Two U.S. Congressmen traveled to Honduras over the weekend to figure out what the next step will be in U.S./Honduran relations. Congressmen Brian Bilbray-R Calif. and Connie Mack-R Fla. traveled to the small Central American country and found shock and dismay by Hondurans that their strongest ally, the United States, hadn’t sided with them.
In a recent interview, Bilbray explained that most Hondurans in the country want ousted President Manuel Zelaya to return, but not to resume power- to stand trial.
“Zelaya has five constitutional violations to his name and he was kicked out of the country by his party and the Supreme Court,” Bilbray said. “Maybe they could have handled it better, but the letter of the law is with Hondurans on this.”
Earlier this month the U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, said Zelaya is “reckless” for trying to sneak back into the country from Nicaragua.
During the brief visit, the Congressmen met with country leaders and the current interim President Roberto Micheletti about the situation. After constructive meetings Bilbray and Mack were able to hammer out a concession with the transition government.
The congressmen were able to create an outline for the negotiations that will help Honduras move forward. Among the concessions, the current interim president will step down, the government will appoint a new interim president and Mr. Zelaya will be allowed to return to the country and face trial.
“If he is cleared of all charges, he can be reinstated as President to serve out the remainder of his term which ends January 27, 2010,” Bilbray explained. However he contends an acquittal is highly unlikely.
“This offer seems fair for a country with rich ties to the United States,” Bilbray said. “I feel the Obama Administration really jumped the gun on this crisis and this is their chance to get it right.”
The U.S. delegation met with various groups and saw calm in the streets. The delegation also met with candidates that will be running for President in November. “There were calm streets and tempered minds,” Bilbray described.
However as the situation continues as a stalemate, the Honduran people have begun to stockpile food “just in case.”
There has been no word from the White House on how they will move forward on this issue and they could not be reached for immediate comment.
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