Mérida, May 23rd 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On his weekly TV program Venezuela’s President Chavez applauded the signing of an agreement in Colombia, which will allow Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras overthrown in a coup in 2009, to return there.
Zelaya and current president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, signed the agreement yesterday, with Colombian President Juan Santos and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro acting as witnesses. The Hondurans will travel to Managua, Nicaragua and seal the agreement in the presence of Central American presidents and the foreign ministers of Venezuela and Colombia.
Venezuela and Colombia have spent the last few months in mediation, and last month Chavez, Santos, and Lobo met in Colombia to discuss the agreement, after Chavez met with Zelaya in Venezuela.
Chavez said the agreement “for national reconciliation and consolidation of the democratic system in Honduras includes four points demanded by Zelaya”. Among those are return of Zelaya to his country, and recognition of the National Resistance Front as a legal and legitimate political force.
“We’re waiting to see if this is complied with, because we know that there are internal and external forces who will try to boycott the agreement,” Chavez said, adding that it will be necessary to ensure that “human rights are respected, and they cease persecution.”
In this way, Honduras will hopefully be able to “open its doors up to democracy. We’re grateful to have been able to help towards that end,” Chavez said.
Also, Chavez said Zelaya told him that he wanted to continue “fighting for a constituent assembly in Honduras”. Zelaya’s attempt to hold a non-binding poll on having a referendum for a constituent assembly was part of the reason given by coup plotters for the coup against him.
At the signing of the agreement yesterday, according to AVN, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos highlighted the work carried about by Chavez, who, “without his participation and good will this agreement today that is being signed, wouldn’t be possible... He would have liked to have been here, but he has just had a knee operation. He put his whole heart into this agreement”.
Santos also said that over the next few weeks the Organisation of American States (OAS) will take measures for Honduras to join it again. Honduras was expelled from the organisation after the 2009 coup. Much of the international community also refuses to recognise Lobo, who won presidential elections in an environment of repression and violence. His government hopes the agreement will help normalise the situation in his country and its standing internationally.