Local Hondurans Seek U.S. Condemnation Of Coup

After a day of uncertainty and frantic phone calls home, Boston's Honduran community is responding to this weekend's coup d'etat in their home country.

The Honduran military ousted President Manuel Zaleya on Sunday, amid low popularity rates and concerns he might try to suspend the rule limiting presidents to a single term.

In Boston, members of a group called Proyecto Hondureno are working to get the state's congressional delegation to condemn the coup. They've also joined a national effort to convince President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to support U.N. resolutions condemning the coup, explained Proyecto Hondureno coordinator Angel Meza.

"We're asking them not to recognize any person to arrived to power in Honduras by any coup d'etat, and we are asking to help restore the elected government of Manuel Zaleya to its position," Meza said, adding that his organization does not sanction military intervention.

He said that the local Honduran community, which he estimates to have about 15,000 members, is dealing with the shock of the coup.

"People are really upset about it," he said. "It's a step back for Honduras and for our community. The fact that it's a coup d'etat... we thought that was a ways behind our political system."

Adding to the stress, said Meza, is the confusion that comes from limited information. Many locals have family in rural areas, which receive little media coverage.

"The government is saying they're not going to do anything repressive, but we don't know," he said. "Nobody knows for sure what is going on in the interior part of the country, where there was a lot of support for the government from poor people."

Meza said that locals have been making phone calls and following independent sources of news on blogs and other web sites. He said that the community is not making much use of Twitter, which altered coverage of political turmoil in Iran.

Proyecto Hondereno hopes to join other organizations in an as-yet-unscheduled demonstration on Thursday.

"Honduras is a very tiny country, and very poor," Meza said. "If the international community puts on a lot of pressure, we can get Manuel Zaleya back."

This program aired on June 29, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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