Monday, June 29, 2009

Brazil's Lula calls for Zelaya return in Honduras

SAO PAULO, June 29 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva condemned on Monday the military coup in Honduras and said Brazil would only recognize a government headed by deposed leader Manuel Zelaya.

"We cannot accept or recognize any new government other than President Zelaya, because he was voted into office, complying with the rules of democracy," Lula said in his weekly radio address.
"This is the only way we can have relations with Honduras," he added. "If Honduras does not change its stance, it's going to end up totally isolated, surrounded by an enormous contingent of democratic countries."

The Honduran army ousted and exiled Zelaya on Sunday in Central America's first military coup since the Cold War, after his efforts to lift presidential term limits were rejected by the country's Congress, Supreme Court and military.

The coup was widely condemned on both sides of the Atlantic, with governments from Venezuela and the United States to Spain and France all calling for the immediate return of democracy in Honduras.

(Reporting by Todd Benson, editing by Vicki Allen)

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