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Ousted Honduran President Arrives in Nicaragua for Presidents' Meeting


Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is in Nicaragua, following what he called a coup Sunday by soldiers acting on the orders of the Honduran supreme court.

Mr. Zelaya is scheduled to meet with other Latin American leaders Monday. He arrived in Nicaragua from Costa Rica late Sunday for the scheduled meeting of Latin American presidents.

The Honduran military took Mr. Zelaya from the presidential palace and flew him to Costa Rica in the early-morning hours Sunday - the day he had set for a referendum on changing the constitution to allow him to run for another term.

The U.N. General Assembly will discuss the situation Monday.

Honduran lawmakers have appointed Roberto Micheletti as acting president. Mr. Micheletti, who was head of the Honduran Congress, says his rise to the office of president was a legal transition process and was not a coup.

Mr. Micheletti has imposed a national nighttime curfew to run through Tuesday.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. officials have spoken out against Mr. Zelaya's removal. U.S. President Barack Obama said he is "deeply concerned" about the situation and called for the respect of the rule of law.

Mr. Zelaya says he is a "victim of kidnapping" and will not recognize any government replacement. He pledged to serve out his term as president.

The Honduran Supreme Court says it ordered the army to arrest President Zelaya because of his attempt to hold the referendum, which the court ruled as illegal.

Shortly after his arrest, protesters calling the action a coup flocked to the presidential palace. Honduran troops surrounded the palace and blocked the entrances.

The Honduran military had refused to help organize the balloting. The president fired the armed forces chief of staff, General Romeo Vasquez, last week for failing to support him.

President Zelaya was elected in 2006 to a four-year term. The 1982 constitution bans re-election.

The Honduran president has the support of leftist Latin American leaders, including Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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