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Fidel Castro calls on U.S. to withdraw troops from Honduras

RIA Novosti

13:0217/07/2009 MOSCOW, July 17 (RIA Novosti) - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has called on the United States to withdraw its troops from Honduras to ease the situation following the recent coup in the Central American state.

The Honduran military arrested President Manuel Zelaya and flew him to Costa Rica on June 28, the day polls were due to open for a nonbinding referendum on extending the president's nonrenewable four-year term of office.

The United States, which has an airbase in Honduras, has repeatedly condemned the coup. It called off military cooperation with Honduras on July 1, although it continues to use the base.

"The only correct decision at this moment is to demand the U.S. authorities stop interfering and providing military assistance to coup leaders and withdraw their troops from Honduras," Cuban media reported citing Castro as saying in his article.

He added that "the civil coup in Honduras has created a really complicated situation in Latin America, which cannot be resolved by traps, cunning and lies."

"New details of U.S. involvement [in the coup] emerge daily and it [the coup] will result in a broad resonance across the whole Latin America," the 82-year-old former Cuban leader said.

Last Sunday Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez also called on the United States to withdraw its "gringo" troops from its airbase in Honduras. On Tuesday, Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the United States of being behind the military coup in Honduras.

No country has formally recognized the interim government of Honduras, led by former parliamentary speaker Roberto Micheletti.

The first round of talks to resolve the political crisis in Honduras, was held in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose, on July 9 and July 10, and produced no results. Zelaya and Micheletti have so far refused to hold one-on-one talks but had separate meetings with Costa Rican President Oscar Arias. Another round of talks is expected on Saturday.


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