October 9, 2009

AT LEAST ONE PARTY KNOWS WHO OUR FRIENDS ARE:

GOP Lawmakers Reach Out to Isolated Honduran Government (Mary Beth Sheridan, 10/08/09, Washington Post)

GOP lawmakers have blocked two of Obama's key nominations for Latin America, weakening his diplomatic team. In the past week, two Republican delegations have traveled to Honduras to meet with the de facto government, which is not recognized internationally.

Those actions have complicated the strategy of the Obama administration, which has been seeking to impress a growing crop of leftist Latin American leaders with its pro-democracy credentials. The administration is pressing for a negotiated solution to the Honduran crisis and worries that the de facto government is trying to run out the clock until Nov. 29 presidential elections -- with the support of its allies in Washington.

"It gives [the de facto government] this hope you can hang on," said one U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak on the record. "It's not helpful."

Republicans say the issue goes beyond Honduras. They maintain they are trying to prevent the spread of a leftist, anti-American ideology promoted by Venezuela's leader, Hugo Chavez -- a close ally of Zelaya's.

"We've seen these power-hungry leaders of South and Central America take command and never let go. It's a worrisome trend," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.).

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 9, 2009 6:52 AM
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