Venezuelan President: Today’s Events in Honduras a “Moral Victory”

Responding to the
fact that Honduran President Manuel Zelaya could not land in Honduras to resume
his presidency on Sunday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the
attempt was still a "moral victory," and that Venezuela would continue
supporting Honduras until democracy is restored.
By Tamara Pearson – Venezuelanalysis.com
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Merida, July 5th 2009
(Venezuelanalysis.com) - Responding to the fact that Honduran President Manuel
Zelaya could not land in Honduras to resume his presidency on Sunday,
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the attempt was still a "moral
victory," and that Venezuela would continue supporting Honduras until democracy
is restored.

Following his kidnapping last Sunday, President
Zelaya, tried to land in his country in a plane at around 7pm today, but there
were military vehicles on the runway and he was told that the plane would be "intercepted"
if it tried to land. The pilot was forced to turn back and land in Nicaragua.
There had been a large march and protests outside the airport in support of
Zelaya for most of the day, in which Telesur reported at least two people
killed by the military and many injured.

Directly following these events, President Chavez
spoke live with Telesur, the Venezuelan initiated Latin American news service,
and the only service offering live coverage of the protests and intended plane landing.
Chavez had been attending the celebration of Venezuela's Independence Day in
Bolivar city.

"We're here in Bolivar celebrating independence
and following the events [in Honduras] minute by minute," he said.

Chavez noted that the plane transporting
Zelaya was Venezuelan and a product of the Bolivarian Alliance for Our Americas
(ALBA), and congratulated the pilot on his bravery. "He's passed three or four
times very low [over the airport in Honduras] but as Zelaya said, there isn't
even one runway available."

He called the military that repressed the
marches today "cowards" for "abusing the people of Honduras" and stressed the
broad support Zelaya has from all Latin American leaders.

"I think it's been a big moral victory...[the
coup leaders and military] haven't let them land but we'll continue supporting
Honduras until they restore democracy," said Chavez. "Manuel Zelaya achieved
his mission; the people are waiting for him."

Nevertheless, Chavez said that he regretted
the deaths of the protestors and the repression against them, and reiterated
that the Honduran bourgeoisie and US imperialism were behind the coup.

"This gorilla government won't last, its
going to fall," Chavez said.

Yesterday, Venezuela confirmed it would stop
sending petroleum to Honduras, and Honduras was unanimously suspended from the Organisation
of American States (OAS) after it failed to comply with the OAS's ultimatum to
restore Zelaya to the presidency by Friday.