Honduras resists pressure to allow Zelaya return
Honduras will not yield to international pressure for the return to power of President Manuel Zelaya, officials said on Thursday as Zelaya prepared a new bid to go home from exile, Reuters reported.
The government that took over after the June 28 coup has agreed to consult with Congress and the Supreme Court on a new proposal that was put forward by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and includes the leftist Zelaya's reinstatement.
But it threw cold water on hopes for a breakthrough.
"I don't think the Supreme Court or the state prosecutor's office or Congress are going to change their criteria. I think they will maintain their position against Manuel Zelaya's return to power," said Mauricio Villeda, a de facto government negotiator at talks mediated by Arias.
Zelaya said Arias' efforts had failed and that he was going ahead with a plan to cross the border into Honduras from neighboring Nicaragua, defying the threat of arrest.
The United States, Europe and Latin American governments have all tried to pressure Honduras' interim government into backing down, but have so far failed.
Valentin Suarez, the head of Honduras' ruling Liberal Party in Congress, said most lawmakers would vote against Arias' proposal.
"The executive branch, the judiciary and Congress can't all be wrong," Suarez said. "It is a crazy recommendation for Hondurans."
It was the Supreme Court that first ordered Zelaya's ouster and Congress endorsed it, accusing him of violating the constitution by trying to extend presidential terms.
U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned the coup, cut $16.5 million in military aid and threatened to slash economic aid. Zelaya said that is not enough and urged him to impose tougher sanctions against the individuals who led the coup against him and joined the de facto government.
But some Republicans in Congress say Obama has already done too much for Zelaya, a leftist allied with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a fierce critic of the United States.