Landing an Interview with the New ‘President’ of Honduras

By Sadie Bass

Jul 1, 2009 5:13pm

From Jeffrey Kofman in Tegucigalpa, Honduras: How do you land an interview with the man claiming to be President of a country just days after a coup? If you're in Honduras, the answer is stunningly simple: you go to the Presidential Palace and ask. After our trusted local producer made a few phone calls that is what we did. The palace was surrounded by barricades and machine-gun-toting soldiers, but when we showed them our ABC News I.D. they ushered us through. At the gate, the security officer copied down our passport numbers, we were briefly frisked and then entered the presidential compound unescorted. As we approached the imposing "Casa Presidencial" no one seemed bothered by our presence. We made our way up the grand staircase, where an aid talked to us through a locked gate. A few minutes later she ushered us in.   We were on the second-floor balcony of the palace's inner courtyard, in a sea of aids, assistants and security guards. Suddenly a large man with gray hair and a crisp black suit walked briskly by surrounded by an entourage. It was Roberto Micheletti, the man who was appointed president of Honduras on Sunday after the democratically elected president, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted by the military. Yes, Micheletti said in Spanish,  he would talk to us if we could just wait a few minutes. As cameraman Al Durruthy and producer Auzzie Deen assessed the room where the interview would take place, I looked around at the sea of dress suits and realized I should have brought my jacket. I tentatively approached an aid who seemed to be about my size and asked him he would mind loaning me his jacket for the interview. He cracked a smile and said "si."  Note to Self: Next time you cover a coup, bring along a jacket.

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