Ousted Honduran president calls for uprising

July 15th, 2009 - 1:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Guatemala City, July 15 (EFE) Ousted Honduran President Mel Zelaya has urged the people of his country to revolt against the “interim” government that took power after the June 28 military coup in Tegucigalpa.
“Insurrection is a right of the people that is deposited in Article 3 of the constitution of Honduras, and the Hondurans should make their constitutional rights count,” Zelaya said in a press conference Tuesday after talks with Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom.

The Honduran leader vowed to return home soon.

“I have not surrendered, nor shall I surrender. I will return to the country in the shortest possible time. I don’t want to mention the time or the day, so as not to alert the opposition forces, whom we know are criminals,” Zelaya said.

He asked the people of Honduras “not to abandon the streets, the only space they haven’t taken from us”.

“No one is committing a crime by protesting peacefully under a de facto government,” he said. “Strikes, demonstrations, the takeovers (of public buildings), civil disobedience are a necessary process when the democratic order is violated in a country.”

He called for uprising just hours after Costa Rican President Oscar Arias announced that he had summoned representatives of Zelaya and the junta led by former Honduran Congress speaker Roberto Micheletti for a second round of talks aimed at resolving the crisis.

Arias, who is mediating the discussions, told reporters that he asked the respective delegations to be in San Jose Saturday.

The international community has been demanding Zelaya’s unconditional reinstatement.

Arias’ announcement came a day after Zelaya said if the talks in Costa Rica didn’t produce results this week he would proceed “with other measures”.

“We give an ultimatum to the coup-plotting regime to comply, by no later than the next meeting that will be held this week in San Jose, Costa Rica, with the mandates expressed by international organisations and the Honduran constitution,” Zelaya said.

While declining to specify the “other measures” he might use to regain office, Zelaya said Monday that the “heroic people” of Honduras were ready to remove the junta from power and cited the constitutional provision legitimising insurrection.

Like Arias, the US State Department responded to Zelaya’s ultimatum by calling for patience.

“All parties in the talks should give this process some time. Don’t set any artificial deadlines,” department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday in Washington.

Zelaya, who was dragged from the presidential palace by soldiers June 28 and sent into exile, said the Micheletti junta is trying to delay the Arias-mediated talks.

The US has frozen aid to Honduras, while the UN and the European Union have demanded Zelaya’s reinstatement. The Organisation of American States has suspended Honduras in response to the events of June 28.

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