Here’s a strange story just breaking out of Tegucigalpa. Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, deposed by a coordinated action between the parliament, the Supreme Court, and the army, claimed this afternoon to be back in the capital and at the UN compound. Zelaya asked for his supporters to gather there to allow him to reclaim his post, and people have begun arriving. The US confirmed that Zelaya was back in Tegucigalpa, but then the UN categorically denied Zelaya was inside their compound.
Is the US hiding Zelaya?
Deposed President Manuel Zelaya said Monday he has returned home to Honduras to reclaim his presidency, defying threats of arrest and summoning supporters.
While the State Department confirmed on Monday that Zelaya is in Honduras, his exact whereabouts were unclear, possibly in an attempt to avoid capture.
“I cannot give details, but I’m here,” Zelaya told the local TV Channel 36. His voice, but not his image, were transmitted.
He said initially that he was at the United Nations headquarters in his homeland, and Elisabeth Sierra, a spokeswoman for the Honduran Embassy in Nicaragua, where Zelaya had been exiled, reiterated the claim.
“He is in Honduras and calling the resistance to gather in front of the United Nations and protect the constitutional president of Honduras,” she said Monday.
But a spokeswoman at the U.N. offices in Tegucigalpa told The Associated Press he wasn’t there. “I have no idea where that story came from,” said spokeswoman Ana Elsy Mendoza. Nonetheless, Zelaya supporters were gathering outside the U.N. compound, said U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas in New York.
Well, if the US knows he’s in Honduras and the UN says he’s not in their compound, then the US must either be hiding Zelaya or coordinating with another nation to do so. The State Department needs to explain itself — soon.