September 30, 2009
Honduras: Standoff at the Embassy
BY Joe Rubin
Honduras' left-leaning president, Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed in a coup back on June 28, has returned to the country. He reportedly traveled over back roads from El Salvador, hidden in the trunk of a car, and has been given refuge at the Brazilian Embassy.
It's a tense standoff. The interim president, Roberto Micheletti, has closed down radio stations that support Zelaya, suspended other civil liberties and hints that he could breach the walls of the embassy and arrest Zelaya if Brazil doesn't turn him over by a deadline set for this time next week.
Zelaya sparked the political crisis when he made overtures to change the constitution that would have allowed him to run for another term. In turn, it left many Hondurans nervous that their president was flying too close to the leftist politics of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and events escalated from there.
For more on the story, we spoke over webcam to Al Jazeera reporter Monica Villamizar in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa. Villamizar, who has been following the coup and its aftermath for months, says all eyes in Latin America are on Honduras and calls the crisis a test case for the Obama administration.