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Porfirio Lobo wins Honduran presidential elections

Porfirio Lobo, a wealthy rancher, has won the presidential election in Honduras, with about 56% of ballots cast, according to results. Election officials say voter turnout was high, in spite of a call by ousted President Manuel Zelaya to boycott the poll. Lobo declared victory after election results showed a broad lead for the candidate from the opposition National Party.

Speaking at a rally late Sunday, Lobo told supporters he will work to improve security, create new jobs and restore international ties. Lobo noted that he wants to bring about profound changes that will enable Honduras to return to the place it was four years ago, before Zelaya took office. Read More…

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Honduran business elite still in charge

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez critics U.S. involvement in Latin America who are now asking Washington to do more to restore the ousted president of Honduras “can’t have it both ways.”

“We are not asking you to intervene in Honduras, Obama. On the contrary, we are asking that “the empire” get its hands off Honduras and get its claws out of Latin America,” Chavez said in a rambling weekly television and radio show.

Chavez, who expelled the U.S. ambassador to Venezuela at the end of the Bush administration but allowed him back when Obama took office, said he still believes Obama has good intentions.

Honduran leader forced into exile

President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya is ousted in a coup d’état ahead of a disputed constitutional referendum.

Manuel_Zelaya_2006

President Manuel Zelaya

The political crisis is an ongoing constitutional crisis, where the President of Honduras violated law and court orders, and was removed from power on 28 June 2009.

After President Manuel Zelaya violated rulings of the Supreme Court of Honduras, the armed forces of Honduras arrested him on 28 June 2009 “just as dawn was breaking around 6:00 a.m.” at his home.

Zelaya was held in an airbase outside Tegucigalpa before being flown to San José, Costa Rica.

Zelaya’s arrest took place about an hour before polls were to open in a public consultation to approve a referendum to convoke a constituent assembly to modify the constitution. Read More…

LA migrant workers remittances

Slumping economies in the United States, Spain and Japan are causing reverberations in the countries of Latin America as migrant workers send less money home.

Latin America

Latin America

The Inter-American Development Bank reported that for the first time since they began tracking remittances in 2000, remittances to Latin America declined in the fourth quarter of 2008, dropping 2% relative to the fourth quarter of 2007.

In January, remittances declined further, with Colombia experiencing a 16% drop relative to 2008, Brazil suffering a 14% decline, Mexico 12%, and Guatemala and El Salvador each falling 8%.

These numbers come as 2008 saw an average 10% increase in remittances. Nearly US$70 billion was sent back to families in those areas in 2008. Read More…