Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed from Honduras' presidency by a June 28 military coup, confirmed to Cable News Network (CNN) on Monday that he is in the Brazilian embassy in Honduran capital Tegucigalpa saying he had returned to the nation to negotiate a peaceful return to democracy.
Ousted Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya (C), waves to supporters and reporters after arriving at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa on Sept. 21, 2009. Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed from Honduras' presidency by a June 28 military coup, told media on Monday that he had returned to the nation's capital Tegucigalpa. [Xinhua]
"Thanks to Brazil's President Luis Inacio da Silva and its Foreign Minister Celso Amorim we have protection and a home in the Brazilian embassy," Zelaya told the broadcaster. "That is where we are going to be for the moment."
He said that he had arrived in the capital thanks to a trip through the mountains of more than 15 hours, changing his mode of transport regularly in order to evade the checkpoints set up by the post-coup regime led by former legislative speaker Roberto Micheletti.
"I have come back to be in my homeland and with my people," he said. "I am seeking a peaceful conclusion to Honduras' crisis."
He said he was willing to negotiate with members of the Micheletti government and leading Hondurans in order to return the nation to democracy. He added that Secretary General of the Organization of American States Juan Miguel Insulza had already telephoned him to express support and would be seeking to reach Honduras to help with negotiations.
"I have support domestically and internationally. That is going to allow us to create a peace mechanism for the nation," he said.
Shortly after the interview, he told a press conference at the Brazilian embassy that he will seek to create commissions for dialogue and for international observers.
"It is time to meet us again, to design the path to recover calm in Honduras. I hope the armed forces do not use weapons and come here to interrupt the dialogue that seeks unity in Honduras," Zelaya said. "I feel the people must take the final step, to give definitive dialogue. I call on Honduras, we all must be ready to make an effort," Zelaya said.
Zelaya said he is ready to answer any legal process.
Honduras' ousted President Manuel Zelaya greets supporters inside the Brazilian embassy after his arrival in Tegucigalpa Sept. 21, 2009. [Xinhua]
"I have never received a judicial or fiscal warrant," Zelaya said. "I come with my open heart seeking an agreement for God to rewards and punishes those who must be punished," he added.
Zelaya was ousted on June 28 and taken by force to Costa Rica. A few hours later the nation's unicameral legislature, the Congress, appointed its leader Roberto Micheletti as new president.
The two latest public statements came just after Zeyala told a local broadcaster that he would announce a place for holding dialogue within a couple of hours and that his ultimate goal was return sovereignty to Honduran people.
Responding to these statements, Micheletti described Zelaya's declarations as "psychological warfare." He also asked the people to stay calm because Zelaya "is in a hotel suite in Nicaragua" and he will attend a meeting at the United Nations in US city New York on Tuesday.
(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2009)