Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wire: Honduras Pulls Out of OAS, Sidesteps Obama

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, July 4, 2009 -- Newswire services Saturday reported that the government of Honduras says it no longer recognizes the charter of the Organization of American States and is withdrawing its membership from the group.

Honduras made the announcement late Friday, a day before the OAS was due to vote on suspending the Central American country, following its refusal to adhere to demands by OAS to return to office President Manuel Zelaya, who was removed by officials for treason and abuse of power.

The OAS has called an emergency meeting in Washington on Saturday.

On orders of the Honduran Supreme Court, the Honduran military removed President Manuel Zelaya from power on June 28, the day he planned to hold a referendum on a constitutional change that would allow him to seek another term.

The Supreme Court of Honduras told OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza Friday that its decision to oust Mr. Zelaya is irreversible, and that the leftist leader would be arrested if he returned home.

Opponents of Zelaya maintain he was overstepping the limits of democracy with his drive to extend the single four-year term of presidents to allow re-election.

Several Latin American presidents, including Hugo Chavez and his allies in Ecuador and Bolivia, have extended term limits and shattered safeguards that were often written into constitutions after decades of dictatorship in the region.

The Obama administration is showing support for Zelaya's restoration in opposition to the actions taken by Honduran officials to preserve constitutional democracy in the country.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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