Zelaya gives Micheletti deadline to step down as Honduras leader

The Miami HeraldJuly 14, 2009 

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya gave his rival, Roberto Micheletti, one week to step down, saying he was prepared to risk bloodshed to recapture the presidency, which he lost on June 28.

Speaking from neighboring Nicaragua, Zelaya accused Micheletti, who is serving as interim president, of trying to sabotage ongoing mediation talks in Costa Rica and using the time to consolidate his power.

He also called on the administration to recognize the resolutions of the Organization of American States and the United Nations that demand Zelaya's return. "The regime is just trying to buy time so it can keep terrorizing," Zelaya said. "The Honduran people are just another victim."

Zelaya and Micheletti's negotiating teams are expected to resume talks in Costa Rica on Saturday. But if those talks do not produce results, Zelaya said he would pay ''any cost'' to reclaim the presidency.

"Let me come back – me with the people and you with your bayonets," he said. "And instead of shooting innocent kids, shoot me."

The last time Zelaya tried to return to Honduras – on July 5 – the army blocked the tarmac of the capital's international airport with trucks, keeping his plane from landing. As protesters tried to scale the chain-link fence around Tegucigalpa's international airport, shots were fired and one teen died.

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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