Ousted Honduran President Vows To Stay In Charge
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
There was a time when a military coup in Latin America was common enough, it might have been greeted with a yawn. But with the era of army takeovers now thought to be long gone, the reaction was dramatically different when Honduras military seized the president early yesterday morning and flew him into exile in Costa Rica. Governments throughout the region and the U.S. quickly denounced the coup and are demanding that the president be reinstated. NPR's Jason Beaubien has more.
JASON BEAUBIEN: At a press conference in Costa Rica, in what looked like a borrowed grey T- shirt, Zelaya said that the soldiers brutally forced him onto the plane. And he said the coup was a blow to democracy not just in Honduras, but in all of Latin America.
MANUEL ZELAYA: (Spanish spoken)
BEAUBIEN: I want to return to my country. I am the president of the Honduran people, Zelaya said, and I hope for assistance from all the democracies in this hemisphere to reinstate the legitimate government in Honduras. Thousands of protestors took to the streets of Tegucigalpa to support the ousted president. Honduran troops also were in the streets of the capital and took over most government buildings.
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BEAUBIEN: Late in the afternoon, members of the national assembly chanted Honduras, Honduras. Roberto Micheletti, the chairman of the Congress, was sworn in as the new president. Micheletti gave a fiery speech in which he stated he didn't get to this position by way of a coup.
ROBERTO MICHELETTI: (Spanish Spoken)
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BEAUBIEN: Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Mexico City.
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