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World Briefing / Guatemala

Coup target cites right to 'rise up'

July 15, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya said the Honduran people "have the right to insurrection" against the interim government that forced him out of the country.

The remarks appeared to pave the way for a further escalation of the conflict in Honduras, where Zelaya's supporters have staged massive marches demanding his return and one person has been killed in clashes.

Speaking at a news conference in Guatemala City, Zelaya said that Hondurans had the right to demonstrate, strike and even rise up against the government of Roberto Micheletti, who was named by Congress to replace Zelaya.

"Nobody owes allegiance to a usurper government that took power by arms, and the people have the right to insurrection and to oppose those measures," Zelaya said, adding that "insurrection is a legitimate process that forms part of the highest concepts of democratic sentiment."

Zelaya was toppled by a military-backed coup June 28 and flown out of the country.

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