Thursday, July 02, 2009

Parsing U.S. aid to Honduras

As I've discussed, calling Honduras a "military coup" entails cutting off aid. Now the U.S. has decided to "hit the pause button" on the funding that would be cut off. The buzzword these days seems to be "pause" as a warning before the "cut."

MR. KELLY: Yeah, I do have an update for you on that if you’ll just hold on a second.

The legal review is ongoing. We’re trying to determine if Section 7008 of the Foreign Assistance Act must be applied. In the meantime, we’ve taken some actions to hit the pause button, let’s say, on assistance programs that we would be legally required to terminate if it is determined – if the events of June 28 are determined to have been, as defined – I’m sounding more and more like a lawyer here – as defined, under the Section 7008 of the Foreign Assistance Act, as defined as a military coup.

I also want to emphasize, though, that we’re continuing assistance programs that would not be subject to legal determination – I’m sorry, to legal termination, and this is in order to continue to help the Honduran people. And of course, these programs include democracy assistance and humanitarian programs, which of course would be excluded under this particular section of the Foreign Assistance Act.

QUESTION: Would you say that this pause button applies to most of the aid that we would normally be providing them, or any idea?

You know, I think that’s fair to say, yeah. But I don’t have a dollar figure.



boz 5:34 PM  

I think that's what I said two days ago in the comment section. We haven't cut the aid officially because that takes time to sort through and we still want to see how this plays out over the next few days (if Zelaya comes back over the weekend, all the better), but it's not like daily checks have been sent to the Micheletti government over the past week. We've obviously paused the delivery of those funds.

Greg Weeks 5:46 PM  

There is a big difference between a quiet bureaucratic delay (which is what I took your comment to mean) and an official announcement of delay, which announces to the world that Micheletti is being watched and judged.

Justin Delacour 6:14 PM  

Well, at least Boz seems to have the strategic sense to understand that Obama will be giving a big boost to the cause of Inter-American cooperation if he helps turn back this coup. If the moderates of the hemisphere manage to turn back this coup, you're probably not gonna hear any more suggestions from Chavez and company that Latin America should consider ditching the OAS.

Marcos El Malo 9:24 PM  


Do you really think that would make Chavez shut up? I think it's a very safe bet that Chavez will be unhappy with whatever compromise is reached and will complain loudly about it.

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