Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Honduras was suspended from all participation in the Sistema de Integración Centroamericana (SICA) by a unanimous vote of its members on June 29, 2009.

Yesterday SICA held a summit of heads of state in Panama City, Panama. Major themes for discussion were economic integration, regional security, and the re-establishment of democratic institutions.

Absent was any mention of Honduras in the agenda of this group. Instead, it was widely reported that the reincorporation of Honduras would be discussed by the meeting of Foreign Ministers, being held in parallel.

The way it was supposed to work was that the Foreign Ministers would hash out the wording of the resolution and pass it along to the Summit, which would then approve it. Panamanian Vice President Juan Carlos Varela announced June 28 that there would be a consensus declaration at the end of the meeting. "Just about everything is closed (about the recognition of the Honduran government)," Varela said. Porfirio Lobo Sosa said it was a sure thing that Honduras would be reincorporated in the meeting. Mario Canahuati said by telephone, "Honduras is in SICA, it's signed."

It didn't happen.

At the end of the summit meeting, Mauricio Funes, the Salvadoran President who presided, expressed his disappointment at the lack of a resolution reincorporating Honduras. "We did not stamp the wording on the reintegration of Honduras," Funes told the press.

What this means is unclear. Many of the rights explicitly denied by the resolution of a year ago have been tacitly restored, such as access to BCIE loans. However, Honduras cannot currently participate in the finalization of the free trade agreement with Europe, or benefit from the joint purchase of medicines.

SICA will hold an extraordinary meeting in El Salvador on July 20, 2010, where Funes will again take up the formal reincorporation of Honduras.

1 comment:

RNS said...

OK, it gets weirder. This afternoon, the Secretary General of SICA came out and said that Honduras was again a full member of SICA and no resolution was necessary.

"Honduras is a member of SICA," he said. "Its never been expelled, its never been suspended; Honduras is a member of SICA."

The Secretary General indicated that through his work, Honduras had been re-admitted "de facto" in the institution, for which no resolution was necessary.

Mario Canahuati said that Funes was mistaken in his announcement that there was no signed agreement on Honduras, and he doesn't know why Funes made it.

Canahuati said SICA Secretary General Aleman would visit Honduras this Sunday to personally convey the signed agreement.

So the "de facto" readmission is the precise argument Canahuati made before the meeting in Panama City. Its not the same thing.

The resolution signed by the Presidents a year ago suspends any representative of the de facto government from participating in SICA events. Mauricio Funes stated that Lobo Sosa was the successor to the de facto government and hence, still prohibited from participating without a resolution signed by all the SICA presidents.

I wonder how the Central American Presidents, who did not vote for this, are going to react?

There is no official announcement on the SICA, or the SG-SICA website.