Where: Tegucigalpa, Honduras
July 5, 2009 : President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras in Central America was removed from office on June 28, 2009. At dawn on that day, around 300 troops went to his home and asked him to surrender at gunpoint. Mr. Zelaya was sent into exile in Costa Rica. Later, Mr. Roberto Micheletti, the speaker of Congress and second in line to the presidency, was sworn in as interim leader.
President Zelaya had plans to hold a public consultation on June 28 to seek the people’s views on making changes in the constitution. His critics saw his actions as part of a move to remove the current one-term limit on a serving president, and to pave the way for his possible re-election. The ouster of President Zelaya is the biggest political crisis in Central America in years. Military takeovers (coups) and political upheaval were common in Central America for much of the 20th Century. Until the mid-1980s the military dominated political life in Honduras. Mr. Zelaya’s removal is the first in the Central American region since 1993. Recent developments have provoked worldwide condemnation. The USA has put an end to all joint military operations and the World Bank has suspended financial aid.
The Organization of American States demanded Mr. Zelaya’s immediate reinstatement, and announced that it would wait till July 4 before taking any action. When the deadline passed, the 35-member organisation held an emergency meeting in Washington and voted to expel Honduras from its membership.
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