MADRE Commends the Suspension of US Military Aid to Honduras
Posted on: Thursday, July 9, 2009
On July 8, 2009, the US embassy in Honduras confirmed that the US would suspend $16.5 million dollars in military assistance, following the June coup that deposed democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya. MADRE commends this US decision as a necessary step towards restoring democracy in Honduras.
Last week, the US State Department had initially announced that it would put a hold on military and non-humanitarian aid to Honduras, pending a legal review of the situation. Section 7008 of the Foreign Assistance Act mandates that, should it be determined that a military coup has occurred, the US is legally required to terminate military assistance.
This decision represents a break with a sordid legacy of US military support for repressive regimes in Latin America. MADRE has worked for decades with women and families in countries such as Nicaragua and Guatemala, where the US has backed and funded right-wing armed groups engaging in human rights violations. Even in recent years, the US has been implicated in attempted coups in Bolivia and Venezuela.
The Obama administration entered into office promising a new and more just US relationship to the world. MADRE joins with women’s organizations across the region calling for a human rights-based US foreign policy—and applauding this step in the right direction.