Zelaya to Honduran armed forces: “Stop the repression!”

Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, barred by the military from landing at the airport in Tegucigalpa on July 5, has been shuttling between Managua and San Salvador, and plans to fly to Washington July 7 to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In Nicaragua, he insisted to reporters: “I am going to return to Honduras, of this there can be no doubt. I’m not going to tell them how, because then they will be prepared, but they can wait for me in any municipality or any department” of Honduras. (AFP, July 7)

Reports indicate at least two people were killed as soldiers held back Zelaya supporters at the airport’s perimeter when he attempted to return Sunday July 7, one week after he was deposed in a coup. From San Salvador, Zelaya addressed his own armed forces: “In the name of God, soldiers of Honduras, policemen, in the name of God, I ask you, I beg you and I command you: do not repress the Honduran people any longer.” (EuroNews, July 6)

In Honduras, however, de facto authorities remain unrelenting, saying any aircraft carrying Zelaya would be denied permission to enter Honduran air space. “If he pushes it, there will be 10,000 people on the runway to prevent him,” said Enrique Ortez, foreign minister of what the New York Times called the “caretaker government.” (NYT, July 5)

See our last post on Honduras.

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  1. Zelaya invokes Oscar Romero
    Zelaya’s exhortation to his own military from exile in San Salvador explicitly evoked the words of El Salvador’s martyred Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was assassinated while saying mass on March 24, 1980. Romero’s homily at San Salvador’s cathedral the day before he was murdered was quoted on the 29th anniversary of the assassination this year by Washington DC Catholic Worker:

    I…appeal…to the men of the Army… the National Guard, the Police… Brothers, you belong to our own people. You kill your own brother peasants; and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God should prevail that says: “Do not kill!” No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God. No one has to comply with an immoral law. It is time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin.

    The Church, the defender of the rights of God, of the law of God, of the dignity of the human person, cannot remain silent before so much abomination… Therefore, in the name of God, and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you in the name of God: “Stop the repression!”