Honduran Coup an Opportunity for Obama
President should demonstrate US commitment to democracy: expert
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2009 2:47 AM CDT
President Barack Obama walks in the White House.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – The Honduran military coup overthrowing President Manuel Zelaya offers the Obama administration a chance to rehabilitate the battered reputation of the US in Latin America, Reuters reports. "This is a golden opportunity to make a clear break with the past and show that he is unequivocally siding with democracy” after so many US-manipulated coups in the region during the Cold War, said former Costa Rican Vice President Kevin Casas-Zamora.

Though Washington has not enjoyed the best relationship with Zelaya, President Obama called for Honduran officials to “respect democratic norms,” the New York Times reports. In a striking contrast to the Bush administration, which briefly endorsed a coup against Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez in 2002, Obama said the Honduran situation “must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from outside influence.”