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Honduran President Talks About Immigration and Trade


Honduran President Zelaya talks about immigration and commercial opportunities

Washington, D.C., June 6, 2006 - Honduran President José Manuel Zelaya told VOA's Spanish Service today in an interview that he and President George Bush discussed their concerns about immigration reform and that Bush offered assurances that he is committed to a bill that treats foreigners with respect while upholding U.S. laws.

"Immigration should have more than an impact on American legislation. You have to find the origin of the cause," said Zelaya. "And the cause is in the development processes of Latin America, Central America, and Mexico. By way of commercially opening it up, it may succeed to attract foreign investment, decreasing immigration, delinquency, and poverty of our nations."

President Zelaya told VOA that he traveled to Washington to discuss ways to expand commercial opportunities between the United States and Honduras and to talk about the Temporary Protection Status (TPS). The Honduran President has backed the Central American Free Trade Agreement that eliminates trade barriers with the United States but provoked protests throughout the region.

Speaking of his meeting with President Bush, Zelaya said that he is satisfied with their conversation and with "the frankness with which he [Bush] has spoken about the solutions to the common problems we face in the Western Hemisphere."

VOA's entire interview with President Zelaya will be broadcast on television Friday during VOA's weekly current affairs television program Foro Interamericano (Inter-American Forum). Excerpts are airing throughout the week on VOA's radio and television programs, including the weekday television news program Desde Washington (From Washington), which features news briefs on the top stories of the day, and the radio programs Buenos Días América (Good Morning America) and Buenos Noches América (Good Evening America). Additional information and programming can be found at: http://www.VOANews.com/Spanish /.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or E-Mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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