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Venezuela to OAS: Increase International Pressure on the Honduran Dictatorship

By Kiraz Janicke
September 29, 2009 -

Venezuela's Ambassador to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Roy Chaderton Matos, criticised the OAS in Washington Monday for its "cautious and moderate" stance towards the coup regime of Roberto Micheletti in Honduras.

"It is necessary to further increase the pressure of the international community against the dictatorship in Honduras, and for each country separately to also exert pressure," in order to reinstate the democratically elected president of Honduras Manuela Zelaya, said Chaderton during a special session of the Permanent Council of the OAS on Honduras.

In particular the Venezuelan diplomat criticised the "respect" of members of the OAS towards the dictatorship in Honduras and its leader, Roberto Micheletti.

"Given what is happening, the factors that explain the survival of this de facto regime are the dictatorship of the media and the respect it has had from members of this organisation, who have called on Zelaya to behave well and glorified Micheletti," said Chaderton.

As the coup regime decreed a state of emergency on Monday morning, suspending constitutional guarantees and shutting down critical radio and television stations, interim US Ambassador to the OAS, Lewis Amselem, launched an attack on Zelaya during the OAS debate, saying his "return to Honduras is irresponsible and foolish and it doesn't serve to the interest of the people nor those who seek the restoration of democratic order in Honduras."

"The president should stop acting as though he were starring in an old movie," Amselem added.

U.S. state department spokesperson Phillip Crowley defended Amselem's comments on Tuesday saying, "What he said yesterday is fully consistent with our concern that, you know, both sides need to take constructive action, affirmative action."

Despite more than 10 hours of debate, the 33 member hemispheric organisation failed to reach consensus on a resolution on the Honduran crisis, with the U.S., Canada, Peru, Costa Rica and the Bahamas abstaining on the question of whether to recognise the outcome of the November elections in Honduras which will be presided over the coup regime.

The majority of countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean have insisted they will not recognise the results saying that free and fair elections under the coup regime are impossible.

Instead, a short statement was read demanding guarantees for the life of President Zelaya and respect for the "inviolability" of the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, where he has been staying since his return on September 21.

Shortly before the end of the OAS meeting, the coup regime of Honduras announced that it would invite an OAS delegation to the country, only one day after expelling three OAS representatives.

Micheletti also announced that he would "revise" or "modify" the state of emergency decree by the end of the week, after the Honduran Congress called on the coup government to repeal the measure. Opposition radio and televisions stations, Radio Globo and Cholusat, raided by the military on Monday remained closed in Honduras on Tuesday.

The OAS mission is expected to travel to Tegucigalpa on Friday.

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