The plane was kept from landing at the main Honduras airport Sunday because the runway was blocked by groups of soldiers with military vehicles, some of them lined up against a crowd of thousands outside. His Venezuelan pilots circled around the airport and decided not to risk a crash.
Honduran coup leaders had three days to restore deposed President Manuel Zelaya to power, the Organization of American States (OAS) said Wednesday, before Honduras risks being suspended from the group.
Honduras' interim leader, Roberto Micheletti, warned that the only way his predecessor will return to office is through a foreign invasion. He said in an interview with The Associated Press late Tuesday that "no one can make me resign," defying the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Obama administration and other leaders that have condemned the military coup.
Sunday 28th June soldiers stormed Zelaya's residence and flew him into exile, after he insisted on trying to hold a referendum asking Hondurans if they wanted to reform the constitution. The Supreme Court, Congress and the military all deemed his planned ballot illegal. One of several clauses that cannot be legally altered in the Honduran constitution limits presidents to a single, 4-year term, and Congress claims Zelaya, whose term ends in January, modified the ballot question at the last minute to help him eventually try to seek re-election.
An analysis of the U.S. position reveals that president Obama condemned the coup in Honduras by turning to that most reliable standby: democracy. "We stand on the side of democracy, sovereignty and self-determination." Obama will work within existing groups, particularly the Organization of American States that links the countries of the Western Hemisphere, and not try to dictate a solo U.S. response.
On Tuesday the United Nations General Assembly unanimously condemned the military coup and demanded Zelaya's immediate return to power. Zelaya, who was in the assembly chamber for the vote, thanked the diplomats, calling the vote "historic."
In light of the Organisation of American States (OAS) 72-hour deadline to Honduras to restore Zelaya to the presidency Zelaya said: "We will wait 72 hours in order to continue with this process [to return to Honduras]. My return to Honduras is scheduled for the weekend," without specifying an exact day. He had said a day earlier that he planned to return to Honduras on Thursday.
Books and articles in Peace Palace Library catalogue about military coups
Blogposts about military coups in Honduras
More reactions in letters The Independent (Opinion)