Accord to permit Honduras to resume OAS membership

Colombian President Santos talks about the accord while Manuel Zelaya watches. Photo: Presidencia de Colombia

Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president, said Sunday he hoped an agreement signed in Cartagena would allow the immediate return of Honduras to full participation in the Organization of American States.

The agreement, between Porfirio Lobo, president of Honduras, and Manuel Zelaya Rosario, the ousted former president, allows Zelaya and supporters to return to the country and gives them full political participation.

The agreement was negotiated, in part by Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela, who is a supporter of Zelaya. Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan foreign minister, and María Ángela Holguín, the foreign minster of Colombia were credited by Santos for putting the deal together.

Zelaya was ousted as president June 28, 2009, when soldiers detained him and exiled him to Costa Rica. The coup was supported by the supreme court and the congress, although the legality still is in doubt. Zelaya was accused of trying to set up a referendum on the constitution even though the courts said he could not. He was seeking to prolong his term in office.

The United States has supported the return of Honduras to the hemispheric organization, and Santos said Sunday that with the new accord there should not be any negative votes.

Zelaya was seen as adopting a leftist course with the help and counsel of Chávez.

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