Honduras’ Leftist President Gets the Boot
Posted on Jun 28, 2009
President Manuel Zelaya won a free trip to Costa Rica on Sunday, courtesy of his nation’s military. The Honduran president was ousted after attempting to hold an unofficial referendum on extending presidential term limits, over the objections of the Honduran Supreme Court and Congress.
Both President Barack Obama and President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who is an ally of Zelaya, condemned the coup, with the prior urging calm and the latter threatening to invade.
Zelaya, who took office in 2006 and is limited by the constitution to a four-year term that ends in early 2010, had angered the army, courts and Congress by pushing for an unofficial public vote on Sunday to gauge support for his plan to hold a November referendum on allowing presidential re-election.
Speaking on Venezuelan state television, Chavez—who has long championed the left in Latin America—said he had put his troops on alert over the Honduran coup and would do everything necessary to abort the coup against his close ally.
AP photo / Kent Gilbert
Honduras’ President Manuel Zelaya at a press conference at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Zelaya said soldiers rousted him out of bed, beat his bodyguards and arrested him in his pajamas before flying him out of the country. Honduras’ Congress has voted to accept what it claims is a letter of resignation from Zelaya, who said the document is a fake.