Thursday, April 22, 2010

Recognition: bumps in the road

On the heels of Mario Canahuati's triumphant claim reported yesterday that 70% of the nations that once recognized Honduras have now done so again comes a reminder that "recognition" is not a simple thing.

As reported in today's El Heraldo, there is an influential nation in the western hemisphere that has still not accredited the Honduran ambassador. It has even rejected proposed consuls. Is this Brazil? Mexico? Argentina?

No: it is the United States.

El Heraldo cites its own previous reporting on difficulties getting consuls approved because they are US residents or even are in the process of obtaining US citizenship. But Mario Canahuati, Foreign Secretary, is quoted as saying the problems are different:
Mario Canahuati said yesterday that "they are having problems" but for other reasons, for example, he cited the consul designated to occupy the position in Los Angeles. The problem is that she was discredited after the events of June 28, when ex president Manuel Zelaya Rosales was removed from power, since she still served in her position in the interim government of Roberto Micheletti.

Canahuati asserted that the remaining consuls would not have difficulties being approved. But he also acknowledged that the US has yet to approve Honduras' proposed ambassador.

Nor is the US alone. Canada, Peru, and Colombia-- all, like the US, counted as early supporters of recognition of the Lobo Sosa government-- have not yet approved proposed Honduran ambassadors.

Canahuati also clarified that Mexico has yet to re-establish relations, a point that has been confusing in the Honduran press coverage. Along with Mexico, Canahuati said Chile and Jamaica still hadn't "normalized the ties of friendship".

And things are still not going entirely the way Honduras wants with Spain, a major leader of European condemnation of the coup. According to El Heraldo, Canahuati said
there had been a meeting with the ambassador accredited to Honduras to find out the situation of the designated ambassador [to Spain], but he did not offer details of this meeting. Unofficially, it is known that Spain denied approval.

We cannot speculate about the reasons Spain, Mexico, Chile, and even the US have for being cautious about accepting diplomats proposed by the Lobo Sosa government. But what is clear is that, as the Honduran press has been emphasizing, all is not well in the Honduran diplomatic corps.

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