Honduras readmitted to the OAS after coup

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2011 2:26 PM
Honduras readmitted to the OAS after coup

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Honduras was readmitted to the Organization of American States on Wednesday, repairing ties with the group of regional democracies two years after President Manuel Zelaya was toppled in widely condemned coup.

The body voted 32 to one at a special OAS meeting with Ecuador the only country to oppose the move.

Honduras' army, with backing from the congress and the courts, whisked leftist Zelaya out of the country in his pajamas in June 2009 after he was accused of trying to extend his presidential term limits with a popular referendum.

Governments around the world criticized the predawn coup and the OAS, which groups Latin American democratic countries and the United States, expelled Honduras with many members cutting off aid to the impoverished nation.

Whether to readmit Honduras to the group, even after it held regularly scheduled elections to vote in a new president, sparked deep divisions in the region.

The United States initially condemned the coup but restored relations with the new government of President Porfirio Lobo.

Two ideological foes, conservative President Juan Manuel Santos in Colombia and Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez, helped pave the way for Honduras' acceptance back into the OAS.

(Reporting by Deborah Charles, additional reporting by Alex Leff in San Jose and Mica Rosenberg in Mexico City; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)