Chavez, Leftist Latin American Leaders Back Zelaya

In the wake of Honduran’s military takeover, Leftist Latin American leaders have extended their support to the ousted President of the country, Manuel Zelaya.

Zelaya is the legitimate leader of Honduras, declared the leaders at an urgent meeting in neighbouring Nicaragua.

Protestors in Honduras disobeyed the overnight curfew and held rally in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

The curfew was imposed by interim President Roberto Micheletti just hours after he had been sworn in.

The coup and removal of Zelaya resulted amid power struggle triggered by president’s plans for constitutional change.

Zelaya, who had been in office since 2006, wanted to hold a referendum which could have led to an extension of his non-renewable four-year term in office.

Polls for the referendum had been due to open early on Sunday; but instead troops took him from the presidential palace and flew him out of the country.

In the meanwhile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, while speaking in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, expressed his opposition to the development in Honduras.

“We cannot allow a return to the past. We will not permit it,” Chavez said. “We are here to support, respecting the sovereignty of Honduras.”

However, he also threatened military action should the Venezuelan ambassador to Honduras be attacked.

Chavez spoke after talks with Zelaya, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

Zelaya called his ouster a plot “by a very voracious elite, an elite which wants only to keep this country [Honduras] isolated, in an extreme level of poverty.”

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