Honduran Military Coup Fueled by Elite Interests

1 Jul 2009

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Early on Sunday morning, 28 June 2009, 100 soldiers escorted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, from his bed to an airplane, which flew him to Costa Rica, in a military coup that is supported by the country's powerful political elite.

The president wasn't the only victim of the coup. Some of his cabinet members were also kidnapped by the military.

Inter Press Service reports that the coup was sparked because Zelaya planned to hold a non-binding popular referendum on Sunday, asking voters whether or not to hold a formal vote in November on creating a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution. This put him at loggerheads with the Supreme Court, the military and Congress.

Honduras' political elite resorted to the coup to ensure the continuation of their power and halt reforms being attempted by the progressive leader, contends Miguel Tinker Salas of the Latin American Studies Department at Pomona College.

The coup has been widely condemned as undemocratic by the Organisation of America States (OAS), other Latin American leaders, the European Union as well as the United States of America.

US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, issued a statement saying "The action taken against Honduran President Mel Zelaya violates the precepts of the Inter-America Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all."

Meanwhile the BBC reports that Zelaya will return to Honduras on Thursday, 02 July 2009, together with the head of the OAS to reclaim the presidency.

Editor's Note: For more coverage on this issue, you may also be interested in reading "A Few Thoughts on the Coup in Honduras" and "Obama Must Strongly and Unequivocally Condemn the Coup in Honduras."

You can find this page online at http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/148.19.

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