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Zelaya talks of a 'second coup'

By Charles Scanlon
BBC News, Miami

Manuel Zelaya at the Brazilian embassy 24.10.09
Time is running out to find a solution to the crisis

The ousted president of Honduras has said the latest proposals from the government that replaced him amount to a second coup d'etat.

Negotiations between the two parties have failed to make a breakthrough.

The interim president has said he would step down, but only if Manual Zelaya gives up his claim to the presidency.

Mr Zelaya told the BBC he was being subjected to psychological torture during his refuge in the Brazilian embassy in the capital.

During three weeks of talks with the interim government, Manuel Zelaya and a small group of supporters have remained inside the embassy in Tegucigalpa.

He has been there for a month after being ousted from power in late June.

In an interview with the BBC World Service, he claimed he was being subjected to soldiers playing loud music through the night and refusing to allow in basic comforts, including mattresses to sleep on.

The talks with the interim government of Roberto Micheletti have broken down a number of times, and all over the same central demand.

Mr Zelaya insists that he be allowed to serve out the remaining months of his single term. But those behind last June's coup say that is impossible.

Mr Zelaya said that failure to resolve the problem would show up the weakness of the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the United Nations.

He has received much vocal support from Washington, Europe and Latin America, but the sanctions imposed have been tepid and not enough to change the minds of those who removed him from power.

The OAS says it has not given up hope of a negotiated solution.

But time is running out. Elections are due at the end of next month.

If there is no settlement by then, the political crisis could flare up.



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