30 Jun 2009

Latin American leaders declare support for ousted president

5:29 am on 30 June 2009

Left-wing Latin American leaders have declared their support for the Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who has been ousted in an army coup.

At an urgent meeting in Nicaragua, they declared Mr Zelaya to be the legitimate leader of Honduras.

The Organization of American States has demanded Zelaya's immediate return, saying no other government would be recognized.

In Honduras, protesters defied a curfew, to hold a rally in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

The curfew for Sunday and Monday night was imposed by interim President Roberto Micheletti after he was sworn in.

The deposal of Mr Zelaya came amid a power struggle over his plans for constitutional change. He came to power in 2006.

The Obama administration has called him the only legitimate president.

Honduras is a major coffee producer and is expected to export some 3.22 million 60-kg bags in the 2008-2009 harvest season. Ports and roads remained open on Monday.