Just hours after the June 28 coup d’etat in Honduras, the White House officially insisted that it had nothing to do with the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, a mysterious denial of culpability which was made all the more odd in that Zelaya had praised the US for stopping a previous coup just a week prior.
But now Patricia Valle, the ousted government’s deputy foreign minister, says that the US did in fact play a role in Zelaya’s ouster, saying that when the military flew Zelaya into exile they stopped off at an airfield at which hundreds of US troops are stationed. The US military insists it had no idea the plane contained the deposed president.
The history of Honduras, which is riddled with examples of the US military being used to enforce the claims of US fruit companies over the nation’s banana exports, will likely make such denials a tough sell.
The latest claims come as former leader of Parliament and current interim President Roberto Micheletti says his government will make a formal visit to the US by next week to seek official international recognition.
The military ousted Zelaya and installed Micheletti on the orders of the nation’s Supreme Court, the culmination of weeks of dispute between the president and the courts over the constitutionality of a referendum he had scheduled. The coup also came just days after Zelaya attempted to oust the top military commander, also in a dispute over the referendum.