"The president told the oligarchs that they were a bunch of corrupt people who weren't democrats and who oppressed the people and who didn't share their wealth," said Dalila Aparicio Colindres, a 53-year-old teacher protesting in favor of Zelaya along with her 20-year-old son. "They didn't like it, and it made him their enemy."
"I'm here in the street to support democracy," said another demonstrator, Medardo Cardona Landa, an artist who teaches at the Fine Arts School.
Micheletti and the other people running Honduras argue that the removal of Zelaya -- and the installation of Micheletti -- was legal because Congress and the courts signed off on it.
After weeks of tension, the standoff between Zelaya and his many opponents came to a head over a vote he'd scheduled for Sunday that asked Hondurans whether they'd be interested in revising the constitution. The Supreme Court, attorney general's office and military opposed holding the vote, deemed illegal because it was not endorsed by the electoral tribunal. Many feared Zelaya was using the bid to extend his own time in office, as other Latin American leaders have done. As it stands, the Honduran Constitution limits presidents to a four-year term.
Ramon Custodio, the national human rights commissioner, said the military action could not be called a coup.
"We are returning to constitutional order," he told journalists in Tegucigalpa. "It was impossible to continue with such an authoritarian person."
In Washington, the Obama administration repeated its condemnation of the coup, despite ambivalence about Zelaya.
"Our immediate priority is to restore full democratic and constitutional order in that country," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. She urged dialogue.
Obama said Zelaya's ouster was "not legal" and he remained the recognized president of Honduras.
Countries with governments from left to right denounced the events in Honduras, from Venezuela's Chavez, who pledged to help Honduras "resist," to conservatives such as Mexico's President Felipe Calderon.
The Organization of American States scheduled a meeting of foreign ministers today to debate whether Honduras should be suspended under rules that disqualify non-democratic regimes.
Renderos is a special correspondent.