Deposed Honduran leader Manuel Zelaya has called for a popular insurrection in his country so he can be returned to power after soldiers removed him at gunpoint on June 28.
“The Honduran people have the right to insurrection,” Zelaya said, speaking on Tuesday in Guatemala.
Insurrection is a legitimate democratic right “when faced with a usurping government and a coup-supporting military,” he said, urging his supporters in Honduras to strike, march and engage in civil disobedience because that is “a necessary process when the democratic order of a country is disrupted.”
“I want to tell you to not leave the streets, that is the only space that they have not taken from us,” he told a news conference alongside Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom.
Zelaya has issued an ultimatum to the interim government led by Roberto Micheletti that it must relinquish power within the week.
But in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, acting foreign minister Carlos Lopez said that authorities were still committed to talks aimed at finding a peaceful resolution with Zelaya on Friday in San Jose, mediated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias.
“We are not issuing threats,” said Lopez, who emphasized that Micheletti’s government was in control and the country was at peace. “We removed the curfew and the government has complete control of the territory.”
Leaders of the new Honduran regime refuse to describe their move as a coup d’etat.
Two days of talks last week mediated by Arias — who won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for helping resolve civil wars in Central America — ended without any resolution, as the coup leaders insisted they would remain in power.
In San Jose, Arias again urged the parties to be patient.
“Of course, I understand President Zelaya’s desire ... to return [to power] as soon as possible, but experience tells me that he should be a little patient,” Arias told reporters.
“If not through dialogue, how else are we going to restore power to President Zelaya?” Micheletti said on Tuesday, this time not excluding a meeting with Zelaya.