Obama: 'Terrible Precedent' if Honduras Coup Stands

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 29, 2009 4:17 PM CDT
Police and soldiers take up positions around the presidential residency in Tegucigalpa.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Barack Obama today declared that the US still considers Manuel Zelaya to be the president of Honduras and assailed the coup that forced him into exile as "not legal." "It would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backwards into the era in which we are seeing military coups as a means of political transition rather than democratic elections," Obama said.

Leaders from across the Western Hemisphere and beyond called for return to power of Zelaya, who arrested yesterday by soldiers who stormed his residence and forced him into exile. The country now has another president appointed by its Congress, Roberto Micheletti, who insisted that Zelaya was legally removed by the courts and Congress for violating Honduras' constitution and attempting to extend his own rule. "We are very clear about the fact that President Zelaya is the democratically elected president," Obama said.