Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Ousted Honduran government urges US sanctions against coup leaders

New York - The foreign minister of the ousted government of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya called on the United States to impose sanctions on the de facto post-coup government in Tegucigalpa.

Zelaya was removed from power by Honduras' military in June for planning a referendum on changes to the constitution to allow him to seek reelection. He managed to return last month to Tegucigalpa and has taken refuge in the Brazilian embassy there.

The United Nations and international community have denounced the coup and continue to recognize the Zelaya government. Efforts to mediate a solution to the crisis with both side have yet to be effective.

Ousted Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas said in a press conference at UN headquarters that the international community should reject attempts by the de facto government to organize a presidential election, which had been set for late November before the coup. She called for Zelaya's restoration to power so he can complete his four- year term in January.

'Once again we call on the international community to remain steadfast and not to recognize the de facto regime,' Rodas said.

'The United States should apply direct sanctions against the perpetrators of the coup,' she said.'We are not asking for sanctions against a nation, but to isolate the perpetrators of the coup and make sure that they are legitimized.'

Rodas said bilateral sanctions have been applied by some countries and have been effective. She said 70 per cent of Honduras' exports go to the United States and the latter can impose bilateral punitive measures. The US has already suspended millions of dollars in aid to the Central American nation.

'The sanctions are not easy, but they are possible,' she said.

Rodas said the situation inside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa has worsened because of pressure from the de facto government. She claimed the embassy has been under 'constant siege' in past weeks since Zelaya took refuge there and surrounded by military sharp shooters and illuminated with floodlights.

She denounced violations of human rights and international conventions protecting foreign embassies by the de facto regime.

'The situation has worsened and is unacceptable,' she said.

From http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/americas/news/article_1506653.php/Ousted-Honduran-government-urges-sanctions-against-coup-leaders