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UN General Assembly Condemns Honduran Coup


The U.N. General Assembly has condemned Sunday's coup in Honduras that expelled President Manuel Zelaya from the country and has called for his restoration to power.

In a vote by acclamation, the 192-member states of the United Nations agreed Tuesday not to recognize any other government in Honduras than President Zelaya's.

President Zelaya then strode to the podium, embraced the Nicaraguan president of the General Assembly and began an hour long speech detailing why his ouster was undemocratic and illegal.

"A number of charges have been leveled against your humble servant in Honduras. But I have not been put on trial," he said. "I have not been called to the stand to defend myself. Nobody has told me what my crime is, nobody has indicated what my errors [are], no accusations have been brought to my attention by any judge."

Honduran soldiers, acting on orders of the Supreme Court, arrested Mr. Zelaya early Sunday and flew him to Costa Rica.

In a sometimes rambling address, he blamed the country's elite and its media which he said manipulated the military to win his ouster. He then went on to detail his ordeal Sunday when authorities roused him from his bed and took him away in his pajamas.

"I was awoken by shouts, by hammering against the door below, screams. And I awoke and rose still in my night clothes and saw an entire contingent of armed officials with helmets, with rifles, who pushed me out into the street jostling me," said President Zelaya. "These are moments I do not wish to remember because it breaks my heart to see humanity slide backwards."

He said he told them if they had orders to execute him, then they should carry them out. But he was instead taken to the airport and sent to Costa Rica, where he began seeking the help of regional allies.

Following his address to the General Assembly, Mr. Zelaya told reporters that he would not seek to stay in office after his term ends in January and would return to life as a farmer.

"If I was offered the possibility of remaining in power I would not do it," he said. "I am going to fulfill my four years, I am going to fight to have the four years respected, because it is part of our law."

Mr. Zelaya said he plans to return to Honduras on Thursday. He said the president of the General Assembly, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, would travel with him, as well as the presidents of Argentina and Ecuador and the head of the Organization of American States.


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