Zelaya Vows to Return to Honduras Despite Threats of Arrest by Coup Leaders

Source: Democracy Now!

The ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has vowed to return to Honduras within the next few days in an attempt to reclaim power. Zelaya’s statement came after the Organization of American States approved a resolution on Wednesday that gave Honduras a 72-hour deadline to restore him to the presidency or face expulsion from the group. In a statement the OAS said it vehemently condemns the coup which has “produced an unconstitutional alteration of the democratic order.”

Earlier, the General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the “immediate and unconditional” return of Zelaya to the Honduran presidency.

Zelaya was forced out of office and exiled to Costa Rica in a military coup d’etat on Sunday. He is currently in Panama where he is attending the inauguration of the new Panamanian president. He will reportedly return to Honduras accompanied by the OAS secretary-general, the presidents of Argentina and Ecuador, and the head of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann.

But Roberto Micheletti, who was appointed interim leader by the Honduran congress just hours after the coup, has given warning that Zelaya will be arrested should he return, regardless of who is traveling with him.

The coup has been widely condemned by leaders around the world. The World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank have cut new loans and some European countries have recalled their ambassadors. The US has not legally classified the removal of Zelaya as a coup, which would automatically lead to the suspension of aid to Honduras, but the Pentagon has suspended military co-operation until further notice.

Meanwhile in Honduras an overnight curfew has been toughened to allow people to be held for 24 hours without charge as protests continue on the streets.

Greg Grandin is a professor of Latin American history at NYU and author of “Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism.”

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