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MACK CALLS ON PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STAND FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY IN HONDURAS AT WEEKEND SUMMIT
Welcomes new tone in U.S. policy toward Honduras, but cautions against withholding aid
WASHINGTON â€“ Congressman Connie Mack (FL-14), the Ranking Republican of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, called for President Obama to stand for freedom and democracy in Honduras while meeting with Mexican President Felipe CalderĂłn and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the annual North American Leaders Summit this weekend.
The Summit, to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, will address security, the economy, trade policies, health issues and regional challenges like the situation in Honduras.
In a recent statement to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, the State Department indicated that â€ś[o]ur policy and strategy for engagement is not based on supporting any particular politician or individual. Rather, it is based on finding a resolution that best serves the Honduran people and their democratic aspirations.â€ť
â€śI welcome the new tone in the Obama Administrationâ€™s policy toward Honduras. After weeks of ambiguous statements from the State Department, the Obama Administration has finally understood that the rule of law and the Honduran Constitution are what matter â€“ not personalities. Itâ€™s good to see President Obama repudiate Hugo Chavez and other thugocrats in their stated support for Manuel Zelaya.
â€śHowever, President Obama is wrong to withhold aid to Honduras and to revoke the diplomatic visas of several Honduran officials. We should not punish the Honduran people for simply following their constitution and for seeking freedom and democracy.
â€śAt the North American Leaders Summit this weekend, I urge President Obama to take a cue from Canadian Prime Minister Harper, who has not suspended aid to the people of Honduras.
â€śNow is the time for President Obama to act boldly and show leadership in the Western Hemisphere and respect for the Honduran Constitution and the rule of law.
â€śThe Honduran people want to live in freedom, and they seek the same ideals that we have: freedom, security and prosperity.â€ť