Monday, 19 October 2009

ALBA rejects forthcoming Honduran elections

Paola Flores reports in Associated Press

Leaders of a bloc of leftist Latin American governments urged the international community Saturday to reject the presidential election planned by Honduras' interim government next month.

The leaders of the Boliviarian Alternative group also denounced Colombia's plan to give the U.S. military expanded use of bases in that South American nation, calling it a threat to the region's security.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the two-day ALBA meeting, the leaders criticized the coup-installed government in Honduras and urged the world's nations to continue pressing for the reinstatement of ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

"No electoral process held under the coup-installed government, or the authorities that emerge from it, can be recognized by the international community," the statement said. It added that "it is fundamental to drive a diplomatic offensive and to promote forceful actions for the total re-establishment of the constitutional" order in Honduras.

On Friday, the nine-nation ALBA bloc — formed by socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez — approved more economic sanctions against Honduras to punish the interim government led by Roberto Micheletti.