Mercosur presidents expressed their most “energetic condemnation” of the Honduran coup and “total and full rejection” of the November 29th elections which represent a strong blow to “the democratic values of Latinamerica and the Caribbean”.
The statement at the end of the Mercosur summit held Tuesday in Montevideo was signed by Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kircher; Brazil’s Lula da Silva; Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo; Uruguay’s Tabare Vazquez and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
The five leaders also consider “unacceptable the grave violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms suffered by the Honduran people”.
Further on the statement says that “in light of failure to restore President Manuel Zelaya to the position for which he was democratically elected by the Honduran people, we want to express our total lack of recognition for the November 29th elections held by de facto government, which were undertaken in an unconstitutional, illegitimate and illegal atmosphere”.
The statement was read by Uruguayan president Vasquez at the end of the deliberations before the Mercosur chair was handed to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for the next six months,
The November 29th Honduran elections have divided Latinamerica. While condemnation of the June coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya is unanimous, United States together with Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru and possibly Mexico consider that the elections could open a way out for the political crisis and should be recognized as a step toward restoring democracy.
However the rest of the continent led by Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela do not accept the election results and insist in a return to the June 28th situation.
Honduras, one of Latinamerica’s poorest countries has been virtually paralyzed since the start of the crisis and has lost more than 200 million US dollars in frozen international aid and loans