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Honduran president describes how coup unfolded

Honduran president describes how coup unfolded

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya had been asleep for just over an hour when he was awakened by shouts, screams and hammering against the door of his residence. Looking out the window, he saw heavily armed soldiers subdue his guards and ran downstairs in his nightclothes.
Then, the soldiers broke down the front door.
Zelaya told the story of his overthrow Tuesday to sympathetic diplomats at the U.N. General Assembly who minutes earlier had voted by acclamation to demand his immediate restoration.
"I ran downstairs ... and sought to hide from the bullets that I could hear being fired," Zelaya said, recalling how the military coup unfolded just after 5 a.m. Sunday in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.
Zelaya said he tried to call journalists to tell the world what has happening.
"I could hear rifle shots, and then once the hinges on the door gave way, and they entered, I still had my mobile phone in my hand," he said.
At least eight soldiers pointed their rifles at him.
"And I was told: 'Drop that mobile phone or we will shoot. This is a military order. Drop the phone. Drop it or we will shoot. Drop the phone,'" Zelaya said. "And I said, `if you have been ordered to shoot me then shoot me. I will not stand in your way. If that is your order ... shoot me. Do not make me suffer any longer, just do it."
The soldiers snatched the phone from his hand.
Then, they "pushed me out into the street jostling me," Zelaya said. "They grabbed my arms and said we're taking you away. I was put into a vehicle, and then 15 minutes later I was on board an airplane, and 45 minutes after that I was in Costa Rica."
He said he could not talk about his 21-year-old daughter, who lived with him in the residence, "because I choke up with rage and pain."
Zelaya paused, his voice breaking, as the diplomats burst into applause.
On Monday, Zelaya told Latin American presidents gathered in Nicarauga that his daughter had hidden under her bed for 35 minutes.
Once in Costa Rica, he said, "they opened the door of the airplane and I was dumped at the airport in Costa Rica, still wearing my nightclothes."
Zelaya said Costa Rican President Oscar Arias met him personally at the airport.


Updated : 2021-06-15 20:40 GMT+08:00