TOPICS > Politics

Ousted President Attempts Return to Honduras Amid Continued Protests

July 6, 2009 at 6:20 PM EDT
Loading the player...
Gwen Ifill reports on the ongoing political standoff in Honduras, where protests continued following the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, who made an unsuccessful attempt to return Sunday.
LISTEN SEE PODCASTS

TRANSCRIPT

GWEN IFILL: The main airport in Tegucigalpa remained closed today, after the deposed president attempted to land there last evening. Manuel Zelaya’s plane circled the skies of the capital, but was forced to divert after soldiers blocked the runway.

Supporters of Zelaya, who was forced out last Sunday, lit fires and hurled rocks. A 19-year-old protestor was killed.

Last night, Zelaya, who ultimately landed in El Salvador, met with regional leaders and denounced the violence.

MANUEL ZELAYA, president of Honduras (through translator): In the name of God, soldiers of Honduras, policemen, in the name of God, I ask you, I beg of you, and I command you: Do not repress the Honduran people any longer.

GWEN IFILL: The secretary general of the Organization of American States, who escorted Zelaya to Central America, said he wanted peaceful negotiations.

JOSE MIGUEL INSULZA, secretary general, Organization of American States (through translator): I want to say that, as OAS secretary general, I’m a ready to go forward with all the diplomatic work necessary to obtain our goal. Our goal is not an act of intervention; our goal is to comply with the norms that all countries freely adopted.

GWEN IFILL: Yesterday, Honduras’ acting president, Roberto Micheletti, said he was willing to work with the OAS, but, he insisted, Zelaya broke the law and will face consequences.

ROBERTO MICHELETTI, president of Honduras (through translator): I believe there is time to think about, to have a dialogue, to solve this problem, and at the right time he will take the decision to come back and turn himself in so the right authorities can decide the right thing to do with former President Zelaya.

GWEN IFILL: A State Department spokesman said the U.S. is still committed to Zelaya’s reinstatement.

IAN KELLY, State department spokesman: Our goal remains the restoration of democratic — the democratic order in Honduras. And we renew our call on all political and social actors in Honduras to find a peaceful solution to this crisis.

GWEN IFILL: Secretary of State Clinton is scheduled to meet with the ousted Honduran leader this week in Washington.