September 21, 2009

Zelaya says he is in Honduras

Mel Zelaya

Chávez's Venezuelan Telesur TV reported this morning that Mel Zelaya had returned to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In an interview on a local television channel (voice only, no video), Zelaya would not disclose his location but said that he will be giving a press conference from the Honduran UN office shortly − at least he implied it was the Honduran UN office, but perhaps he meant the NY UN office.

Zelayistas swarmed to the UN office. UN officials denied the presence of Zelaya in their offices. The Zelayistas left for an undisclosed location. Later it was reported that he was at the Brazilian Embassy. That, too, was denied. (I am reminded of that Where is Waldo? game.)

President Micheletti said that this is another example of media terrorism by a television station that spreads lies practically 24 hours per day in an effort to destabilize the country. He added that there is a jail cell awaiting Zelaya when he returns. The Armed Forces announced that they have information that Zelaya is in the US. Another official said this is just another of a long list of lies that Zelaya has used to manipulate his humble followers.

Followers are now getting violent (as shown on the news), carrying bats, and have reportedly attacked some police officers. (Zelaya: mission accomplished. I hope you are proud. Now you have a nice show for the UN meeting.)

Also being rumored is that President Micheletti had been kidnapped. However, Micheletti has been shown live on the noon news, and Zelaya has not.

It seems very doubtful to me that Zelaya would miss another international media opportunity at the UN meeting in the US this week.

Local online newspaper servers are overloaded again. Here is an AP report.

Update: Now the US State Department is saying he is here.

Update 1:00 p.m.: Now the Brazilian Embassy says he is there. Micheletti says that the Armed Forces are ready to arrest him. (television news)

Update 1:12 p.m.: El Tiempo reported earlier that former Minister of the Presidency Enrique Flores stated that Zelaya was returned "thanks to a coordinated international operative".

Update 1:27 p.m.: Zelaya is in a telephone interview with CNN (Español) right now. Not giving details about who helped him to get there. Other reports are that he was assisted by "international forces."

Update 1:43 p.m.: BBC News quotes "Guatemala's President Alvaro Colom also said Mr Zelaya was in the Tegucigalpa, saying it was "the end of the political crisis" in the country." It is more likely the beginning of more violence. Does no one outside of Honduras realize that Zelaya is the center of all division in Honduras? BBC includes this photo from inside the Brazilian Embassy.

Update 1:50 p.m.: Zelaya announced that José Insulza (OAS) and a UN commission would arrive tomorrow. Update: But Insulza is scheduled for full days at the UN meeting tomorrow and Wednesday.

Update 1:57 p.m.: This part of the AP article is too good not to repeat:
But Zelaya, who said he would hold a news conference Monday afternoon in Tegucigalpa, told the television station that he had "evaded a thousand obstacles" to return. And his staunch supporter, leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, described the journey: "President Manuel Zelaya, along with four companions, traveled for two days overland, crossing mountains and rivers, risking their lives. They have made it to Honduras."

Update: 2:11 p.m.: Organization of American States (OAS) is calling a special session for this evening. Google translation of Proceso Digital article reporting Zelaya's comments. He is here to "start the peaceful dialogue." But, just in case, he has asked his followers to surround the Brazilian Embassy. Supposedly an interview will be given on Telesur this afternoon. I can't access it online. The site is overloaded.

Update 3:11 p.m.: Zelaya is reckless and dangerous. Shows he was never serious about the San José Accord -- Connie Mack in a press release.

Update 3:23 p.m.: Head of the Honduran Armed Forces Romero Vásquez Velásquez ratified today his support for the government of Roberto Micheletti. - El Heraldo

Update 3:33 p.m.: Government just announced a curfew starting at 4 p.m. today until 7 a.m. tomorrow for the safety of citizens.

Update 4:27 p.m.: So much for Mel's "peaceful dialogue." Mel is on television screaming to a rabid crowd, "Fuera de los de la dictadura! Fuera! Fuera!" ("Out with those of the dictatorship! Out! Out!") The crowd is still there despite the curfew. No military or police in view. He is speaking from the roof of the Brazilian Embassy.

Update 5:15 p.m.: President Micheletti just gave a televised speech to the public reassuring everyone that calm, law, and order prevail in the country and the return of Zelaya will not change that. Constitutional order will continue in Honduras. He said that Zelaya is here to try to sabotage elections and that he must be judged for his crimes. He asked the Brazilian Embassy to turn over former president Zelaya to authorities.

La Prensa just posted that the Nicaraguan Ambassador stated to the UN that Zelaya does not accept the San José Accord.

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