Tension is rising in Honduras ahead of the expected return of its ousted leader. Supporters of President Manuel Zelaya have converged on the airport after he announced he would fly back from exile today. He was overthrown last week, accused of violating the constitution to give himself a second term in office. The new leadership has threatened to arrest him on sight.
Zelaya has the support of the Organisation of American States, which took the rare step of suspending Honduras because of the coup. It is only the second time a country has been thrown out, after Cuba in 1962. The suspension takes effect immediately. In Washington, Zelaya said he fully intends to go home: “I want to go back to my country because it is important for us to reinstate peace there. I am a representative of the people in my country in so far as I am simply fighting to restore democracy.” The scene is set for confrontation, with the new leadership refusing to submit to international pressure. The interim President Roberto Micheletti shrugged off the OAS ultimatum, saying Honduras was planning to leave the group anyway.