Hillary Clinton’s Emails and the Honduras Coup

Source: CEPR Americas Blog

Three batches of Hillary Clinton’s emails have now been released and, though many emails are heavily redacted, we’re starting to get a clearer picture of how Clinton handled major international developments during her tenure at the State Department.  One of the first big issues to hit Clinton’s desk was the June 2009 coup d’Etat in Honduras that forced democratically-elected president Manuel Zelaya into exile.  Officially the U.S. joined the rest of the hemisphere in opposing the coup, but Zelaya – who had grown close to radical social movements at home and signed cooperation agreements with Venezuela – wasn’t in the administration’s good books.

The released emails provide a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of how Clinton pursued a contradictory policy of appearing to back the restoration of democracy in Honduras while actually undermining efforts to get Zelaya back into power.  The Intercept and other outlets have provided useful analyses of these emails, but there are a number of revealing passages, some in the most recent batch of emails, that haven’t yet received the attention they deserve.

A number of Clinton emails show how, starting shortly after the coup, HRC and her team shifted the deliberations on Honduras from the Organization of American States (OAS) – where Zelaya could benefit from the strong support of left-wing allies throughout the region – to the San José negotiation process in Costa Rica. There, representatives of the coup regime were placed on an equal footing with representatives of Zelaya’s constitutional government, and Costa Rican president Oscar Arias (a close U.S. ally) as mediator.  Unsurprisingly, the negotiation process only succeeded in one thing: keeping Zelaya out of office for the rest of his constitutional mandate.

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