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Zelaya’s Return to Honduras: Curfew imposed. Press Release on Zelaya’s Return. Is Micheletti Still in Honduras?

September 21, 2009

Following items are posted here:

-Curfew imposed in Honduras

-Press Release (in Spanish) on President Zelaya’s Return to Honduras (press release issued in Managua, but posted to the blog of Honduran embassy in Washington.)

-Cuba News Agency article (I like this one in particular because it suggests that there are reports that Micheletti has left the country.)

Honduras imposes curfew as ousted leader returns

(AP) – 18 minutes ago

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras — The interim government in Honduras has ordered a 15-hour curfew after the ousted president unexpectedly returned home and supporters gathered in the streets to support him.

The government of interim President Roberto Micheletti says the curfew starts at 4 p.m. (2200 GMT) and ends at 7 a.m. (1200 GMT).

It says the curfew is being imposed due to “the events of the last few hours.”

Ousted President Manuel Zelaya made a dramatic return to Honduras’ capital on Monday, taking shelter from arrest at Brazil’s embassy and calling for negotiations with the leaders who forced him from the country at gunpoint in June.

Thousands of Zelaya supporters had gathered at th embassy to celebrate.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Deposed President Manuel Zelaya made a dramatic return to Honduras’ capital on Monday, taking shelter from arrest at Brazil’s embassy and calling for negotiations with the leaders who forced him from the country at gunpoint.

Thousands of supporters danced and cheered outside the embassy to celebrate Zelaya’s return, which creates a sharp new challenge for the interim government that has threatened repeatedly to throw him in jail if he returns.

Chants of “Yes we could! Yes we could!” bellowed from the crowd.

Zelaya told The Associated Press that he was trying to establish contact with the interim government to start negotiations on a solution to the standoff that started when he soldiers who flew him out of the country on June 28.

“As of now, we are beginning to seek dialogue,” he said by telephone, though he gave few details. Talks moderated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias have been stalled for weeks over the interim government’s refusal to accept Zelaya’s reinstatement.

He also summoned his countrymen to come to the capital for peaceful protests and urged the army to avoid attacking his supporters.

“It is the moment of reconciliation,” he said.

There was no immediate response from interim President Roberto Micheletti, who took power after Zelaya’s ouster. Micheletti has promised to step aside following scheduled presidential elections in November.

The interim government was caught off guard by Zelaya’s appearance. Only minutes before he appeared publicly at the embassy, officials said reports of his return were a lie.

Zelaya’s presence could revive the large demonstrations that disrupted the capital following the coup and threatens to overshadow the presidential election campaign.

The U.S. State Department had already announced on Sept. 4 that it will not recognize results of the presidential vote under current conditions.

OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza called for calm and warned Honduran officials to avoid any violation of the Brazilian diplomatic mission, saying “they should be responsible for the safety of president Zelaya and the Embassy of Brazil.”

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorin said neither his country or the OAS had any role in Zelaya’s journey before taking him in.

“We hope this opens a new stage in negotiations,” Amorin said. He also warned: “If something happens to Zelaya or our embassy it would be a violation of international law,” which bars host countries from arresting people inside diplomatic missions.

In the days following the coup, at least two of the thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets were killed during clashes with security forces. Thousands of other Hondurans demonstrated in favor of the coup.

The country’s Congress and courts, alarmed by Zelaya’s political shift into a close alliance with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuba, backed Zelaya’s removal.

He was arrested on orders of the Supreme Court on charges of treason and abuse of power for ignoring court orders against holding a popular referendum on reforming the constitution.

Micheletti said Zelaya sought to remove a ban on re-election — grounds for immediate removal from office under the Honduran constitution. Zelaya denies any such plan.

International leaders were almost unanimously against the armed removal of the president, alarmed that it could return Latin America to a bygone era of coups and instability. The United States, European Union and other agencies have cut aid to Honduras to press for his return.

Zelaya said he had “evaded a thousand obstacles” to return, traveling 15 hours by land in different vehicles. He declined to give specifics on who helped him cross the border, saying that he didn’t want to jeopardize their safety.

His staunch supporter, Chavez, described the journey: “President Manuel Zelaya, along with four companions, traveled for two days overland, crossing mountains and rivers, risking their lives. They have made it to Honduras.”

If the interim administration attempts to imprison Zelaya, protesters who have demonstrated against his ouster could turn violent, said Vicki Gass at the Washington Office on Latin America.

“There’s a saying about Honduras that people can argue in the morning and have dinner in the evening, but I’m not sure this will happen in this case,” said Gass. “It’s been 86 days since the coup. Something had to break and this might be it.”

Associated Press reporters Catherine E. Shoichet, Martha Mendoza and Alexandra Olson in Mexico City and Fabiola Sanchez in Caracas, Venezuela, contributed to this report.”
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jAkMGKIUDg_ngUiZboxQbYj5_DPwD9ARVFGG0

Press Release (in Spanish) on President Zelaya’s Return ( from Managua, but posted on the Honduras embassy in Washington’s website.)

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

PRESIDENTE ZELAYA RETORNA A HONDURAS

El Presidente Constitucional de Honduras, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, confirmó hoy que se encuentra en Tegucigalpa.

El mandatario de los hondureños en sus primeras declaraciones afirmó que “yo estoy en la capital haciendo algunas gestiones y dentro de unas dos horas, diremos el lugar exacto donde estamos ubicados con el fin de iniciar el diálogo para la construcción de la democracia en Honduras”.

Refiriéndose a su regreso el Presidente calificó de “atípica” la estrategia de su retorno y aseguró que “fue muy correcta para no provocar absolutamente ningún indicio de violencia”.

El máximo representante de los hondureños dijo que continuará con el dialogo nacional e internacional que le permita al pueblo hondureño volver por los fueros del respeto a la soberanía.

“Es un acontecimiento muy importante, ahora que se reúnen los presidente de Naciones Unidas esta semana, en la cual espero tener el apoyo y resoluciones contundentes tanto de Naciones Unidas y OEA para que este diálogo sea fructífero y que vuelva la paz y la tranquilidad después de 86 días de lucha de resistencia” agregó.

Managua, Nicaragua 21 de Septiembre 2009.
http://hondurasemb.org/

Cuba News Agency article
acnnews 6
President Zelaya Is Back in Honduras 

HAVANA, Cuba, Sept 21 (acn) Honduras’ constitutional president Jose
Manuel Zelaya returned to his country, where he is protected by his
people, according to the country’s Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas.
    In a telephone conversation with multinational TV network TeleSUR,
Rodas said: “Manuel Zelaya has returned because he has to recover,
rescue and protect the dignity and freedom of all Hondurans.”
    According to Prensa Latina news agency, TeleSUR said that even when
Zelaya’s return has not been officially announced, a few media outlets
are reporting that de facto president Roberto Micheletti, who took the
leadership of the country after the June 28th military coup, has left
the country.
    Patricia Rodas told TeleSUR that Zelaya entered the country through
the woods. She thanked the national resistance movement that has
protected and followed Zelaya’s leadership and to the ALBA countries and
the rest of Latin America and the international community for their
support.
    Rodas also made reference to a meeting scheduled for Tuesday,
September 22, at the UN’s General Assembly headquarters in New York,
where she said she will work to strengthen the support of the
constitutional government, its president and the Honduran people through
more creative initiatives. 

Worldnews/ycr/ef/15:30

Confirman presencia en Honduras de presidente Zelaya

Cuban News Agency
www.cubanews.ain.cu
ainnews@ain.cu
One Comment
  1. September 21, 2009 7:31 PM

    It appears that Micheletti is still in Honduras. He just was on “cadena nacional” basically saying that nothing has changed and claiming Zelaya has come to stop the celebration of elections in November. I know the “celebración” doesn’t always mean celebration, but with his cheers ¡Viva Honduras! at the end of his speech, followed by cheers of the crowd with him I think it’s the appropriate, though perhaps ironic, translation.

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