Latin leaders unite against junta in Honduras
Leftists are urging Hondurans rise up against the coup leaders while conservatives denounce Sunday's ouster of President Zelaya.
Leaders of Latin America's left, right, and center met in the Nicaraguan capital Monday to speak in one voice of support for deposed Honduran President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya, who was ousted by military force Sunday.Skip to next paragraph
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The group of presidents and representatives of 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries roundly condemned Sunday's coup and announced a series of economic and political sanctions against Honduras as reprisal for what they're calling the illegitimate installation of a "usurper" government.
Brazil and the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), a regional leftist trade bloc, announced the removal of their ambassadors to Honduras, while neighboring Central American countries announced a 48-hour embargo on overland trade. All said they would never recognize the de-facto Honduran government, and called for the immediate and "unconditional" reinstitution of Mr. Zelaya.
Zelaya, a wealthy rancher who has championed the poor, said late Monday that he would accept an offer by Organization of American States Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza to accompany him back to Honduras. He said he wanted to go on Thursday, after attending a meeting of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to seek support from its 192 member nations.
Leftist leaders call on Hondurans to rise up
The countries of ALBA called for "insurrection" in Honduras, urging civilians and lower ranks within the military to rise up against the coup leaders.
"We will do everything to overthrow this government," Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez thundered. "We have to support the rebellion in Honduras."
Mr. Chávez, who himself led a failed 1992 coup attempt in Venezuela – seven years before being elected democratically – called the Honduran coup leaders "puppets" and "gorillas." Following the brief detention and alleged beating of the Venezuelan Ambassador to Honduras on Sunday, Chávez warned the coup leaders that if they touch his envoy again it would be "cause for war."
Regional leaders find unity