Tags: Zelaya | Honduras | nation | ousted

Ousted Honduran Leader to Leave Country

Thursday, 21 January 2010 10:00 AM

SANTO DOMINGO — Incoming Honduran leader Porfirio Lobo said Wednesday that deposed president Manuel Zelaya will be allowed to leave Honduras as part of a settlement in the country's lengthy political crisis.

Lobo said that Zelaya -- holed up at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa since September in a failed attempt to regain power -- can leave Honduras with no fear of being arrested.

Lobo is due to take office on January 27, following controversial November elections held under the de facto regime led by Roberto Micheletti.

"Zelaya, his relatives and members of his circle of advisors can leave for the Dominican Republic on January 27... as guests of that sister nation," Lobo said in a statement.

Zelaya had earlier announced the agreement from Tegucigalpa.

The document "is a goodwill gesture by Porfirio Lobo" who is "distancing himself from the dictatorship" of Micheletti, Zelaya told Globo radio network.

Zelaya, who was ousted in a coup supported by Micheletti on June 28, insisted that he was the country's legitimate president.

Lobo was in Santo Domingo visiting Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez.

Meanwhile in Washington, US officials revoked more visas for members of the Micheletti regime as it ramped up pressure to finalize a political solution in Honduras. Washington had already denied visas to Micheletti and top members of his government.

Minister for Youth Luis Ortez, in Tegucigalpa said the new visa denials included himself, the ministers of finance, transport and culture, as well as Micheletti's advisor and his chief of protocol.

Ortez said company executives who supported the coup against Zelaya were also included in the US visa denial list.

The United States condemned the June 28 coup and called but failed to have Zelaya reinstated. It has since recognized Lobo's election and has been pressing Micheletti to step down ahead of his inauguration next Wednesday.

The United States, along with the European Union and international organizations, froze millions of dollars of much-needed aid to Honduras after the military-backed coup.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved

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Thursday, 21 January 2010 10:00 AM
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