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Honduras refuses to restore leader

Sat., July 4, 2009

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras rebuffed a personal appeal from the Americas’ top international diplomat Friday, refusing to reinstate President Manuel Zelaya and setting the stage for a dramatic showdown if the ousted leader returns to reclaim power this weekend.

Jose Miguel Insulza, who heads the Organization of American States, said the hemispheric body would decide today whether to suspend Honduras, a move that could lead to further sanctions against one of Latin America’s poorest countries and encourage other organizations and countries to halt aid and loans.

Zelaya was ousted in a military-backed coup Sunday and flown into exile, but the world community has rallied around him to demand his return to office.

“We wanted to ask that this situation be reversed,” Insulza said meeting with Supreme Court President Jorge Rivas, the attorney general and other political leaders. “Unfortunately, one must say that there appears to be no willingness to do this.”


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