The Organization of American States has voted to readmit Honduras following an almost two-year suspension that followed the ouster of the country’s then-president, Manuel Zelaya, in a June 2009 coup.
The Washington-based organization Wednesday lifted the suspension after a 32-1 vote in which only Ecuador opposed the move. The vote follows an agreement last month that allowed Zelaya to return to Honduras.
Zelaya was overthrown and flown out of the country after he allegedly tried to change the Honduran constitution to stay in power. Honduras was suspended from the Organization of American States following the coup. After Zelaya’s overthrow, the United States and the Organization of American States failed to persuade an interim government to restore him to power. Five months
later, Honduras held previously scheduled elections, and current President Porfirio Lobo was elected. He took office in January of last year.
The United States and other countries restored ties with Honduras after the election in November 2009. But Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela opposed Honduras’s readmission to the Organization of American States unless Zelaya was allowed to return from exile in the Dominican Republic, without facing the threat of prison.
Costa Rica expressed its pleasure at the move. In a statement from the foreign ministry in San José, the government said that it accepted Zelaya here as part of its long tradition of providing asylum for the persecuted and the stateless. Zelaya ended up in Costa Rica when the military flew him from Honduras, and then-president Óscar Arias Sánchez, with the support of the United States, tried to get Zelaya reinstated. But the effort failed.