May 18, 2013
Honduran foes sign deal to help nation re-enter OAS
Colombia and Venezuela brokered an agreement between Honduras's incumbent president and its deposed former leader to try to help the Central American nation be readmitted to the Organization of American States.
Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was deposed in 2009 after he tried to change the constitution to remain in power, prompting the OAS to suspend Honduras.
He joined Honduras's current leader, Porfirio Lobo, in Colombia where Caracas and Bogota helped the two reach a deal for Zelaya's return.
The OAS -- which groups democratic countries in the Americas -- insisted that Honduras allow Zelaya to return before it could be readmitted.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Lobo and Zelaya signed the agreement in the city of Cartagena and he hoped Honduras's return to the OAS would be formalized next week.
The agreement gave guarantees for the return of Zelaya and officials from his government to Honduras as well as sureties for his party's participation in the political process.
Lobo has been recognized by the United States, the European Union and most of Central America, but several Latin American nations have been reluctant to recognize him.
The United States condemned the coup that deposed Zelaya but helped broker elections that brought Lobo to power. It has argued that his government has shown sufficient commitment to democracy to be reinstated in the OAS.
The coup was seen by many in the region as an unacceptable reminder of Latin America's turbulent history of unconstitutional government takeovers.