Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has accused the country’s de facto government of manipulation, after it said it was open to dialogue.
Zelaya, who returned from exile to jubilant scenes on Monday, remains holed up in the Brazilian embassy. Earlier, Honduras’ interim foreign minister Carlos Lopez Contreras, said the deposed president must recognise elections scheduled for November before talks could begin. “I am ready to discuss how to resolve the political crisis under the framework provided to us by the Honduran constitution and I am ready to do so with Mr Zelaya as long as he explicitly recognises the constitutionally mandated presidential elections scheduled for November 29,” he said. Troops have laid siege to the embassy in Tegucigalpa where Zelaya and a group of about 40 supporters remain. Electricity and water were briefly cut yesterday but there have been some reports of food being sent in. Brazil has guaranteed Zelaya’s protection and has warned the Honduran military not to enter the embassy. The stand-off also appears set for the long-haul after Honduras’ interim President Roberto Micheletti said Zelaya could stay inside for five to ten years if he wanted. In what is being seen as Central America’s worst crisis in decades, security forces earlier clashed with protesters defying a curfew in the capital.