Honduras News the 25th/ 8 / 2009

High-level delegation aims to end Honduras deadlock
AFP. August 24, 2009

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Seven foreign ministers from the Americas and a top regional official were in Honduras Monday in a bid to end the crisis set off by the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya almost two months ago.

The polarized Central American nation hit political deadlock after the June 28 military coup backed by the country’s courts and Congress.

The head of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza, arrived with the foreign ministers, including those of Canada, Argentina and Mexico, at an airbase near the capital, Tegucigalpa.

The official aim of the two-day visit was to convince the interim government of Roberto Micheletti to accept a proposal by conflict mediator and Costa Rican President Oscar Arias to reinstall Zelaya as president.

However, the defiant de facto leaders are still seeking support for their position that a constitutional succession, not a coup, took place in Honduras, because Zelaya violated the law by seeking to change the constitution.

The Supreme Court on Saturday rejected the Costa Rica-brokered deal and sternly warned that Zelaya faced arrest if he returned.

The foreign ministers of Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic are taking part in the latest mediation bid.

Foreign governments and observers from Venezuela to the United States have condemned the coup, but international pressure, including frozen aid and withdrawn ambassadors, has so far failed to impact the de facto leaders.

Masked intruders destroyed the transmitters of two pro-Zelaya radio stations — Radio Globo and Canal 36 — late Sunday, their journalists said Monday.

Radio Globo broadcast from an emergency transmitter in parts of the capital on Monday, while Canal 36 was off the air.

Hundreds of taxi drivers blocked streets Monday to demand Zelaya’s return, before being moved on by police and soldiers.

Several thousand protesters were due to take part in further street protests on Monday, a union leader told AFP.

Zelaya was originally elected as a moderate but took a sharp turn to the left while in office, aligning himself with Venezuela’s firebrand leftist President Hugo Chavez.


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