Connect to share and comment

Ousted Honduran president slips into Tegucigalpa, Chavez says

 Manuel Zelaya, the Honduran president who was ousted in a coup in June this year, is in Tegucigalpa, according to the Venezuelan government.

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, announced the news on live state TV while visiting an educational program launched by his government.

Zelaya, an ally of Chavez's left-wing movement, has received strong support from Venezuela during his exile.

"We demand that the Honduran coupsters respect the life and dignity of the Honduran president," he said, while speaking to Zelaya by phone.

Zelaya reached Tegucigalpa by crossing Honduras' mountains clandestinely, Chavez said.

Zelaya who was ousted by his own party after concerns that he wanted to alter the Honduran Constitution so that he could run for presidency again, attempted to return to Honduras in July by crossing the border at Esteli in Nicaragua but turned back when his passage was barred by the army.

He is holed up in the U.N. building in Tegucigalpa where he hopes to meet with members of the interim government to negotiate his return, according to Venezuela's state TV channel, VTV.

There is a warrant for his arrest in Honduras. Chavez did not say whether Zelaya planned to step outside the protection of the U.N. offices.