Arias: "Who wants to be president of a country that turns into a Central American Albania?"
Costa Rican leader Oscar Arias said a restrictive decree suspending some civil rights in Honduras remained in place despite promises by the nation's de facto leader.
BY FRANCES ROBLES
Condemning the Honduran coup as a throwback to Latin America's ugly history, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias said Tuesday that the country can't have free and fair elections until its de facto government lifts a repressive decree that silenced opposition media and forbade public gatherings.
``What kind of democratic elections are these, in which public meetings cannot take place without the authorization of the army?'' Arias said.
``What kind of democratic elections are these, in which the media can be closed for opposing unspecified `government resolutions?'
``Only the most forgetful of people could read this decree without experiencing memories of a terrible Latin American past.''
Arias, who won the Nobel for his work resolving the civil wars in Central America, has served as a mediator in Honduras' three-month political crisis.
He stepped in after Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was forced out of the country at gunpoint because he had insisted on a controversial referendum the courts had ruled illegal.
Zelaya later sneaked back to his country and sought refuge at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, which he refuses to leave until he is restored.
The government installed after his ouster says Zelaya must face treason charges and insists that regularly scheduled elections set for Nov. 29 are the only solution to the political deadlock.
``We are being subjected to curfews every day,'' said Martín Pineda, secretary general of the opposition Democratic Unity Party.
``We don't know if on election day we're going to be allowed to stand in poll lines.''
Arias said the solution can't come from elections alone.
``My message to the candidates is: who wants to be president that is not recognized by the international community?'' Arias said in an interview with The Miami Herald. ``Who wants to be president of a country that turns into a Central American Albania?''http://www.miamiherald.com/579/story/1258651.html
albanian newspaper: http://www.shekulli.com.al/2009/12/10/presidenti-i-kosta-rikes-sduam-qe-hondurasi-te-behet-shqiperia-e-amerikes-qendrore.html