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Bolivian president says U.S. behind Honduras coup

RIA Novosti

13:03 14/07/2009 MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Bolivian President Evo Morales has accused the United States of being behind the military coup in Honduras, Latin American media reported on Tuesday.

The military arrested Honduran 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 has repeatedly condemned the coup.

"I have first-hand information that the empire, through the U.S. Southern Command, is behind the coup d'etat in Honduras," Morales said during his visit to Uruguay's capital, Montevideo.

"Maybe I do not know Obama, but the imperial structure remains in force," he went on, accusing Washington of inciting civil violence in Bolivia and plotting his assassination.

Diplomatic relations between Bolivia and the United States have been strained since Morales took office in 2006. Last September, Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador, declaring him persona non grata for allegedly assisting separatists.

Morales and his Uruguayan counterpart, Tabare Vazquez, have adopted a joint statement, saying they would not recognize any authority in Honduras, other than "the legitimate government of President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales."

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. The next round could be held in Costa Rica next week.

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