News Release

OAS Voting on Honduras, But There’s “Neither Reconciliation nor Democracy”


The Los Angeles Times editorializes today: “Nearly two years after former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in a military coup, he returned home Saturday. His arrival clears the way for the Organization of American States to reinstate Honduras, which had been expelled from the group, during a special session Wednesday.”

SUYAPA PORTILLO, lavidagris at
Portillo is assistant professor at the Central American Studies Program at California State University, Northridge.

ADRIENNE PINE, [in Honduras] pine at
Pine recently wrote the piece “Zelaya’s Return: Neither Reconciliation nor Democracy in Honduras.

She is assistant professor of anthropology at American University specializing in Latin America. She is the author of Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras and has been writing about Honduras and other issues at: Pine was featured on Democracy Now this morning, which has been interviewing Zelaya and others in Honduras.

Lindsay-Poland is research and advocacy director for the Fellowship of Reconciliation, which recently released a statement titled “Construction Companies Urged Not to Bid on ‘Violent Outcomes’ in Honduras.

JESSE FREESTON, [in Houduras] jesse at
Freeston is a reporter for The Real News who has produced several segments on Honduras since the June 2009 coup. His latest is “Massive Turnout for Zelaya Launches New Chapter of Honduran Struggle.

Senior associate for international policy at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Main said today: “Following the June 2009 coup d’etat that forcibly removed President Zelaya from power, Honduras’ participation in the OAS was suspended by unanimous decision of the 33 member states. Today, nearly two years later, there appears to be nearly unanimous support for Honduras’ readmission, with only Ecuador indicating that it is still opposed.

“Though the U.S. administration lobbied intensely for Honduras’ return to the OAS ever since the coup regime held flawed elections in late 2009, today’s vote is the direct outcome of an agreement mediated by the presidents of Colombia and Venezuela. The agreement allowed, among other things, for Zelaya and other deposed officials to return from exile without immediate fear of prosecution, a key demand for the majority of South American countries that were opposed to lifting Honduras’ suspension.

“However, Honduran human rights organizations and social movements argue that it is too early to normalize Honduras’ relations with the hemisphere, as politically motivated killings and attacks continue with complete impunity and many of the key actors in the coup still occupy key positions in the government.

“The deplorable state of human rights and democracy in Honduras has been further highlighted by a letter sent yesterday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by 87 members of Congress. Citing the ‘threats and violence reportedly directed against human rights defenders, activists, opposition leaders, members of the LGBT community and journalists’ the letter calls on the U.S. administration to suspend all police and military assistance to Honduras.” Congressional letter:

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167