Clinton called Zelaya's crossing of the border from neighboring Nicaragua a "reckless" stunt by the ousted Honduran leader, who last month was arrested by Honduran soldiers at his home and forced into exile.
Crossing the border on foot, followed by hundreds of supporters and journalists, Zelaya stepped across the border and remained in Honduras for a short period before crossing back in Nicaragua, where he said he would wait for his wife and children to meet him.
On orders of acting Honduran President Roberto Micheletti, a contingent of soldiers waited for Zelaya at the border but made no apparent effort to arrest him. Micheletti had ordered Zelaya to be arrested if he returned to Honduras.
"For the impoverished of the world, democracy is a weapon, an instrument to fight for justice," Zelaya said, The Miami Herald reported online. "Democracy is what can make or break a king, not an army."
Zelaya made an earlier attempt to return by air to the capital, Tegucigalpa, a week after his June 28 removal from office. His flight was not given clearance to land, however.
The deposed Honduran president was removed from office ahead of a proposed election on whether to change the constitution to allow him to pursue a second term in office. Honduran electoral law limits president to one four-year term.
Critics and the de facto Honduran government claim Zelaya was trying to hold an illegal referendum and accuse him of corruption and other abuses of power.
So far, no country has acknowledged the acting Honduran government's legitimacy. The United States, the Organization of American States and other world bodies have called for the return of Zelaya to his office until elections can be held as scheduled in November.
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