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Cardinal óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa has endorsed a Honduran bishops’ conference statement saying that deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya engendered “class hatred.” The cardinal denied that the church supported the coup d’état, saying that those who accuse the church of siding with Honduras’s elite “are not listening.” Cardinal Rodríguez said he has seen an unwelcome change in the politics of Honduras, which he attributes to Zelaya’s alliance with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez. “Recently, I have observed something that did not previously exist in Honduras: class hatred,” the cardinal said. “Zelaya had advisers in Venezuela, and stirring up class hatred was the strategy.”

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