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LIVE BLOG: Democracy Now! Reports On Manuel Zelaya’s Historic Return to Honduras

Web ExclusiveMay 30, 2011
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Amy Goodman is reporting today on the return of President Manuel Zelaya as he returns to Honduras after a 23-month exile following the coup d’etat that began June 28, 2009. It was the first military coup in Central America in a quarter century. Zelaya landed at the Toncontín airport in Tegucigalpa, Honduras at about 4:30 p.m. EDT. Democracy Now! will report on Zelaya’s return to Honduras throughout the weekend and will post reports and updates on this page, our Tumblr page and on Twitter. Reports in Spanish will be available on the Democracy Now! en Español website.

Sunday, 9:40 p.m. Pres. Zelaya and family are at Radio Globo (one of the 300 stations that carries Democracy Now! en Espanol), for his first broadcast since his return yesterday. Crowds gathered outside the station, drumming, with flags and banners. For pictures, see our Tumblr page

Sunday, 6:40 p.m. Daughter of Pres. Zelaya, Pichu, showed us the back door of their home, riddled with bullets in the middle of the night on June 28, 2009. Pres. Zelaya was kidnapped by the Honduran military at gunpoint, in his pajamas, and flown to a U.S. base in Costa Rica. This weekend marks his return, with all charges against him dropped, as a result of the Cartagena accord, signed in Cartagena, Colombia. See a close-up photo of the bullet-riddled door here:

Sunday, 5:00 p.m. Pres. Zelaya holds a news conference at his home, with his family by his side. Pres. Zelaya said, “I have communicated with General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez several times. He said the people who planned this coup wanted you killed. When the military said no, they said they would hire paramiltiaries. He said the military still said no.”

For photos of the nes conference and more photos of Pres. Zelaya’s return to Honduras, see

Saturday, 10:07 p.m. After meeting with Pres. Lobo and OAS Secretary General Insulza, Pres. Manuel Zelaya went to his home for the first time in close to two years. See photos of the homecoming on our Tumblr page

Saturday, 8:02 p.m. Ousted Pres. Manuel Zelaya, current Pres. Porfirio Lobo, and OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza are meeting in the Presidental Palace…among the topics they are likely discussing, is how the OAS can support the Cartagena Accord , beyond allowing Zelaya’s return, and possible readmission of Honduras to the OAS. Amy Goodman is downstairs, at the Presidential Palace.

Saturday, 7:00 p.m. After giving his first public address after returning to Honduras, Pres. Zelaya heads to Brazilian Embassy, where he resided for 129 days in 2009, against the coup government’s wishes. Amy Goodman and Andres Tomas Conteris provide context in this audio: Listen to audio

Saturday, 4:57 p.m. Amy Goodman reporting from inside the motorcade of Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, as a mass crowd cheers. Listen to audio

Saturday, 4:40 p.m. Amy Goodman records the sounds of the crowd welcoming the return of Manuel Zelaya. Listen to audio

Saturday, 4:29 p.m. Audio report from Amy Goodman after the plane carrying Zelaya lands in Honduras. Listen to audio

Saturday, 3:50 p.m. And the plane takes off. Listen to Audio

Saturday, 3:48 p.m. Amy Goodman interviews Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, the wife of deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Listen to audio

Saturday, 3:26 p.m. Amy Goodman files audio report from the the plane just before takeoff. Listen to audio

Saturday, 3:15 p.m. Manuel Zelaya has boarded the plane to take him home to Honduras. See photo

Saturday, 3:05 p.m. Amy Goodman interviews former Honduran foreign minister Patricia Rodas on the tarmac of the airport in Nicaragua minutes before the plane takes off bringing Zelaya home. Listen to audio

Saturday, 2:39 p.m. See photo of Amy Goodman interviewing President Zelaya with his granddaughter

Saturday, 2:24 p.m. Former Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba is accompanying Zelaya on the trip back to Honduras. She says his return is “the triumph of politics over war.” She was kidnapped by Colombian paramilitaries 10 years ago.

Saturday, 2:07 p.m. Amy Goodman interviews Xiomara Hortensia Zelaya, 26-year-old daughter Manuel Zelaya who is returning to Honduras for the first time in almost a year. Listen to audio

Saturday, 1:55 p.m. Exclusive: Manuel Zelaya speaks to Amy Goodman as he prepares to head back to Honduras. Listen to audio

AMY GOODMAN: We are in Managua, Nicaragua, across from the airport with President Zelaya. President Zelaya, to the people of the world, what do you say?

PRESIDENT ZELAYA: The road of the people after independence, after colonialism, there is no other answer other than democracy itself. Democracy. [Inaudible] It is not enough just to do elections. You have to have a good perception of the institutions of democracy, especially the justice department. When there is justice, then democracy is actually alive. As Benito Juarez said, the great Mexican, the respect for others means peace. When I say respect for democratic institutions is peace itself.

Saturday, 1:49 p.m. See photo of former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya at airport in Nicaragua.

Saturday, 1:36 p.m. Honduran exile Rene Amador says he has “mucha esperanza”–much hope–that the savage repression will end in Honduras, that a constitutional assembly means real dialog and that he will soon see his family. He is returning from 20 months in exile.

Saturday, 1:12 p.m. Uruguayan Ambassador Julio Miguel Baraibar tells DN: “We reject the dictatorship in Honduras and support a democracy of those who can freely choose their leaders. We reject taking power by force.”

Saturday, 12:17 p.m. Amy Goodman has begun posting photos on our Tumblr page from the airport in Nicaragua of members of the delegation accompanying Manuel Zelaya back to Honduras.

Saturday, 12:01 p.m. Amy Goodman has just filed her first audio report from Managua, Nicaragua as she prepares to board the plane that will carry ousted president Manuel Zelaya back to Honduras. The report includes an interview with Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of SOA Watch. At least two of the Honduran coup leaders, Generals Vasquez Velasquez and Luis Javier Prince, trained the SOA. [Read partial transcript]

Saturday, 9:15 a.m.
Highlights from the Democracy Now! archives on Honduran coup. (Includes Video/Audio Podcast & Complete Transcripts)

EXCLUSIVE: Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Speaks from Nicaraguan Border on Who’s Behind the Coup, His Attempts to Return Home, the Role of the United States

Honduran Coup Regime Blocks Ousted President Zelaya’s Return; Troops Open Fire on Supporters at Airport, Killing Two

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Speaks from the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa

Report from Honduras: Ousted President Manuel Zelaya Returns to Honduras in Defiance of Coup Government

Zelaya to Leave Honduras as Coup Leaders Cleared

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya: Talks Are Off with Coup Government After Deal Collapses

Hondurans Divided After Coup Backer Wins Presidential Election Boycotted by Zelaya Supporters

Coup in Honduras: Military Ousts President Manuel Zelaya, Supporters Defy Curfew and Take to the Streets

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