There are fears of a violent showdown in Honduras with ousted president Manuel Zelaya saying he will return today to try to retake office.
Divisions have intensified in the country since Zelaya was toppled in a military coup last weekend.
He is threatened with arrest if he comes back. But, as he arrived at an emergency session of the Organisation of American States in Washington DC, Zelaya said he was “very optimistic.”
Encouraged by widespread condemnation of the coup, he has pledged to head back to Honduras accompanied by other presidents and members of the international community.
The OAS suspended Honduras on Saturday after the Central American country ignored an ultimatum to reinstate Zelaya.
However, within the country, the Catholic hierarchy has made it clear it wants him to stay away.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez, archbishop of the capital, Tegucigalpa, warned of a potential bloodbath and urged Zelaya to reconsider his return.
“Please think about it because afterwards it would be too late,” he said.
There have already been some clashes between the military and protesters since the president was deposed amid claims he violated the constitution.
Impatient for Zelaya’s arrival, his supporters marched on the airport yesterday to greet him.