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September 28, 2009

Honduras restricts liberties, breaks relations with Brazil, By DPA, From Monsters and Critics.com, Sep 28, 2009

Tegucigalpa - Honduras' de facto government overnight announced a decree restricting liberties in response to a call by ousted president Manuel Zelaya, who urged his supporters to march to the capital Tegucigalpa, local media reported Monday.

Zelaya made the call from the Brazilian embassy, where he took refuge on returning secretly to the Central American country a week ago.

Zelaya called on his supporters to stage a 'final offensive' to help him recover power and to march to the capital on Monday. That day marks three months from the June 28 coup that drove Zelaya into exile.

The de facto government headed by former congress speaker Roberto Micheletti said relations with Brazil were 'broken' in reciprocity at Brazil having closed the Honduran embassy there.

De facto Foreign Minister Carlos Lopez Contreras said Honduras was giving Brazil 10 days to hand Zelaya over or to grant him asylum.

The government decree, which was approved Saturday and made public late Sunday in a nationwide broadcast, authorizes police to dissolve non-authorized public meetings and demonstrations.

The government also banned acts against 'peace, public order and offensive to human dignity' and authorized the state telecommunications organ Conatel to suspend radio and television broadcasters.

Media close to Zelaya described the decree, which needs to be approved by parliament, as signalling the 'militarization' of Honduras.

The government wanted to close media supportive of Zelaya, said Esdras Amado Lopez and David Romero, directors of the pro-Zelaya Canal 36 and Radio Globo.

The Organization of American States (OAS) meanwhile protested the barring of its personnel from entering Honduras to prepare a visit of several Latin American foreign ministers and OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza.

'We deplore this decisión and regard it as incomprehensible, given that the Honduran de facto government itself had accepted' the two visits, Insulza commented.

The decisión hampered efforts to re-establish calm and to seek solutions to the political conflict in Honduras, Insulza said.

Meanwhile in Madrid, Spanish National Radio said Honduras had refused to allow the Spanish ambassador to return to the country unless Spain recognized the de facto government.



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