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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Belize Issues Support for Ousted Honduran President

posted (June 29, 2009)
The Government of Belize has issued a statement saying it supports Honduran President Manuel Zelaya who was ousted in a coup on Sunday. The statement says, “Belize, in full solidarity with SICA member states, recognizes President Zelaya as the only constitutional president of Honduras and demands his immediate reinstatement.”

Support for president Zelaya has come from throughout the Americas, most prominently, the Alba nations, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, as well as the US and the Organization of the American States. Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, was very firm in his statement declaring, “we will not accept a return to the past in the continent,” and “in our region, military taken part in coups are not accepted.” The OAS has called a special emergency session of all member states tomorrow and Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington is expected to attend.

Yesterday soldiers stormed into the president’s palace in Honduras’ capital and forced president Zelaya, into exile in Costa Rica. Zelaya was trying to amend the constitution to allow re-election and the military and judiciary opposed it. Their decision to oust him has sparked crisis and turmoil throughout the Americas as the coup is being strongly condemned. While regional leaders are all demanding the reinstatement of Zelaya, the Honduran Supreme Court and National Congress both support the military’s actions, and claims they were defending democracy.

Amidst the chaos, a new interim president was sworn in, Roberto Micheletti. When we tried to contact the Honduran Ambassador here in Belize, he was unavailable for comment until Monday of next week.

The last census showed that persons born in Hondurans form the second largest bloc of Belize’s foreign born population.

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