Jamaica supports ousted Zelaya

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaican Government has condemned the expulsion of Honduras President Manuel Zelaya by certain sections of the Honduras military.

Zelaya was said to be kidnapped by military personnel and taken to Costa Rica after he sacked the head of the army, General Romeo Vasquez, for refusing to help him organise a referendum.

Zelaya wanted a referendum to amend the constitution in order to extend his four-year term as president.

However, the Supreme Court had ruled the referendum illegal.

According to the BBC, Zelaya was arrested just before the start of the referendum.

Undemocratic

Kingston said the action taken by the military was undemocratic.

“The Government of Jamaica strongly condemns these actions, which are in breach of the principles of respect for the rule of law, human rights and constitutional order,” Foreign Minister Ken Baugh said in a press release.

“The Government of Jamaica maintains its full support for and recognition of President Zelaya and, therefore, calls for his immediate reinstatement,” he added.

Baugh also condemned the violence and called for normality to be restored to the country.

“In accordance with the relevant provisions of the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, we affirm our support for the OAS to contribute to restoring normality to the country and for the use of the good office of the OAS secretary general,” Baugh said.

Unfit to rule

The OAS Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, called an urgent meeting of the permanent council of the hemispheric institution yesterday at the OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, to discuss the issue.

Insulza demanded that the rebels reveal the location of the president and called on Hondurans, Latin America and the international community to condemn Zelaya’s forced exile.

Meanwhile, Venezuela said it was ready to take military action if its ambassador to Honduras was attacked. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has blamed the United States for Zelaya’s ouster, but Washington has denied being involved in the coup.

Following Sunday’s arrest of Zelaya, the Honduran Congress approved plans to investigate whether he should be declared unfit to rule.

In an interview with Spain’s El Pais newspaper, published yesterday, Zelaya said a plot to topple him had been thwarted after the US refused to back it.

His referendum has faced strong resistance from members of his Liberal Party.

One of his strongest critics, Speaker Roberto Micheletti, has been appointed to act as head of state by Congress.

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