Why Honduras May Want Ousted Former President Zelaya Back

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Ever since former Honduran President Manuel "Mel" Zelaya was ousted and exiled in June 2009, the country has been slowly making its way back to legitimacy, so why do they all of a sudden want him to come home?

Five months after the coup, the conservative Porfiro Lobo won the presidential election and most of the world now recognizes his government. Yet, while international grants are returning and restoring the country's economy, as long as Zelaya is in exile many South American countries refuse to have anything to do with Honduras.

As long as Mr Zelaya is away, a hard core of governments, including Brazil, Argentina and left-wing allies of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, will have nothing to do with Honduras. While they freeze the country out, Honduras has little chance of rejoining the Organisation of American States, a regional group that is one of the remaining obstacles to a normal existence on the international stage. And since Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, is one of those who still boycotts Honduras, previously routine co-operation among Central America's leaders has got harder.

As a result, not only do Zelaya's supporters see his return as essential, but the government has reason to at least tolerate the idea, especially now while Lobo's approval ratings are healthy as opposed to during some future crisis.

Read the full story at The Economist.

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Miriam Krule writes for and produces The Atlantic's International channel.

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