LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Pagination or Media Count:
On June 28, 2009, the Honduran military detained President Manuel Zelaya and flew him to exile in Costa Rica, ending 27 years of uninterrupted elected civilian democratic rule. The move was backed by the Honduran Supreme Court and National Congress, which selected Roberto Micheletti, the head of Congress, to fulfill the rest of Zelayas term. Zelayas removal was brought on by the ousted presidents insistence in pushing ahead with a referendum that was ruled illegal and eventually could have led to changes to the Honduran constitution. The United States and international community have universally condemned the events in Honduras and called for a restoration of Zelaya and the rule of law. Those involved in the ouster and some sectors of Honduran society have rejected the international response, and maintain that Zelayas removal was an internal matter that was necessary to protect the countrys constitution. The political instability brought about by the removal of President Zelaya has created yet another challenge for Honduras, one of the hemispheres poorest countries. In addition to significant challenges in the areas of crime, human rights, and improving overall economic and living conditions, the country faces a poverty rate of nearly 70, high infant mortality, and a significant HIVAIDS epidemic. The United States has a close relationship with Honduras, characterized by an important trade partnership, a U.S. military presence in the country, and cooperation on a range of transnational issues. In addition to being a party to the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement DR-CAFTA, Honduras has cooperated extensively with the United States on counternarcotics and port security.
- Government and Political Science