Crisis in Honduras This Weekend! [Updated,12:00 PM 6/28/09]

caption: Supporters of deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya confront soldiers in an armored car near the presidential house in Tegucigalpa on Jun, 28, 2009. [Source: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images]

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has denounced what he refers to as an attempted coup against his administration and calls on the people of Honduras to defend the rule of law.

The ruling oligarchy of Honduras is represented by the country's Supreme Court and Congress, and it is defended by the armed forces. These forces are in conflict with the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, because he supports major constitutional reforms that would give more voice to the poor majority. A referendum vote to be cast Sunday asks the population if they want to vote on reforms this November. However, oligarch-owned media in Honduras say Zelaya wants to change the constitution to allow his reelection.

This week Zelaya fired the head of the armed forces when the military refused his demand to distribute 15,000 ballot boxes for Sunday's referendum. The Supreme Court ordered Zelaya to reinstate the general even though they do not have the constitutional mandate to do this; Zelaya refused, and the Congress began investigating him for this refusal.

But Zelaya enjoys popular support in the country since raising the minimum wage, eliminating the monopoly on petroleum imports and joining The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, a fair trade and solidarity alliance that includes Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua.

US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley stated they are "concerned" about the breakdown in the dialogue among Honduran politicians over the proposed June 28 poll.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on parties in Honduras on Friday to show restraint in this situation. Ban expressed concerned about the 'political and institutional tensions' in one of Latin America's poorest nation and called for restraint by all concerned in order to prevent further escalation.

The capital Tegucigalpa saw hundreds of troops deployed last week in an attempt to avoid potential disturbances, a move that some feared indicative of a possible military coup. They have since returned to their barracks.

This weekend will mark a critical moment in the country's political future.


UPDATE: 12:00 pm, 6/28/09, The military arrested Zelaya this morning. He seeks asylum in Costa Rica. For updated information: A Call for Prayers from Honduras. Military Arrests President. He Seeks Asylum.


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