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Micheletti's Losing Battle for Honduras' Diplomatic Corp

August 20, 2009

Since the Honduran military seized and expelled President Manuel Zelaya, the country’s de facto government has been losing the battle for international legitimacy. De facto President Roberto Micheletti and his allies have tried to convince the world that Honduras experienced a “constitutional succession,” not a coup. But beyond failing to show how expelling a sitting president squares with the constitution, the Micheletti camp has failed in the realm of diplomacy.

In the last few weeks, both the United States and Mexico stripped a number of Micheletti’s diplomatic and government appointees of their posts and visas. Nearly two months after the coup, the pro-Zelaya camp retains the key ambassadorships, including the United States, the United Nations, and the major players in Latin America. Without any major Honduran embassy to count on, the sitting Honduran government does not have at its disposal spokespeople to protect national interests abroad—a problem for a government that finds itself in need of support more than at any time since the 1980s.

The current Honduran imbroglio presented ambassadors with the dilemma of whether to support the deposed president or the newly-installed leader, weighing political allegiances against career aspirations. Ambassadors, dependent on the politicians who appoint or remove them, lack domestic constituencies and live at the mercy of elected politicians at home...

Please visit the Americas Quarterly website to read the full text of this article.