSA Urges U.S. Support for Honduras Democracy

Appeals to State Department Not to Declare "Military Coup"

WASHINGTON -- The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs today urged the State Department to support democracy in Honduras by not designating former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya's removal from office a military coup, noting that such a step would deprive the democratic country of Honduras of hundreds of millions of dollars in desperately needed aid.

In an urgent appeal to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, JINSA executive director Tom Neumann said:

"JINSA most strongly urges you not to make such a determination, and encourages the U.S. to work cooperatively with the interim Honduran government as it prepares for the election of a new president.

"The removal of then-President Zelaya was, in fact, a necessary step in the preservation of democracy not the undermining of it.

"We urge you to restore the $18 million in aid that was suspended following the events of June 28 and to use your leadership to ensure that Honduras' participation in the Central American Free Trade Agreement continues uninterrupted and that the estimated $135 million remaining to be disbursed under the Millennium Challenge Corporation not be held up.

"Madame Secretary, Honduran officials are determined to preserve their democratic system. Strong-arming them to accede to Zelaya's return will achieve nothing more than serving as a painful reminder to all the states of Central and South America that Uncle Sam can still be a bully.

We appeal to you to do right by Honduras by supporting the strengthening of democracy, not the empowerment of would-be authoritarian leaders."

Jewish Institute for National Security of America
1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 1030

Washington, D.C. 20005

(202) 667-3900 Office •