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As Honduras digs in, isolation deepens

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TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS – Honduras remained steadfast against restoring ousted President Manuel Zelaya to power Friday, hinting at both increasing isolation for the Central American nation and a domestic crisis that could last far longer than anticipated.

Jose Miguel Insulza, head of the Organization of American States, arrived in Honduras Friday ahead of a deadline the regional body had set for the country to accept Mr. Zelaya back as president of the nation. But the Honduras Supreme Court rebuffed the plea.

"Insulza asked Honduras to reinstate Zelaya, but the president of the court categorically answered that there is an arrest warrant for him," said court spokesman Danilo Izaguirre.

In a public sign of the growing conflict, two mass protests took over the streets of the capital on Friday. Supporters of the military ouster, dressed in white shirts with flags of Honduras draped around their shoulders, marched to the presidential palace.

“We were about to be a broken society,” says Jesus Simon, an engineer, referring to the attempt of Zelaya to call for a nonbinding referendum for a constitutional reform, despite the fact that the Supreme Court called it illegal. “The tower of democracy was about to fall.”

Mr. Simon says the world misunderstands what was at stake, a sentiment shared by many, with banners reading, “World, open your eyes” and “CNN, publish the truth.”

“If we are isolated, fine, we will be like Cuba. But at least we will be isolated under democracy,” Mr. Simon says.

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