In an apparent symbolic move, ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya crossed briefly into Honduras and then stepped back into Nicaragua to avoid arrest.
Before stepping across the border of the two central American nations, in the small Nicaraguan frontier town of Las Manos, Zelaya, surrounded by supporters and reporters, directly challenged the acting president Roberto Micheletti and the military.
He said, “Today is a day to look each other in the eye. It’s a good day to die for our country. But let that death be in the cause of development. Let him come, I’m ready to face the cannons and the rifles.”
He added that the acting president should stop being a ‘coward’ and come in the open. He said if he is killed by them here, he, Micheletti, and General Romeo Vasquez will be held responsible by the people immediately and would be sought by them and made to pay for it.
An unidentified supporter said, “We are here to support them, and to say to the new government that we will not allow, we will not permit, any more dictatorship.”
Zelaya, who has sworn to return to Honduras from exile, was toppled by a coup on June 28.
Earlier in the day, security forces fired tear gas at dozens of pro-Zelaya supporters trying to reach the border to greet the president near the coffee town of El Paraiso.