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    Latin American leaders throw support behind Correa


    by ODN


    A tense calm has prevailed on Quito streets after a failed coup attempt on Ecuador's President Rafael Correa.

    On Thursday, anti-austerity protests staged by Ecuadorean officers erupted into a crisis that ended with a dramatic rescue of Correa at a hospital where he had been holed up with demonstrators outside.

    Two policemen died in the violent end to a standoff that shook the South American nation and brought a torrent of international condemnation from the White House to Havana.

    The drama began when dissident police attacked Correa during protests over proposed cuts to bonuses and a freezing of promotions. He took refuge in a nearby hospital and accused opponents of trying to topple him in a coup.

    Throughout the world, leaders poured in support for Correa.

    Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva condemned the rebellion on Friday and highlighted the importance of democracy, as his country also prepares to elect its upcoming president on the ballots next Sunday.

    Other Latin American leaders also condemned the unrest in Ecuador and backed the 47-year-old Correa.

    Venezuelan leftist leader Hugo Chavez called the rebels "fascists."