The Brazilian vice consul at the embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Francisca Francinete de Melo, on January 29, was held up at the airport and denied entry by Honduran immigration officials.
Speaking in Davos, at the World Economic Forum, Brazil’s foreign minister, Celso Amorim, declared that the incident was just a “mistake and a misunderstanding.”
He said that by the time he had been informed of what happened the problem had been resolved. Amorim said the new government of Porfirio Lobo fired the immigration official responsible and the Brazilian diplomat entered the country without further problems.
It seems the diplomat was barred because Brazil broke off relations with Honduras after the June coup there and has not recognized the Lobo administration yet. Amorim said the quick solution of the incident was a good sign that the new president is determined to set things right as soon as possible.
This was just another hint from Brasília that Brazil is ready to recognize the new government of Lobo. Just last week Amorim, declared that the new president of Honduras had acted in a politically positive manner when he negotiated a safe conduct for the ousted leader, Manuel Zelaya.
Zelaya was able to leave Honduras after being holed up in the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa for 126 days and travel to the Dominican Republic.
Since the coup in June 2009, Brazil has been unyielding in its position, refusing to accept what it sees as a government that came into being through a coup.
Amorim says Lobo needs to advance further. Do more in the direction of “reconciliation” so as to put an end to political and social instability. “I see some positive steps on the path to reconciliation. We will wait and see how this evolves,” said Amorim.
Then Amorim added: “The fact that president Lobo went to the Brazilian embassy and escorted Zelaya to the airport was a good indication of reconciliation!” It is of fundamental importance to maintain an air of reconciliation, the minister concluded.
The issue of Honduras is high on the agenda of a Rio Group meeting scheduled for Cancun, Mexico in February, which will bring together presidents and foreign ministers. It is almost certain that the question of the new government’s legitimacy will be worked out at that time.