Honduran Military Coup
UNITED NATIONS, June 30 (Xinhua) — Standing before the United Nations General Assembly here on Tuesday, ousted president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya expressed his gratitude toward the international community and tearfully described the last moments in his home country before being thrown onto a plane and whisked away.
“This resolution is historic,” said Zelaya, referring to the General Assembly’s condemnation of the military coup in Honduras on June 28. “It is significant and it will empower every last citizen of the world.”
Zelaya expressed his appreciation for the United Nations and then thanked each regional group from the Americas to Europe, who had all condemned the coup d’tat and called for the restoration of democratic order.
“All presidents have passed through times of weakness in their terms,” said the former farmer and cattle rancher. “Often these threats are nothing more than threats.”
“But when these threats are issued behind bayonets or rifles, then here, in the 21st century, we have not progressed enough,” he said.
Never, he said, did anyone tell him what his crime was and never was he put on trial for the accusations against him. Rather he has been labelled a populist and a Communist and illegally thrown out of his country, he said.
Describing his last moments in Honduras before being taken to Costa Rico early Sunday morning, Zelaya said he was awoken by “shouts, hammering at the door below, and screams.”
Zelaya said he was trying to call people on his cell phone before men wearing full combat gear burst into his room.
“More than eight heavy rifles were pointed at me,” he said. “‘ Drop that mobile phone or we will shoot,’ the men said.”
“My mobile phone was ripped from my hand and I said, ‘If it is your order, shoot me.'”
“They grabbed my arms and said, ‘We’re taking you away.'”
“Fifteen minutes later I was in the airplane, and 45 minutes later I was in Costa Rica,” said Zelaya, noting that he was still in his night clothes when he was dumped at the airport in San Jose.
“These are moments I do not wish to remember,” he said. “It breaks my heart to see humanity slide backwards.”