.- The president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, the countryâs parliament, business leaders, and human rights activists are defending Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga from the insults by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who called the cardinal a âparrotâ and an âimperialist clown.â
Recently the cardinal called on Chavez to be open to dialogue and to remember that âhe is not a god with the right to arrogantly trample on everyone else.â
President Zelaya of Honduras told reporters, âAs head of State I am going to call President Hugo Chavez on the phone to tell him about Oscar Andres Rodriguez, explain who he is and what he means to our country and our people,â he said.
The Honduran Congress approved a motion calling on Zelaya to use appropriate means to ask Chavez to retract his statements. The president of the Congress, Representative Roberto Micheletti Bain, called the cardinal a âsymbol for all Hondurans, and we are not going to allow anyone from the left or the right to attack Cardinal Rodriguez.â âWe Hondurans, who believe firmly in God, should take strong positions because our Christian sentiments oblige us to do so,â Bain added.
Representative Juan Orlando Hernandez also criticized the statements of Chavez, calling them âan offense against the entire Catholic people and obviously against a symbolic figure for all Hondurans.â