Government was also yesterday investigating whether any Trinidad and Tobago nationals are currently in Honduras. Up to press time there was no information about any locals in Honduras.
Trinidad and Tobago has no diplomatic ties with Honduras and its only mission in Central America is in Costa Rica where Zelaya is in exile.
Yesterday, Hondurans protested Zelaya’s ouster by burning tyres and blocking streets around the presidential palace in the capital city Tegucigalpa. At one point riot police fired tear gas canisters into the protestors. Reporters said at least five persons were detained by the police.
Manning yesterday dispatched Foreign Affairs Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon to attend today’s emergency general assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Washington DC. The OAS is expected to take whatever actions it deems appropriate in accordance with the Charter of the OAS, international law and the provisions of the Inter-American Democratic Charter regarding the coup against Zelaya.
On Sunday, the OAS Permanent Council condemned the coup, demanded the “immediate, safe and unconditional return” of Zelaya to his constitutional functions and refused to recognise the new Honduran government headed by Congressional President Roberto Micheletti.
“We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the democratically elected president there,” US President Barack Obama said yesterday. Obama added the US will work with other nations to resolve this matter peacefully.
In a joint statement, the Venezuelan and Cuban embassies expressed their governments’ “unconditional solidarity” with Zelaya and rejection of the new Honduran regime. The statement came after Venezuela President Hugo Chavez held talks yesterday in Managua with Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega and Ecuador President Rafael Correa about the coup.
“We’re ready to support the rebellion of the Honduran people,” Chavez said. Venezuela’s military has been placed on alert. Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva warned that Honduras risks isolation from the rest of the hemisphere.
The new Honduran regime has vowed to remain in power despite the mounting worldwide opposition against it. Micheletti insisted there was no coup and “transparent general elections will be held in November.” Speaking with reporters at the Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s yesterday, University of Oxford professor Dr Mads Qvortrup said Zelaya was ousted before a referendum was held to determine whether he could seek another term in office.
“A referendum if conducted in a fair sort of way is the ultimate voice of the people,” he said.
Opposition Leader Basdeo Panday condemned the coup as well but hoped that “Manning will learn from what is happening in Honduras.” Panday said when the democratic channels of a people are blocked, “they will resort to violence.”