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Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Monday, 21 September 2009 21:56 UK

Zelaya 'will rebuild democracy'

The ousted president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, has returned to his country after nearly three months in exile following a political coup. Below is a translated transcript of an interview he gave in Spanish to BBC Mundo from inside the Brazilian embassy in the capital Tegucigalpa.

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa (21 September 2009)
Mr Zelaya has based himself in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa

Question: How did you arrive in Honduras?

A: In a peaceful, voluntary manner. I've been supported by various groups but I can't mention them so those people are not hurt. [We travelled] for more than 15 hours... through rivers, mountains, until we reached the capital of Honduras in the early hours of the morning.

We overcame military and police obstacles on the highways, because this country has been kidnapped by the military forces.

Question: What is the international support for your return?

A: I am in the Brazilian Embassy. [Brazilian] President [Luiz Inacio] Lula [da Silva] and Foreign Minister [Celso] Amorim have opened the doors for me. This is useful for us in calling for a dialogue.

I just spoke to Secretary Insulza [Jose Miguel Insulza of the Organization of American States] who will come in the next few hours. The United Nations will also come, in a commission to begin a dialogue to rebuild Honduran democracy.

Question: Which are going to be your next political steps?

A: We are speaking to different sectors of society, with the international community, and we will begin an overture of communication.

Then [we will take] different approaches to solve this problem. Unfortunately, the coup leaders did not previously consider a solution, and I think we should take over the diplomatic side.

Question: Are you planning to meet the interim leader, Roberto Micheletti face to face?

A: I'm willing to find a solution to this process, and if that solution consists of that, I am willing to do it. There is no impediment from me to searching for an answer to this problem.

Question: Have you established contact with the armed forces of your country?

A: No, not yet, I've only been here for a couple of hours. We haven't had the time to do it.

Question: What would be the conditions for establishing a dialogue with the coup leaders?

A: Well, the main thing is the support of the people, which is essential for starting a dialogue.

Question: Do you think your presence in Tegucigalpa could stoke further demonstrations?

A: Yes, of course, we have started today with more demonstrations. I am a peaceful man, I don't like violence and I call upon the armed forces not to use violence against people. Not against the people.

Question: The Micheletti government has said you would be arrested if you came back?

A: I have no problem with facing any trial or any prosecution they could seek. I will submit myself to any trial because my hands are clean and my chin is up.

Question: Some might say your decision to come back is "irresponsible", because it could trigger violence.

A: I call for peace and non violence. It's the best way to solve problems - problems always have to be solved by calling for democracy and not the weapons.

If there's anything that the international community could do it would be to call for that solution and say 'No' to more violence.



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