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Venezuela agrees to Honduras’ return to OAS

posted by Toni Peters
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Colombia News - Presidents meet in Cartagena

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was able to convince his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez to stop his country’s resistance to Honduras’ return to the Organization of American States by inviting Honduran President Porfirio Lobo to a lunch in Cartagena.

At the end of the meeting with Chavez and Santos, Lobo told reporters he had  promised Chavez to submit to conditions that had impeded the country from rejoining the OAS.

The Honduran president said he agreed to allow ousted former leftist President Zelaya to return to the country with immunity from prosecution. This is a condition of the readmission of Honduras to the OAS. Lobo assumed the presidency of Honduras in January 2010 after the coup that removed Zelaya who was president from 2006 to 2009.

After the military coup Honduras was expelled from the OAS and Zelaya sought refuge in Brazil in June 2009. He is currently in exile in the Dominican Republic.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Cartagena and at the last minute announced the arrival of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo. This may have created an awkward atmosphere as Chavez was a stronger supporter of Zelaya and Venezuela was one of the countries that refused to acknowledge the legality of the Honduran vote.

After the departure of Lobo, President Santos and President Chavez resumed their dialogue to reactivate economic relations and agree to pay the debt owed to Colombian exporters.

Chavez said that two teams have designed a proposal of the economic integration that will be mutually beneficial to both countries. This was the third meeting between Chavez and Santos since diplomatic relations between the two countries were reestablished.

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