Leftist LatAm bloc rejects Honduras election

COCHABAMBA, Bolivia – Leaders of a bloc of leftist Latin American governments urged the international community Saturday to reject the presidential election planned by Honduras’ interim government next month.

The leaders of the Boliviarian Alternative group also denounced Colombia’s plan to give the U.S. military expanded use of bases in that South American nation, calling it a threat to the region’s security.

In a joint statement issued at the end of the two-day ALBA meeting, the leaders criticized the coup-installed government in Honduras and urged the world’s nations to continue pressing for the reinstatement of ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

“No electoral process held under the coup-installed government, or the authorities that emerge from it, can be recognized by the international community,” the statement said. It added that “it is fundamental to drive a diplomatic offensive and to promote forceful actions for the total re-establishment of the constitutional” order in Honduras.

On Friday, the nine-nation ALBA bloc — formed by socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez — approved more economic sanctions against Honduras to punish the interim government led by Roberto Micheletti.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said the bloc urged Zelaya’s supporters to peacefully resist the coup-installed government. But Chavez several times argued that people have a right to rebel.

The ALBA leaders also said they rejected the “installation of military bases of the United States in Latin America and the Caribbean,” saying they “endanger the peace, threaten democracy and facilitate the hegemonic interference” of the U.S. in the region’s affairs.

“The government of Colombia must reconsider the installation of these military bases,” the statement said.

Chavez called the bases a “threat to all of us.”

The ALBA leaders also called for an “International Tribunal of Climate Justice” that would presumably seek to oblige rich countries to pay “damages” for their disproportionate consumption of fossil fuels.

They urged the U.N. climate change conference in December to “approve mechanisms to compensate countries that preserve, protect and conserve their forests.”

The leaders also said they will explore creating state-sponsored food and mining multinational companies, and agreed to start moving toward an alternate common currency for trade among member states starting next year in order to lessen their reliance on the U.S. dollar.

 Source: Associated Press

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