Honduran standoff meeting with UN urged
Brazil has asked the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting over the standoff at the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras, where ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya has taken refuge with a group of supporters.
About 85 people, including diplomatic staff and activists, have left the embassy since the interim Honduran government shut off water and power to the building on Tuesday and set up loudspeakers near the embassy in an attempt to get Zelaya to leave.
Zelaya, and friends and family have been holed up at the embassy since slipping back into the country in a stealthy homecoming. He was expelled from Honduras at gunpoint on June 28, just hours before a rogue referendum he had called that defied the country's courts and congress.
Opponents feared Zelaya would use the referendum to remain in power after his term ends on Jan. 27. The Honduran constitution limits presidents to one four-year term.
Global leaders condemned the coup, with the United States, European Union and international agencies cutting off aid to Honduras to press for Zelaya's return.
Chavez calls for Zelaya reinstatement
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking before the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York, also called for political action on Wednesday.
Chavez said the UN should demand Zelaya be reinstated, and described his return to the country this week as courageous, Reuters reported.
Interim president Roberto Micheletti ordered the 26-hour shutdown of the capital beginning Monday afternoon, closing the airport and setting up roadblocks on highways leading into town.
On Tuesday, police in the capital used tear gas to break up a demonstration of hundreds of protestors outside the embassy. Authorities denied media reports that three people died in the confrontation. The government also imposed a curfew it extended into Wednesday.
Honduras Foreign Minister Carlos Lopez said the government would not enter the embassy to arrest Zelaya, but authorities had no intention of giving in to the demands of the international community to reinstate Zelaya and allow him to serve out the remaining four months of his term.
With files from The Associated Press