Obama "Deeply Concerned" After Honduran President Overthrown

Illustration for article titled Obama Deeply Concerned After Honduran President Overthrown

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in an apparent coup today, arrested by soldiers and exiled to Costa Rica, where he told reporters that the soldiers who overthrew him were "creating a monster they will not be able to contain."

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According to the Associated Press, Zelaya "was awakened Sunday by gunfire and detained while still in his pajamas, hours before a constitutional referendum many saw as an attempt by him to stay in power beyond the one-term limit." He says he will still serve out his term, which ends in 2010, and that "Only the people can take away or give me power."

Meanwhile, Honduras has already named a new provisional president, Roberto Micheletti, who had previously been the president of the Congress, who claims that his new position is "the result of an absolutely legal transition process." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton disagrees, stating that the coup "violates the precepts of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and thus should be condemned by all," while President Obama has released a statement noting that "any existing tensions and disputes must be resolved peacefully through dialogue free from any outside interference."

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Honduran President Ousted In Coup [MSNBC]
Honduran President Is Ousted In Coup [NYTimes]
Honduran Congress Names Provisional President [CNN]

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DISCUSSION

ASmallTurnip
A Small Turnip

I lived for a year in Tegucigalpa, and it really distresses me to hear about this. When I was there in 2004, things weren't all rosebuds and peaches, but it was steady. No drama, apart from the odd garment-worker's strike. Honduras is a country that is so often forgotten - it's not as tourist-friendly as Costa Rica, but it's equally beautiful, and the culture is as rich and ancient as any other in Central America. I hate that the impression most people will get from this story is that it's a shithole filled with violence and corruption and injustice.

I mean, it is those things. But it's also so much more.

Poor old Tegus.