YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

U.S. revokes visas of 4 Honduras officials

The Obama administration move aims at increasing pressure on the Central American nation's coup government to reach an accord with the president it ousted one month ago.

July 29, 2009|Paul Richter

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration, seeking to increase pressure on Honduras' de facto government to accept a peace deal, has revoked the diplomatic visas of four Honduran officials, the State Department said Tuesday.

Spokesman Ian Kelly said the targeted officials worked in the Honduran government ousted in a coup one month ago, but stayed on to serve in the government that took over. He said U.S. officials were reviewing the visas of all officials in the de facto government, as well as those of family members.

The moves are the latest steps by the administration to try to persuade the coup government of Roberto Micheletti to make peace with the former government headed by Manuel Zelaya.

Peace talks mediated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias have been deadlocked.

Honduras' National Assembly and Supreme Court have been considering an Arias proposal that would allow Zelaya to regain limited power, and would provide a limited amnesty for those involved in the coup. Zelaya, now encamped with hundreds of supporters just inside the Nicaraguan border, has been threatening to reenter Honduras to try to regain power, a move the Obama administration opposes as reckless.

"We're trying to do everything we can to support this process that was begun by Costa Rican President Arias," Kelly said.

He said the visa revocations were consistent with the American policy of refusing recognition of the Micheletti government. He said the administration urges Honduran legislators to "send a strong signal of support" for the peace proposal.

The Obama administration has been taking gradual steps to increase pressure on leaders of the impoverished country, which is heavily dependent on U.S. trade and aid. Although Washington has withheld $18.5 million in military aid, it has not yet cut off the $180 million Honduras has been promised in development assistance.


Los Angeles Times Articles