Pressure grows on Honduras, violence feared

Honduras' de facto leader came under increased pressure on Monday to hand power back to the ousted president with Washington threatening to cut aid and Latin American leaders warning of bloodshed if he does not back down, Reuters reported.

Efforts to broker an end to the power struggle in Honduras following a June 28 military coup collapsed on Sunday after interim leader Roberto Micheletti rejected a proposal to reinstate overthrown President Manuel Zelaya.

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, the frustrated peacemaker in the talks, asked both sides to give him until Wednesday to broker a solution to the crisis. But Micheletti, who was appointed by Honduras' Congress after the coup, remained defiant despite being shunned by foreign governments.

"My position is unchangeable," he said in a speech on Monday at the presidential palace to a standing ovation.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a "very tough phone call" with the caretaker president, warning him he could face cuts in economic aid unless he strikes a deal with his enemy, spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

"She reminded him about the consequences for Honduras if they fail to accept the principles that President Arias has laid out, which would (have) a significant impact in terms of aid and consequences, potentially longer-term consequences ..., for the relationship between Honduras and the United States," he said.

It was not clear what sanctions might apply but the options include slashing $180 million in economic aid.

The United States has already halted $16.5 million in military aid and multilateral lenders have put another $200 million on hold.

The European Commission also tightened the screws on Micheletti, suspending all budgetary support payments to Honduras. It had earmarked 65.5 million euros ($92.73 million) in payments in the 2007-10 period.

Latin American leaders fear violence in the impoverished Central American country unless Micheletti steps aside.

"Insurrection and confrontation are not a good path to take, but I don't think we will avoid it unless the de facto government shows some flexibility," said Jose Miguel Insulza, the chief of the Organization of American States.

The United States and other governments pleaded with Zelaya to wait out the 72 hours requested by Arias before staging a return to Honduras from exile in Nicaragua.

Zelaya says resistance is being organized in Honduras to pave the way for his return this weekend, despite the de facto government's threats to arrest him. The government has imposed a night-time curfew.

Zelaya tried to fly back to Honduras earlier this month but soldiers blocked the runway and at least one protester was killed in clashes with the army.

Pro-Zelaya protesters gathered peacefully outside Congress on Monday but protest leader Juan Barahona said they planned highway blockades on Wednesday and union leaders called for a national strike on Thursday and Friday.

"This is just the start. For now, these are peaceful protests but things could get a lot worse," said Wilfredo Moncado, a 59-year-old union leader who joined the march.

Zelaya was expelled from the textile and coffee exporting country in his pajamas in the middle of the night. He had upset his political rivals by trying to lift presidential term limits and the army toppled him after the Supreme ordered his arrest.

The crisis is widely seen as a litmus test for U.S. President Barack Obama as he seeks a fresh start with Latin America despite ideological differences with vocal U.S. foes like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a close ally of the deposed Honduran leader.

Micheletti has a base of local support in business circles as well as the Supreme Court, Congress and the Catholic Church, making this coup unlike those that battered Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s.

On Monday, he urged business leaders to continue investing in Honduras and asked his supporters to help him try to turn the tide of world opinion in his favor.

Analysts say he is biding his time so that Zelaya's reinstatement becomes a moot point. His term was due to end in January, and elections were scheduled for November.

Deputy Finance Minister: Georgia ranks first in Europe with economic growth rate according to IMF
Deputy Finance Minister: Georgia ranks first in Europe with economic growth rate according to IMF
Kazakhstan’s FlyArystan launching direct flights to Georgia
Kazakhstan’s FlyArystan launching direct flights to Georgia
ADB focuses on renewable energy projects in Georgia
ADB focuses on renewable energy projects in Georgia
Loading Bars
Iranian nuclear deal meeting in Vienna rescheduled to April 15
Kazakhstan expects positive dynamics in oil industry
Erdogan reveals stricter COVID-19 measures in Turkey during Ramadan
Iran's annual iron ore concentrate output nears 50mn tons
Deputy Finance Minister: Georgia ranks first in Europe with economic growth rate according to IMF
Southern Gas Corridor increases liquidity in European gas markets
Uzbekistan-India trade grows to record high in 2020
Azerbaijan plans to organize personal account system for auditors
China's 2M2021 import of Azerbaijani products surges in value
Exchange of all data necessary to conduct effective demining is required - OSCE MG
Baku to host international gymnastics competitions again
German gov't approves uniform nationwide COVID-19 response measures
Russia's daily COVID-19 cases record lowest in months
Iran to start 60% enrichment tonight: Nuclear spokesman
Israel to allow vaccinated tourists in starting late May
Biden confirms invitation to Putin to take part in climate summit
Presidents of Azerbaijan, Belarus have informal meeting
IMF unveils forecast on Azerbaijan's oil export for 2021-2022
Azerbaijani FM, Romanian ambassador stress high level of development of bilateral political relations (PHOTO)
Special equipment of Belarus assembled in Azerbaijan may be exported to Turkey
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry responds to Armenia's statement on War Trophy Park
President of Belarus pays working visit to Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Moscow, Tehran attach great importance to North-South Corridor – Russian FM
Azerbaijani president gives weighty answer to Armenia’s disinformation campaign - Official (VIDEO)
Belarus reveals plans for oil purchases from Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan’s FlyArystan launching direct flights to Georgia
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 14
International Bank of Azerbaijan opens tender to buy printed materials
Azerbaijan's Aghdam needs to be fully rebuilt - German historian (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's PM meets with BP's regional president
Ukraine may take part in restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated lands
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry places short-term bonds on auction
Iron ore concentrate production by major Iranian companies increases
President Ilham Aliyev: Pakistan was among countries that openly supported Azerbaijan from first days of confrontation
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling
Sudan due to send first delegation to Israel next week
Liabilities of Bank Melli Iran’s Baku branch increase
Armenia obligated under int'l law to provide mine maps to Azerbaijan - Matthew Bryza
Footage from Azerbaijani Jabrayil's Sadi village (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan, Ukraine discuss full resumption of mutual flights
Oil exports via Barents Sea in Lukoil system increased
Hydrometeorology in Azerbaijan needs young experts for technologies - ministry
Azerbaijan shares latest data on mine clearance work carried out on liberated lands
Co-op between Iran, Russia to be effective in activating nuclear deal – Rouhani
2021 demand for OPEC crude to be higher than in 2020
Assets of Iranian Bank Melli's branch in Azerbaijan increase
On Independence Day eve Israel's population over 9.3m
Iran still waiting for S.Korea to provide solution, release its blocked assets
Azerbaijan issues data on number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,457 more COVID-19 cases, 2,002 recoveries
OPEC revises up forecasts for Azerbaijan’s 2021 liquids supply
Rosatom can take part in developing green energy in Azerbaijan - expert
Repairing of last well in Iran's Naft Shahr field launched
Iran in favor of strengthening relations with Russia – President Rouhani
Azerbaijan Railways builds co-op on transiting additional goods
IMF talks forecast of money supply growth in Azerbaijan for 2021-2022
European Hydrogen Backbone’s updated cost revealed
IMF predicts growth for Azerbaijan's oil, non-oil GDP
Cargo movements in Iran’s Qeshm port down
Azerbaijan expects tourism sector to recover by summer
Plan on budget revenues surpassed in Kazakhstan
Scotland to ease some COVID-19 restrictions early
Around 70% of European infrastructure to start transporting hydrogen
U.S. will base 500 additional troops in Germany
Russia documents 8,173 coronavirus cases in past day, lowest figure since September 28
Kazakhstan names value of payments of compulsory vehicle insurance
Iran's mobile phone imports increase
Azerbaijani president signs order on hosting European Football Championship matches in Baku
Kazakhstan drafts pricing rules for exported crude oil, gas condensate
Retail trade indicators decrease in Kazakhstan
Kazakh Gas Refinery opens tender to buy spares
Kazakhstan records decrease in oil output
Belarusian IT company keen to expand its activities in Azerbaijan's transport sector
Iran’s Jam Petrochemical Company announces its production plan
Uzbekistan building modern wastewater treatment facility at Uzbekneftegaz GTL plant
Kazakh Gas Refinery opens tender to buy engines
Russian, Azerbaijani military discuss Iskander-M missile debris in Karabakh region - Russian official
Greece can take slightly more than 1 mcm/d via TAP
President Ilham Aliyev: Liberation of territories will be additional opportunities
President Ilham Aliyev: Armenians did it deliberately in order to erase legacy of Azerbaijani culture in order to erase these territories from our memories
Together with Russian president, we discussed issue about Iskander-M missile – Azerbaijani president
TAP supplies to Greece cause contraction in LNG imports
Kazakhstan attracts investments to develop national parks in Almaty region
European Commission makes statement on TAP
Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency allows flights from Irkutsk to 3 countries
President Ilham Aliyev: I had a strong feeling during negotiations that Armenia doesn’t want a solution
President Ilham Aliyev: I think we need to be more active in order to try to build bridges
ADB focuses on renewable energy projects in Georgia
US eyes to continue negotiations on direct flights with Georgia
Bank of Georgia discusses revised outlook for country’s economic growth in 2021
Anabechdi company plans to produce textile in Georgia
Georgia to receive significant funds from IMF
Azerbaijan reveals 2M2021 data lending to energy, chemistry, natural resources sector
Georgian E-Space company looks to export its software
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 65,000
Amount of Georgian bonds held by foreign investors up
JSC "Georgian Railway" reveals financial indicators for 2020
Uzbekistan, Russia discussing joint projects on aircraft construction
Iran's propane gas exports shrink
Armenia committed ecological terror during occupation of Azerbaijani lands - Ecology ministry
All news