Honduras: US deports coup supporter

Honduran business leader Adolfo Facussé arrived at Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport near the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula the morning of Sept. 13 after being deported from the US. He was reportedly detained by US immigration authorities and sent back to Honduras after flying to Miami on Sept. 12. Facussé was apparently a casualty of a decision announced by the US State Department on Sept. 3 to revoke visas of Hondurans involved in the June 28 coup. Also on Sept. 12, Honduran officials said the US had revoked visas for de facto president Roberto Micheletti, 14 Supreme Court judges, the de facto foreign relations secretary and attorney general, and the armed forces chief (El Heraldo, Honduras, Sept. 13; New York Times, Sept. 13 from AP)

On Sept. 9 the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US government aid agency chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, agreed, as was expected, to suspend $11 million in funding for two transportation projects in Honduras and to withhold $4 million for a road building a road project sponsored jointly with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration. An aid cutoff of some $31 million that the State Department announced on Sept. 3 apparently consisted of this aid suspension by the Millennium Challenge and of funds the US had already suspended unofficially on July 2–$1.9 million from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and $16.5 million in military funding. (Bloomberg, Sept. 10)

On Sept. 6 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) office in Tegucigalpa denied the de facto government’s claim that it had received $150.1 million in special drawing rights (SDR) from the fund; IMF headquarters in Washington confirmed the denial on Sept 8. The IMF said it hadn’t recognized the de facto regime and that as a result the regime can’t convert the SDRs to cash. On Sept. 10 an IMF spokesperson said the fund suspended aid to Honduras three days after the coup; nonprofit groups in Washington report that IMF staffers have told them that all 186 member nations would have to agree to any decision to recognize the de facto government. (Honduras Coup 2009 blog, Sept. 7; Reuters, Sept. 8; El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua, Sept. 10 from AFP; Quixote Center letter, Sept. 11)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 13

See our last posts on Honduras and Central America.