By Emile Schepers.
This is the day! As he has been promising, President Manuel Zelaya returned to Honduras in the early hours of Monday, September 21, through a circuitious route. He is said to have traveled secretly via el Salvador and then accross Honduras to Tegucigalpa, accompanied by only 4 people and evading all the gangster coup government's security measures.
Though originally it had been said he would be at UN headquarters in Tegucigalpa this was either an error or a piece of decoy info, as in reality he showed up at the Brazilian embassy, where he is now staying with his family. The Brazilian government says they did not help him to return, and that they responded to his request for refuge in the embassy practically when he arrived. But they appear to be supporting him 100%
At first the puppet coup president, Roberto Micheletti, angrily stated that Zelaya's return was a lie, but he soon had to eat his words. He then verbally attacked the Brazilian government and embassy, demanding that they hand Zelaya over for trial for the trumped up "treason" and "abuse of power" charges which were the pretext for his overthrowal on June 28. The Brazilian foreign minister, Celso Amorim, replied that any violence against the Brazilian embassy or its personnel would have extremely severe consequences.
The word went out for all Zelaya supporters to converge on the Brazilian embassy and its environs to protect the president from attack. The coup government managed to block cell phone signals, but evidently the news got out anyway because TV pictures show huge crowds developing. Zelaya spoke to the crowd, saying he was back to reclaim his presidency but also calling for peaceful protests and a dialogue among all Hondurans.
The Organization of American States met in emergency mode this P.M. A resolution was passed congratulating Zelaya on his return and reiterating support for the legitimacy of his government, but there was dissent on the part of Nicaragua and Venezuela on a part that called for a settlement on the basis of the San Jose Accords. This is the plan that had been presented by Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, pushed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whereby Zelaya would have returned but under severely reduced powers, and would have had to give up a key demand of his mass supporters, namely a constituent convention to rewrite the dysfunctional 1982 convention. The Nicaraguans and Venezuelans said that since Zelaya had presented everybody with the "fait accompli" of returning, the game is now thoroughly changed and the new situation, plus Zelaya's point of view, should be incorporated in a new plan.
At first Zelaya seemed to be still willing to work via the Arias plan, but now he has withdrawn his support for it.
For the rest of this week, there will be the new session of the UN General Assembly in New York. It had been expected that Zelaya would attend and speak, but it is hard to see how that is possible given his arrival in Tegucigalpa. Several other hemispheric leaders, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, are said to be planning to address the topic.
This is a fast moving story. I may add blog entries at various points tomorrow as the situation develops. Also check for several planned stories on the main webpages of the PWW.
Please, also, monitor right wing media in the U.S. to see what kind of response they give to these historic events, so that we can reply effectively.
Monday, September 21, 2009
By Emile Schepers.