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First Lady Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, Wife of Ousted Honduran President, Speaks Out About Coup

"We are Hondurans. This is our land, these are our people, and this is our family. We do not want to go to another country."

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I don’t understand. I don’t know where in the world families are prevented from being united. I want to see my children. I am a mother that wants to see her children and her husband, and we have not seen each other for thirty days. This is not acceptable for us.

The media in Honduras are now saying that the defense minister has said that it’s the First Lady that is causing the demonstrations in the streets. Imagine how they twist the news and information in this country. When we see checkpoints, when it’s the soldiers and the military that have taken over the streets, they are the ones that don’t allow us to go through. And now they say that it’s us that is stopping traffic in this department.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re speaking to the First Lady of Honduras, her husband deposed, President Zelaya. She is trying to reach him on the border.

Mrs. Zelaya, what do you—what is your response to Hillary Clinton calling your husband’s actions “reckless,” trying to cross over the border from Nicaragua into Honduras?

XIOMARA CASTRO DE ZELAYA: [translated] Do you think it’s reckless to try and rejoin your family? Do you think it’s irresponsible or reckless that someone wants to return to his country? Do you think it’s reckless to try to call the world’s attention to the injustices and the human rights violations that have occurred?

AMY GOODMAN: Your husband has said -- your husband has said that the U.S. is not doing enough to support his return. Is that your feeling, as well? What do you think the U.S. can do?

XIOMARA CASTRO DE ZELAYA: [translated] It’s been a month since the coup, and every hour, every minute in the country, there is great anguish and desperation. Can you understand what this means for Honduras and for our family, that we cannot even sleep, we cannot be in peace, because at any time we feel like they can come into the house? Can you understand what it means for us that at any moment we could be kidnapped, people could come into our home, they could arrive with a letter saying that we’re going to be held prisoner? The anguish and the suffering and the persecution that we are suffering constantly, how long do we have to wait for these things to change?

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think the U.S. can do?

XIOMARA CASTRO DE ZELAYA: [translated] The first thing they need to do is to take radical measures against the coup makers, those who have taken away liberty of—freedom of expression, freedom of movement. These are rights that are inherent to all Hondurans. Today we are demanding the return of democracy and the return of peace in our country.

Hillary Clinton is a mother, a wife and also a daughter. And today, I am appealing to her sentiments as a woman, so that she can understand the difficulties that we are experiencing here in the country.

Today we are demanding immediate actions. We are asking for rejection of this coup. We have watched friendly countries around the world, the OAS, the UN, reject it within seventy-two hours and demand the return of the President. Three hundred hours have transpired since the coup, and the President still has not been restored to power.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think the United States should cut off all economic and military aid to Honduras until your husband is restored as president?

XIOMARA CASTRO DE ZELAYA: [translated] I thought that that had happened from the first day. I’m surprised that you ask me that, because that means that they’re still supporting this de facto regime.