News Release

Clinton Claims on Honduran Coup “Full of Falsehoods”


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with then-candidate Porfirio Lobo, who became Honduras’ president in a disputed election following a coup.

In her recent interview with the New York Daily News, Hillary Clinton was asked about policies she was “directly involved in, the coup in Honduras. As you know in 2009, the military overthrew President Zelaya. There was a period there where the OAS [Organization of American States] was trying to isolate that regime, but apparently some of the emails that have come out as a result of the State Department releases show that some of your top aides were urging you to declare it a military coup, cut off U.S. aid. You didn’t do that. You ended up negotiating with Oscar Arias a deal for new elections.

“But the situation in Honduras has continued to deteriorate. There’s been 300 people killed by government forces, and all these children fleeing and mothers from Honduras over the border into United States. And just a few weeks ago, one of the leading environmental activist, Berta Cáceres, was assassinated in her home. Do you have any concerns about the role that you played in that particular situation, even not necessarily being in agreement with your top aides in the State Department?” See full transcript.

MARK WEISBROT, via Dan Beeton, beeton at
Weisbrot is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and has written extensively about Latin America. He said today “Hillary Clinton’s response to the question on Honduras was full of falsehoods and distortions. Her assertion that the generals and members of Congress who carried out the coup ‘had a very strong argument that they had followed the constitution’ is completely contradicted by the U.S. ambassador to Honduras at the time, who cabled to Washington: ‘The Embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch …’

“Second, Clinton says that the State Department chose not to call what had happened a coup in order to avoid having to cut off all aid to Honduras — including humanitarian aid. But this is not what the law would have required; some humanitarian aid ‎is still permitted.

“Clinton also admits in her bookHard Choices, that she worked successfully against almost all of the Latin American governments to prevent the democratically elected president, Mel Zelaya, from returning to his presidency.

“Honduran security forces shot protesters and opponents of the coup in the streets, while a wave of repression began against women, the LGBT community and other vulnerable minorities that continues to this day. Her statement about avoiding ‘bloodshed’ is a slap in the face to the family of Isis Obed Murillo, who was gunned down just days after the coup, and others who were killed for standing up for democracy. Her assertion that Honduras could have been on the brink of civil war is ridiculous hyperbole.

“Rather than work to avoid more bloodshed, Hillary Clinton proposes a Plan Colombia for Central America, even though under Plan Colombia paramilitaries and state security forces killed thousands of civilians (including some killed and dressed up as guerrillas in the ‘false positives’ scandal) and millions have become refugees — either internally displaced or fleeing to other countries.”