Unrest in Honduras

Thursday marks the fourth day since the Honduran military ousted President Manuel Zalaya in a bloodless coup and exiled him to Costa Rica.  The coup has been met with near-universal international opprobrium: the United Nations passed a resolution on Tuesday condemning the military’s actions as fundamentally undemocratic; the Organization of American States has threatened to suspend Honduras if Zayala is not reinstated to the presidency; the World Bank has frozen loans to the country; and leaders running the spectrum from Barack Obama to Hugo Chavez have resoundingly criticized the military takeover.

Zelaya was deposed following a contentious debate over the legality of holding a referendum asking Hondurans to change the constitution to eliminate term limits for the president. The Honduran Supreme Court, the military, and the legislative branch had all declared his planned ballot to be illegal. Roberto Micheletti, the Honduran Congressional leader, has assumed the presidency in Zalaya’s absence and has vowed that nothing short of a military invasion will reinstate Zalaya as President. The unseated president has stated his plans to return to Honduras with a delegation of Latin American leaders, including the presidents of Ecuador and Argentina; however, Micheletti proclaimed on Wednesday that Zalaya will be arrested the moment he sets foot in Honduras.