UK condemns Central American coup


By Ian Dunt

Britain has condemned a coup in the Central American state of Honduras, as tensions across the region ramp up to a possible war footing.

Left-leaning president Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by the army over the weekend, after he sought to expand presidential terms to over the current four year limit.

Leftist Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez - an ally of president Zelaya - launched a strongly worded attack on the coup, and said he was prepared to respond militarily if his envoy was attacked.

Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa also said he was prepared to send troops if his country's diplomats, or those of his allies, were attacked.

"The UK condemns the expulsion of president Zelaya and calls for the restoration of democratic, constitutional government in Honduras," said Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant.

"We support the Organisation of American States' call supporting the rule of law and are deeply concerned about the deployment of military personnel onto the streets of Tegucigalpa."

The Foreign Office warned British citizens in the country to remain indoors.

"We advise British nationals in Honduras to stay at home, away from places of public protest, and to keep abreast of the situation by monitoring local media and the FCO travel advice."

President Zelaya is part of an arc of left-wing leaders in Central and South America, but he does not, as in president Chavez's case, have the support of the army.


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