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.