Media Center

Press Release


  July 16, 2009

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza said, during a conversation on the political crisis in Honduras”, that “the overthrow of a democratic government by force is a setback, not only for the country that suffers and that watches the armed forces do away with democratic rule, but also for the whole region, and for that reason we cannot allow it happen.”

During the event, organized by the Inter-American Dialogue, Insulza stressed that “a coup is a rape of democracy” and advocated for the preservation of the democratic rule in all the nations of the hemisphere. He also reiterated the importance of finding constitutional ways to tackle problems like the one currently facing the Central American country.

Secretary General Insulza expressed that the OAS had to react to a specific act that does not allow justification. He affirmed that “the first thing you have to do when a coup occurs is to denounce it by its name and not start negotiating or legitimizing the offenders”.

“If you want to have democratic rule in the region, if you want people to believe in your democratic institutions, if you want to improve the quality of democracy, and correct all its defects, don’t try to justify the rape of democracy,” he said.

In his speech, Insulza pointed out that there is a broad agreement within the international community that the solution to the crisis should include the return of President Zelaya, and referred to the need of establishing guarantees that let the country and the Honduran society move forward.

Recognizing the role of President Oscar Arias in the Honduran conflict, the Secretary General expressed that he is “cautiously optimistic” about the negotiations of next Saturday, and affirmed that “President Arias’ role as a mediator was possible by the strong action that the OAS took in the previous days”. He also added that “President Arias dialogues are the logical sequence of what the OAS did and would not have been possible if we had failed to do it”.

“If the de facto government had seen a divided international community, or had been recognized by some governments, or had obtained a delay of sanctions, or if we had been willing to negotiate before punitive action, we would have a consolidated dictatorship”.

Answering questions about the application of Article 21 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter to suspend Honduras from participating in the regional organization, the Secretary General expressed that “the Charter is in good standing and has proved to be successful”. However he recognized some possible limitations and invited, once the crisis is over, to create a debate about its contents and weaknesses.

Reference: E-234/09