Zelaya Assured Safe Passage to Dominican Republic

Manuel Zelaya, the former president of Honduras who was ousted from his seat in a June 2009 military coup, may finally be able to leave the Brazilian embassy where he has been holed up.

After months of negotiations, it appears that the defacto government of Honduras is finally ready to make a deal with Zelaya that will grant him safe passage out of the country without fear of arrest. Some Honduran political and business leaders had previously insisted that Zelaya answer for his "crimes," while the former president has always maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing. The Brazilian embassy, located in the capital city of Tegucigalpa, offered Zelaya a safe haven after he sneaked back into the country in Sept. 2009.

Porfirio Lobo, the new Honduran president elect, has negotiated a deal with Dominican President Leonel Fernández that seems to assure Zelaya a safe route to Mexico through the island of Hispaniola.  Although many countries (including the United States) initially refused to recognize Honduras's recent elections, Lobo said he was confident that the political crisis would ease after his inauguration. The deal he negotiated with Fernández would allow Zelaya to fly to the Dominican Republic as a guest after Lobo takes office on Jan. 27.

"We must all forgive. We strongly defend an amnesty for all, regardless of ideological differences we may have. It is in the interest of the Honduran people," Lobo said.