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Bishops back deposing of Honduras president: CEN 7.10.09 p 6. July 20, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Honduras, Politics.
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The Roman Catholic Church has thrown its support behind opposition leaders in Honduras, and has backed the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya.

Speaking on national television on July 4 the Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez said the removal of President Zelaya from power by the Army, which was acting upon the orders of the Supreme Court, was lawful.

On June 28, a warrant was issued by the Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s Office for the arrest of President Zelaya charging him with treason. In the early morning hours, soldiers escorted the pajama-clad president from the presidential palace to the airport, and deported him to Costa Rica.

The confusion surrounding the coup has prompted a mixed international reaction, with the Obama administration in the United States siding with Raul Castro of Cuba, Daniel Noriega of Nicaragua and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela calling for the return of Honduras’ left-wing president. However, Honduras civil and government leaders have moved firmly against Zelaya, who had sought to overturn the constitution forbidding him a second term in office.

Cardinal Rodríguez called upon the Organization of American States (OAS) and other world leaders to reconsider their support of Zelaya.

On July 3, Honduras withdrew from the OAS after a failed attempt by its president José Miguel Insulza to broker a return to power for Zelaya.

“’To the Organization of American States, please pay attention to everything illegal that was happening before the 28th of June,” Cardinal Rodríguez said. “This is a community that will define our own destiny without any unilateral pressures. We renounce any blockades, which will only hurt the poor.”

The Anglican Bishop of Honduras, the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen writes the situation in the countryside is calm, with tensions centered in the capital, while missionaries in the capital tell The Church of England Newspaper the situation on the ground is confused. In an email sent to the Diocese of Central Florida, the Rev. Richard Kunz wrote that on July 5 supporters and opponents of the ousted president took to the streets.

Speaking via radio broadcast from a plane en route to Honduras from Venezuela, Zelaya told supporters to make ready for his return. The army responded by parking trucks on the runway of the Tegucigalpa airport. Zelaya’s plane circled the city, but then flew on to El Salvador.

Fr Kunz wrote that as the day progressed, “tensions mounted. At one point, some of the demonstrators made an attempt to break through the fence and get onto the runway. There was stone throwing and tear gas and confusion, and also some shots.”

However, the “flare-up” of violence was brief, he wrote, and the “demonstrators remained peaceful for the rest of the time.” Fr. Kunz added that those trying to follow events on Honduran television or radio “were often frustrated. Frequently the present government took over the airwaves, blocking all other news. And when news was on, it was amazing to me just how much coverage Michael Jackson got.”

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1. Honduras » Honduras under siege | Honduran Gringo - July 21, 2009

[…] Bishops back deposing of Honduras president: CEN 7.10.09 p 6. « CongerThe Anglican Bishop of Honduras, the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen writes the situation in the countryside is calm, with tensions centered in the capital, while missionaries in the capital tell The Church of England Newspaper the situation on … […]


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