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Ousted Honduran President Visits Venezuela
Posted: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

By Tamara Pearson
March 09, 2010 -

Merida, March 2nd, 2010 ( During a visit to Venezuela on Friday and Saturday, deposed Honduran president Manuel Zelaya met with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and spoke at the extraordinary congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

Chavez and Zelaya met privately on Friday night and coming out of that meeting Foreign Affairs minister Nicolas Maduro told the press that they had decided that Zelaya would direct the political council of Petrocaribe, the Caribbean energy integration organization that Venezuela initiated in 2005.

Speaking at the PSUV congress, Zelaya said, "You have resisted everything, you have overcome an extremely conservative society, you have created a Latin American agenda, you have given freedom and struggle a place."

"I'm inspired by you, the Bolivarian revolution," he said.

Celia Flores, vice-president of the PSUV, welcomed Zelaya and said that once again they expressed their solidarity with the Honduran people.

"Today we are with [Zelaya] in that we don't recognise any government in Honduras that is a product of a de facto government," she said.

Hortensia Zelaya, daughter of Zelaya, also spoke at the conference. She said the union of the peoples of Latin America is a step forward to show that "the socialist wave will keep growing... and they won't be able to shut us up."

In an interview on the program Dossier, on Venezuelan Television (VTV), Manuel Zelaya said that petroleum was the real reason behind the coup against himself, because his government had decided to end with the monopoly that transnational petroleum companies, Shell, Exxon, and Texaco had in Honduras.

He said the companies had a "corruption pact" in which Honduras was paying the companies 60 million dollars a year, and he asked the companies to change their selling prices.

In June last year Zelaya was removed by a military coup. He then returned clandestinely to the country in September and took refuge in the Brazilian embassy. Later, Porfirio Lobo was elected president under conditions of widespread repression.

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