Brazilian Days of Honduras’s Fallen President Zelaya Are Almost Over

Zelaya at Brazilian embassyPorfirio Lobo, Honduras’s president elect, said that as soon as he takes office, January 27, he will sign a safe-conduct for ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya who will then be authorized to travel to the Dominican Republic.

Zelaya will thus have ended his four-month refuge in the Brazilian embassy when his term would have concluded, his closest adviser said on Thursday.

Zelaya, a conservative populist who was ousted in a coup on June 28, accepted an agreement backed by the government of Santo Domingo to travel to the Dominican Republic, Rael Tome, a close aid to Zelaya told Radio Globo radio.

Tome said Zelaya would remain politically active, but leaving the country effectively ends his career as a meaningful leader in Honduras.

“On January 27 there is a way out … The exit will not be a permanent exit, we will come back to the country to continue in these processes with the Honduran people,” Tome said.

Zelaya failed to return to office and reverse the coup despite support from the United States and many Latin American countries.

The agreement, signed by Honduras’ President-elect Porfirio Lobo, stipulates Zelaya, his family members and his circle of advisers can enter the Dominican Republic after Lobo assumes power next Wednesday.

Lobo won a November election, which many nations denounced as illegitimate because it was organized by the de facto government that toppled Zelaya, who took refuge in the embassy in September.

Zelaya was ousted by the Army on an order from the Supreme Court after he angered the country’s business leaders and members of his own party with a bid to change the constitution, by trying to introduce presidential re-election, which is illegal under Honduran law.

His critics accused him of trying to stay in office past his term, following in the footsteps of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, a charge Zelaya strongly denies.

US ambassador in Tegucigalpa Hugo Llorens said the Obama administration would be represented at the inauguration of President Lobo next Wednesday. The US State Department also announced it had canceled the visas of ministers and top officials from the de facto regime of Roberto Micheletti.

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