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Protesters clash with troops after Honduras c -

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Protesters clash with troops after Honduras coup

Meredith Griffiths reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:30:00

PETER CAVE: There have been angry scenes on the streets of the Central American country of
Honduras, after the President was ousted by the military and deported.

The Honduran authorities insist that President Manuel Zelaya was legally removed for violating the
constitution but his ouster has been widely condemned across the Americas.

The United States says it's a coup which will set a terrible precedent in the region, which has
been trying to overcome a legacy of military dictatorships.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Crowds have taken to the streets of the capital of Honduras throwing rocks,
building barricades and lighting fires.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered outside the Presidential Palace in Tegucigalpa.

There are reports that security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets on the protestors, who are
angry that the military has ousted the President Manuel Zelaya.

VOX POP (translated): We demand that the entire community force this de facto Government out and
return Manuel Zelaya as our president.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Manuel Zelaya was deposed early on Sunday morning, when soldiers stormed his
residence, arrested the pyjama clad President and flew him to Costa Rica.

It was just hours before Hondurans were due to vote in a referendum to change the constitution,
allowing him to run for a second term.

However, the Honduran courts ruled that the referendum was unconstitutional.

Congress quickly appointed a new President, Roberto Micheletti, who insists that Manuel Zelaya was
legally removed.

But people on the streets of the capital Tegucigalpa seem to disagree.

VOX POP 2: We don't want this man who usurped power. We want our President.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: The US is listening.

President Barack Obama is supporting the calls for Manuel Zelaya to be re-instated.

BARACK OBAMA: We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the
President of Honduras, the democratically elected president there.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: It's the first coup in Latin America in 16 years and it's brought up memories
of previous military dictatorships in the region.

At a special meeting of the UN, the president of the General-Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann,
urged the world body to denounce the perpetrators

MIGUEL D'ESCOTO BROCKMANN: This is a throwback to another era that we had hoped was now a distant

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Human Rights Watch says the Organisation of American States must show it will
now tolerate the abuse of democracy.

Spokesman Jose Miguel Vivanco says the organisation must quickly push the new Honduran authorities
to abandon power as soon as possible

JOSE MIGUEL VIVANCO: What I think the illegitimate government of Honduras needs to hear from
Washington as well as from the Organization of American States, is that the region is prepared to
apply not only diplomatic pressure, not only the suspension from participation in the Organization
of American States but also political and economic sanctions. The Obama administration should
freeze Honduran assets in the US, cancel visas to Government officials.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: The ousted President Manuel Zelaya will go to Washington on Wednesday to
discuss the crisis, and says after that he intends to return to Honduras accompanied by the head of
the Organization of American States.

PETER CAVE: That report from Meredith Griffiths.