Clinton: Democratic Honduras should be readmitted in OAS.
Secretary Hillary Clinton, active in the OAS Gral Assembly.
LIMA, Peru — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pleaded Monday with Latin American countries to welcome Honduras back into their circle, a year after the country’s left-leaning president was ousted in a coup that has left a residue of bitterness throughout the region.
Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and other nations refuse to recognize the new Honduran leader, Porfirio Lobo, who was elected after lengthy wrangling between the United States and the coup leaders failed to restore President Manuel Zelaya to power. He had been bundled out of the country in his pajamas last June, and spent months trying to reclaim his job.
Addressing a meeting of the Organization of American States here, Mrs. Clinton noted that the United States had condemned Mr. Zelaya’s ouster. But she said, “We saw the free and fair election of President Lobo,” and she praised him for setting up a truth commission to investigate the coup.
“Now it’s time for the hemisphere as a whole to move forward and welcome Honduras back into the inter-American community,” Mrs. Clinton said, after several foreign ministers inveighed against Mr. Lobo’s government, which they said had violated human rights.
Honduras was expelled from the O.A.S. in the wake of the coup, with the support of the United States. Continued tensions over the coup suffused the discussions here, though Nicaragua failed to get Honduras added to the formal agenda of the meeting.