Clinton urges OAS to let Honduras rejoin

By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post staff writer
Monday, June 7, 2010; 3:19 PM

Last year's coup in Honduras, which took place shortly after the Organization of American States held a general assembly meeting in that country, continues to divide Latin America from the United States.

At Monday's meeting of the OAS, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged allowing Honduras to rejoin, saying new president Porfirio Lobo has shown "strong and consistent commitment to democratic governance and constitutional order."

But a majority of ministers opposed even adding the question of Honduras to the agenda.

The Obama administration had joined with the OAS last year in ousting Honduras after then-President Manuel Zelaya was forced out of the country but shifted course after new elections were held, arguing it was time to move on. Washington's stance has split it from big players in the region, such as Mexico and Brazil, indicating how difficult it is to bridge regional divisions, even after Clinton talked with officials from Mexico and Brazil in Lima about Honduras.

Clinton has invested heavily in building ties with Latin America, making her second trip to the region this year. But the spat over Honduras -- as well as anger at Arizona's new immigration law and U.S. policy toward Cuba -- has made progress difficult. From Peru, Clinton later this week will travel to Ecuador, Colombia and Barbados.

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