Sunday, July 5, 2009

Zelaya to return to Honduras on Sunday July 5th

I still wonder if this event will actually happen as Zelaya describes it. The president of Argentina did not confirm that she was going to be going back with Zelaya. Three hundred journalists seem to be quite a few. I wonder how many are from US English language media outlets! There does not seem to be much coverage of Honduran events in the US and Obama seems to be quite quiet since originally condemning the coup. The US ambassador is still in Honduras as far as I know.
The Honduran military apparently is already deploying at the airport. They were ready to arrest Zelaya if he had come with the head of the OAS. No doubt they will be ready also this time. This could be a momentous confrontation but so far the media have been asleep for the most part. They won't wake up unless the event actually happens. Of course they won't be there in force. It is Spanish language outlets that are covering events especially Cuban and Venezuelan news.

This is from the Washington Post:



Exiled Honduran leader vows return for showdown
By WILL WEISSERT and NESTOR IKEDAThe Associated PressSunday, July 5, 2009 8:59 AM
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- Honduras braced for confrontation Sunday as ousted President Manuel Zelaya insisted he was coming home to reclaim his post, urging his supporters to mass at the airport for a showdown with the interim government in power since the army sent him into exile a week ago.
The poor Central American country's Roman Catholic archbishop urged Zelaya to stay away, warning that his return could spark bloodshed. The interim government stuck to its threat to arrest Zelaya and put him on trial despite near-universal international condemnation of the coup that removed him over his campaign to revise the constitution.
In Washington, the Organization of American States suspended Honduras as a member late Saturday, but Zelaya's replacement, Roberto Micheletti, already pulled the country out of the group over its ultimatum to restore Zelaya.
As more than 10,000 of his supporters protested Saturday near the heavily guarded presidential palace, Zelaya posted an audio message on the Internet urging loyalists to greet his arrival.
"We are going to show up at the Honduras International Airport in Tegucigalpa ... and on Sunday we will be in Tegucigalpa," Zelaya said in the taped statement carried Saturday on the Web sites of the Telesur and Cubadebate media outlets.
He implored supporters to remain peaceful.
"I ask all farmers, residents, Indians, young people and all workers' groups, businessmen and friends ... to accompany me on my return to Honduras," he said. "Do not bring weapons. Practice what I have always preached, which is nonviolence. Let them be the ones who use violence, weapons and repression."
"I hold the coup plotters responsible for the lives of each and every person," he said.
In comments to a local radio station, Zelaya said he would be accompanied by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, several foreign ministers and 300 journalists.
But Fernandez said only that "it's been agreed that the OAS will accompany" Zelaya on the trip, as she exited the diplomatic meeting in Washington.
Catholic Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez implored Zelaya not to confront the interim government amid the high tensions, saying in a statement broadcast Saturday that "your return to the country could unleash a bloodbath."
The country's new government has vowed to arrest Zelaya if he returns, on charges alleging 18 criminal acts including treason and failing to implement more than 80 laws approved by Congress since taking office in 2006.
Large crowds of Zelaya's critics have countered his supporters by staging their own daily demonstrations to back Micheletti, the congressional president who was named by lawmakers to finish out the final six months of the Zelaya's term.
Most of the ousted leader's supporters come from the working and middle classes of this impoverished nation, while his opponents are based in the ranks of the well-to-do - although the increasingly leftist approach of the wealthy rancher had eroded his popular support.
The military ousted Zelaya with the backing of Honduras' political elite, including the Supreme Court, Congress and Zelaya's own party. They say they kicked him out because he insisted on going through with a referendum on constitutional change that the Supreme Court ruled illegal.
Last Sunday's coup brought widespread criticism down on the Micheletti government, from U.S. President Barack Obama to Venezuela's leftist leader Hugo Chavez to the U.N. and the OAS.
Seeking to head off any escalation of the crisis, the OAS gave the Honduran government until Saturday to reinstate Zelaya, but Micheletti pointedly rejected the demand Friday night. "The OAS is a political organization, not a court, and it can't judge us," he said.
At the OAS's second emergency on Honduras in less than a week, the group's secretary-general told the meeting Saturday night that his visit to Honduras in a bid to restore Zelaya to the presidency had failed.
"It is very clear that in the de facto government, there is no willingness to change its conduct," Jose Miguel Insulza said in urging Honduras' suspension.
Thirty-three nations voted for the suspension, with Honduras abstaining. It was the first time the OAS suspended a member nation over a military coup since 1990, when Haiti was punished for Gen. Raoul Cedras' putsch against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Billboards proclaiming Micheletti the "legitimate and constitutional" president have begun to pop up, as have bumper stickers proclaiming "I love Honduras. I defend the constitution." The interim government has also taken to the radio and television airwaves with jingles, part of a campaign to win over those who have yet to choose sides.
"I'm just waiting for the military and the politicians to decide what happens to us," retiree Hilda Alvarez said Saturday. "I hope it's soon."
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Will Weissert reported from Tegucigalpa and Nestor Ikeda from Washington. Associated Press writers Freddy Cuevas and Marcos Aleman in Tegucigalpa contributed to this report.
© 2009 The Associated Press

1 comment:

Claudia said...

CNN en espanol plese be more partial when giving your information from Honduras. I have family in that country and the majority of Hondurian do not want Mr. Zelaya back because he is a very corrupted president. The reason why he was not allowed to land in Tegucigalpa was because the new government wants to avoid caos. Mr. Zelaya knew that he would not be allowed to land there. Mr. Michelletti announced that before Mr. Zelaya left Washington. But of course the last thing he cares about is his country, he only cares about himself. This is a president who has not given the National Congress of Honduras a budget for the last past year. This is a president that didn't pay attention to his country when the H1N1 virus started hitting the country. This is a president that for the past year has been doing what ever he wanted to do in the country and no one could say anything to him. CNN en espanol why don't you investigate all the illegal things this president was doing Honduras and then the rest of the countries can judge Honduras for what they are doing.