Tuesday, September 29, 2009

President of Honduras Addresses U.N. General Assembly . . . By Phone


Adapted from a United Nations press release . . .


With a “dictatorship” having taken over Honduras, the recent coup d’état is oppressing the people of the Latin American nation, ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya has told the General Assembly, calling for the assistance of the United Nations in restoring the rule of law. 

Mr. Zelaya – who is seeking refuge at the Brazilian embassy in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa – spoke by telephone to the Assembly during the address of Foreign Minister Patricia Isabel Rodas Baca to the annual high-level debate. 
“I call on the United Nations to give assistance to reverse this coup and to ensure that democracy is available to all nations of the world,” he said last night. 
Mr. Zelaya, who was ousted by the military in June, also appealed to “civilized nations of the world to maintain a firm position against barbarity.” 
Current authorities have shut down media outlets, a move he characterized as a “serious crime.”  
Civilized nations, he said, must take a stand against barbarism, he stressed, appealing to the United Nations to reverse the coup and ensure that democracy is spread to all of the world’s nations. 
“No matter how small we are, we deserve no less than any other society,” Ms. Rodas Baca told heads of State and government gathered at UN Headquarters, paying tribute to Hondurans for their efforts to find a solution to the crisis. 
On Friday, the Security Council stressed the need to ensure the security of the Brazilian embassy where Mr. Zelaya has been holed up for the past week. 
The top UN political official warned yesterday that any action taken against the embassy in would be a disaster.  “I must say the situation there took a seriously bad turn with the threats on the Brazilian embassy,” Under-Secretary-General B. Lynn Pascoe told a news conference, referring to published reports that the de facto government has given the embassy 10 days to decide whether to grant Mr. Zelaya asylum or hand him over. 

“It’s a very serious problem for all of us. It would be a disaster if any action were taken to violate international law on the inviolability of the embassies. We’re also concerned to see the worsening situation as the de facto government has been turning up the screws internally, closing media outlets and also taking state of emergency measures against the population. 


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