For 74 days now, toppled Honduran President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya has slept in the library of the Brazilian embassy, where soldiers outside harassed their former commander-in-chief by barking like dogs, meowing like cats and blasting him with the Mexican ballad Two-legged Rat.
"The Brazilian embassy is a neo-Nazi concentration camp," Zelaya told The Guardian newspaper.
The president who was forced out at gunpoint five months ago put his fate Wednesday in the hands of the Honduran congress. By late Wednesday, more than 75 lawmakers had voted not to let him finish his term, which ends Jan. 27. More than 90 legislators -- a clear majority -- signed a motion ratifying Zelaya's June ouster, giving the 56-year-old former rancher few hopes of making his way back to the presidential palace.
Now he's likely to spend the rest of his mandate at the embassy, where clothes are washed by hand and canines sniff the food brought in.
The congressional debate came five months after the the military broke into Zelaya's house at dawn and ushered him to Costa Rica. Zelaya sneaked back to his country and holed up at the embassy, where the United Nations Security Council said he has been subjected to harassment.
"Confinement is always a very difficult situation, especially when you are defenseless, surrounded by hundreds of soldiers constantly pointing their weapons," said Carlos Eduardo Reina, the latest of Zelaya's advisors to abandon the embassy. "Especially when you are being subjected to radiations, cellphone blockages, music at midnight, shrill noises that alter your ability to hear. So many things, so many things."
To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.