Editorial / Commentary / Opinion
Pedro M. Burelli: Lugar Supports
Recognition of Honduran Election
U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), who has a lot more experience with contested (tough) elections than all of Itamaraty (Brazil's grossly over-rated Foreign Ministry) put together, ends this forceful (and realistic) statement with a pointed call to Brazil to be a bit less disruptive that it has been to date. It is hard to understand under what precept of International Law Brazil's continue to support and host a man who irresponsibly sought to violate his country's Constitution and today expects the world to ignore the right of Hondurans to go to the polls to regain the keys to their own country (which he had BTW turned over to Lula's buddy Hugo Chávez).
Where was Brazil, or the OAS for that case, when Mr. Zelaya was pursuing an illegal ballot to seek his reelection? Silent and absent like they have been in the case of Venezuela, the precursor of all this mess. Brazil's willingness to turn a blind eye to the multiple excesses of Hugo Chávez forfeits their role as democratic watchdog in the region. President Lula, his hapless Foreign Minister Amorin and the nefarious Marco Aurelio Garcia are clearly a part of the problem and not part of the solution. These three Brazilians should worry more about the precedent they create every day by ignoring Chávez's violation of every clause of the OAS's Democratic Charter than stand in the way - and against the obvious will - of millions of Hondurans.
Brazil's role in Honduras and Venezuela (not to mention the fuss they are making about so called US bases in Colombia) should be cause for deep reflection in Washington DC. Many in this town have thought it would be smart (i.e. expeditious) to outsource US affairs in Latin America, or at least South America, to the Brazilians. What a mistake this would be. Brazil, obsessed with creating another dysfunctional bureaucracy in the region - UNASUR (which excludes the US), is not up to par with it's ambitions and clearly not yet ready to do anyone's serious bidding.
Lugar Supports Recognition of Honduran Election
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar released the following statement in response to reports that Honduran lawmakers will not decide whether to restore ousted President Manuel Zelaya until after upcoming presidential elections scheduled for November 29. The Honduran Congress has said that it will meet Dec. 2 to decide if Zelaya should return to the presidency to finish his constitutional term, which ends in January 2010.
“I support the October 30 agreement that was adopted by both President Manuel Zelaya and de facto President Roberto Micheletti to end the Honduran political crisis. This agreement, negotiated with the help of the Organization of American States among others, allows the Honduran Congress, taking into account the opinion of the Supreme Court, to decide whether to reinstate President Zelaya for the remainder of his term. The agreement required both parties to abide by Congress’s decision. I understand that the Honduran Congress will vote on President Zelaya’s reinstatement after the November 29 election. This decision is consistent with the October 30 agreement,” Lugar said.
“I applaud the Department of State’s efforts to encourage implementation of the accord, as well as its commitment to fund election observation missions by both the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. If the November 29 election meets international standards for fairness and transparency, I strongly support recognizing the results. Countries in the region, Brazil in particular, should consider that recognition of the election will be the only way for Hondurans to look beyond the 5-month-old crisis. While we must be mindful of the historical precedent, recognizing the November 29 election would be the best solution to avoid prolonging the crisis.”
Pedro M. Burelli is a financial consultant, a former member of PDVSA board of director and ex head of JPMorgan Capital Corporation – Latin America. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.
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Petroleumworld News 11/19/09
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