Deposed Honduran President Holed Up In Embassy

(Wide) Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in Embassy i i

Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (center) raises his fist surrounded by supporters, at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa on Wednesday. Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images
(Wide) Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya in Embassy

Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (center) raises his fist surrounded by supporters, at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa on Wednesday.

Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

Brazil's government has asked the U.N. Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to take up the crisis in Honduras.

Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has taken refuge in Brazil's embassy. Zelaya was ousted in a June coup but slipped back into Honduras on Monday.

His return ignited street battles in the capital Tegucigalpa, and the government imposed a curfew that has been extended until 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Thousands of Zelaya's supporters gathered outside the Brazilian embassy Tuesday. Riot police and soldiers fired tear gas and used water canons to drive them away.

Zelaya spent most of the day conducting interviews on his cell phone with news outlets throughout the region, including the Spanish language arm of CNN.

Honduran protest in Tegucigalpa i i

Zelaya supporters chant slogans against the interim government during a protest in Tegucigalpa on Tuesday. Rodrigo Abd/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rodrigo Abd/AP
Honduran protest in Tegucigalpa

Zelaya supporters chant slogans against the interim government during a protest in Tegucigalpa on Tuesday.

Rodrigo Abd/AP

"They've cut off the electricity and drinking water to this entire zone around the Brazilian embassy," Zelaya told CNN.

He called on people to defy the curfew and come to the embassy to support him.

On June 28, soldiers burst into Zelaya's bedroom and forced him at gunpoint onto a plane and then left him on the tarmac in Costa Rica in his pajamas.

Later that day, the Honduran Congress named Roberto Micheletti president.

Micheletti is demanding that Brazil hand over Zelaya to face criminal charges. Micheletti's administration has said for months that Zelaya would be arrested if he set foot on Honduran soil. Honduran soldiers have surrounded the Brazilian embassy.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told the defacto administration that Brazil won't tolerate a breach of its embassy, but he also warned Zelaya not to provoke Honduran security forces into invading the building.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the White House is equally concerned about the standoff.

"We understand the situation is very tense, especially in the area immediately around the Brazilian Embassy," Kelly said. "The U.S. Embassy is closed because of the situation. In addition to calling for dialogue, we also very much urge all sides to refrain from actions, particularly violent actions."

Even though Micheletti has promised to step down after November elections, governments in Latin America — ranging from the far left to the far right — are supporting Zelaya and say he is the legitimate president.

Just about everything in Honduras, including the United Nations offices, was shut down Tuesday.

"Nobody can go out. Of course the country is heavily militarized," said Rebecca Arias, the U.N.'s top official in Honduras.

Arias said she was getting reports from her staff and other humanitarian agencies that almost 200 people were being detained in a baseball stadium, and numerous others had been injured.

She added that most of the local TV and radio stations were either off the air or not covering the situation outside the Brazilian embassy.

She said the main purpose of the curfew is to avoid people coming from different parts of the country to show support for Zelaya, and she expects it will go on for several more days.

Brazil is calling on the U.N. Security Council to take up the crisis in Honduras to find a peaceful solution.

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