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Hugo Chávez boycotts Madrid summit over Honduras president

The EU-Latin America summit opened in Madrid today without Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, who is protesting the attendance of Honduras President Porfirio Lobo. Mr. Lobo was elected following the controversial ouster of Manuel Zelaya.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez smiles during his weekly broadcast in the central state of Cojedes, south of Caracas, Sunday. Chávez is skipping the EU-Latin America summit held today and tomorrow in Madrid to protest the attendance of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, who was elected following the ouster of Manuel Zelaya in June 2009.

Miraflores Palace/Reuters

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Nearly one year on, the ouster of Manuel Zelaya continues to divide the region.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is skipping the EU-Latin America summit held today and tomorrow in Madrid to protest the attendance of Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, who was elected following the ouster of Mr. Zelaya in June 2009. Venezuela and several other South American governments do not recognize Mr. Lobo as the new leader of Honduras because of the way Zelaya was forced out of office.

And Honduras also continues to see internal division, despite the creation of a truth commission set up to help heal a divided nation.

The commission itself – which was inaugurated this month – now looks to be the latest victim of the country's polarization.

Those on the far right, who supported Zelaya's removal from office, say the commission will be manipulated by a partisan international community. Those on the far left say it's a mere epilogue to a coup and have refused to participate.

Jorge Aguilar, president of the Innovation and Unity Party (PINU), says he supports the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and that "it's going to shed some light on the facts of what happened, but I don't think the result of the commission will really bring reconciliation, as is expected."

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