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Ousted Honduras president without basic amenities

world Updated: Sep 25, 2009 00:07 IST
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Honduras' deposed leader is sleeping on an air mattress. His "roommates" have not bathed, shaved or changed their clothes in three days. Tap water is scarce and dinner is limited to dry biscuits or rice and beans.

Daily life has become increasingly challenging for ousted President Manuel Zelaya and his die-hard loyalists since they took shelter Monday at the Brazilian Embassy in the Honduran capital — the latest front in Zelaya's fight to be reinstated. "I haven't washed or changed since I arrived and I've slept in my clothes on the floor," said Milton Benitez, 32, a writer who says he didn't vote for Zelaya but is here now to support his restoration to power.

Benitez said bathing has been nearly impossible, first because authorities cut off the water supply. “We are living here in inhuman conditions," Benitez told an Associated Press reporter.

Armed authorities have surrounded the diplomatic mission. Officials from the interim government, which overthrew Zelaya and flew him into forced exile in June, say they will respect Brazil's demand that they cannot storm the embassy, but swear they will arrest Zelaya if he steps foot outside of it.

Adding to the suspense are unanswered questions about how Zelaya, most recently exiled in Nicaragua, made it into the country undetected.

According to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a staunch Zelaya ally, the deposed leader traveled by plane, in the trunks of cars and on tractors.

“It was a secret operation, one of deception," Chavez told reporters in New York late Wednesday.