Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas In Honduras

Christmas in Honduras is not like you experience Christmas in any other place in the world.  Hondurans have a very unique way of doing things and I actually love doing Christmas here.  It makes Christmas in the US seem so boring.
Why do I say boring? Well if you ever wondered what it might sound like to live in the middle of a war, go to Honduras on Christmas Eve.  There are so many fireworks cracking that you will sware that the place is being carpet bombed.  Kids and fathers in delight are popping fireworks, sometimes entire rounds of the little crackers at a time.  The neighborhood goes house to house, drinks homemade wine, you are fed endless plates of tamales, roasted chicken, baked or grilled pork leg, rice, and don´t dare say..´I´m not hungry´..just grin and stuff more food in your face. I don´t think a soul in Honduras falls asleep a minute before 4 am.  Then the next day firecrackers continue to pop as the kids spend the rest of the fireworks collection they have amassed.  The moms sweep up the mess the fireworks have left behind and warm tamales and warm leftovers with tortillas and Coca Cola or Pepsi and oftentimes Banana soda. I think today I was the only one who washed clothes and hung out laundry..I didn´t see anyone else with laundry hanging, but I couldn´t resist taking advantage of the breeze that was blowing and I have a washing machine so I threw a load of towels in and washed them.  I also took a nap because I was worn out from being awake till the wee hours of the morning...that is when you really realize what being 38 years old feels like.
I received some Godawful news last night and all of my neighbors were around to keep my spirits up, hug me and pray with me for a few minutes.  My oldest son Julio is being sent to Afghanistan in June.  His job there will be to diffuse bombs and man a machine gun.  He joined the Guard so we knew there were risks, but had hoped that the worst was over when he had signed so that he could get the college money to become an architect.  Now we know that fate didn´t play out that way and he is going to war like so many of our sons and daughters before him.  I will be brave, but I am a mom and cannot help but feel scared for him and feel like he is just barely over being a kid and surely cannot be grown enough to do dangerous things like difuse bombs.  My husband to worries for him as he spent six years in service here in Honduras doing the same thing, diffusing bombs.  He cannot picture this young man being sufficiently prepared for such a dangerous job.  He said we will deliver it in God´s hands that he will bring him home safely. 
What I was impressed with is there was no endless amount of support for me and my child and even though not everyone agrees with the war there or understands it, even I do not understand it fully, everyone was supporting me and him at that moment and praying for his safe return and commented on the brave soul and patriot that he is. With such a support from this community I have learned what real family and neighbors feel like.  They have truly made Christmas have meaning to me that goes beyond presents and the latest toys and electronics.  Many in Honduras do not have money for all the latest gadgets, but almost all of them celebrate Christmas and enjoy festivities with one another.  I think every American should experience one Christmas Eve in Honduras.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Siesmographs Going to Be Installed in 2010

Two siesmographs to measure ground movement will be installed in Honduras in the Cortes area.  The two siesmographs were donated and cost about $6,000 a piece. 
The machines will be installed where they can send measurments live via internet. 
Honduras is located between two tetonic plates The Carribean and the Cocos.  These two plates have activated more than 200 faults in the territory of Honduras.
The Northern region of Honduras has been the most affected by the movements since May 28th´s major earthquake of 7.3.  Most of us have felt movements that did not seem to be registered on the geological websites either in Nicaragua or in the US and would be confused about whether we imagined it or not.  However, after research by La Gringa in Ceiba she found out that often the US geological service does not register every earthquake here(yeah right...only since June 28, before that they were even registering the tiny ones.) and that Nicaragua´s site might not pick them up and they do not update immediately.  So now we have our own to register our movements and then we will know for sure if the ground is really moving or if we are really going bananas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nominate Micheletti for the Nobel Peace Prize!

It seems there is a bit of a movement in Miami amongst Hondurans to nominate Micheletti for the Nobel Peace Prize for the incredible strength and security he brought to the people in Honduras and his magnificent ability to keep the country from falling into chaos and an eventual civil war.

What he did was short of a miracle considering the incredible pressure he had coming from the ALBA countries and at one point from many allies as well.  He took a stand and kept our pride without letting this fall into a war.  I agree he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize...this man is a hero in my book.

If you are interested in signing the petition to nominate Roberto Micheletti for the Nobel call 304-643-5840 or 305-643-0577. I think he is a national hero and absolutely should be given this prize in 2010.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Extreme Injustice

I of course mostly speak about Honduras on this blog.  I try to limit myself to that...but every once in awhile something happens that is so shocking that there is no  way I cannot do anything but address it.  Especially when it refers to the way Hispanics are treated in the US. How many Hondurans, Mexicans, our friends or family, have been treated badly for being the wrong color and for no other reason.

The other day a sleepy coal town named Shenandoah, PA was once again turned upside down.  This town has lived in turmoil since July 2008 when six teenage football players kicked Luis Ramirez to death.  Luis Ramirez, 25 was from Mexico and had been in the US since he was 18 illegally. He had two children, a boy and a girl, Eduardo and Kiara and intended to marry their mother, Crystal, 24. 

However, justice was not served.  The boys involved covered up, lied, and the police helped them. The boys faced a slap on the wrist for their crime instead of murder...they got simple assault...this man is dead and they got simple assault? Something is seriously wrong with this picture.  The Justice Department started an investigation and if it were not for this investigation and murder the corruption secrets of this tiny town might never have been found out.

In 2006, there was another Hispanic man beat to death in this town...but that time it was a Puerto Rican and he was beaten to death in a jail cell by the cops...they then tried to cover it up and make it look like a suicide.  His family was smart enough to get a second autopsy that shows his death was not from any hanging but from being beaten to death.  A suit is in progress for wrongful death against these scum bag cops.  Why was there no investigation?

David Murphy, a black man,  was also arrested by these thugs and he was beaten and denied his blood thinning medication and he had a heart attack and lay on a prison cell floor where no one could hear him..he spent four days in the hospital.  The police told him if he said a word or tried to sue that he would end up like that Mexican who hung himself if he sued them or told anyone. 

Here is how they investigate in this town of Shenandoah, PA

Minutes after the last kick and punch were thrown in a fatal beating in a public park in Shenandoah on a summer night in 2008, the cover-up began, federal prosecutors say.

Instead of investigating the vicious beating of Luis Ramirez, police officers of the small borough helped the young men conceal evidence and concoct a less-damaging version of what happened that night, advising the young football players that they "needed to get their stories straight" because the man they had just beaten might die, according to an indictment

In the following weeks, Lt. Moyer called one of the parents of the men involved in the beating, advising them to "dispose of the sneakers he wore during the assault" on Mr. Ramirez, the indictment states.
I am utterly disgusted that this is happening in my home country.  In the US I had always had the illusion when I was younger that our justice was served honestly and that our cops were straightforward and honest...that world came crashing down the night that Kathrine Johnston was killed in Atlanta, Georgia by Narcotics police who had a bogus warrant and planted drugs in her home.  This caused an outcry in the community that an investigation was launched and something so sick was uncovered that it left everyone wondering if those idiots had put more innocent people in prison.  It was revolting. In the end, justice was served, but this woman cannot be brought back to life nor can Luis Ramirez, David Vega, or any of the other people that suffer from police brutality, racism, and corruption.
I find it hard to complain about 3rd world police corruption when I am smacked with corruption so vile in my own country that it makes the Honduran cops look like saints.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reporter´s Daughter Murdered By Resistance

Micheletti openly accused the National Resistance Front (a terrorist organization in favor of a dictatorship by Zelaya) of murdering a young girl by the name of Catherine Nicolle Rodriguez.  This young girl of 16 not only was murdered, but she was 8 months pregnant when they shot and killed her.  The baby was able to be saved at Hospital Escuela but unfortunately Catherine died. 

Karol Cabrera is her mother and she is a reporter with Radio Cadena de Voces and Channel 8 the state run television station. 

Micheletti directly blamed radio stations like Channel 36 and Radio Globo for their role in causing hate to be raised in the country and for encouraging terrorist activity of this nature.  This is a disgusting act and should be repudiated by all.  It is sad that they found the need to shoot a defenseless, pregnant teenager. 

The police have said that they do have evidence that is leading to suspects in the crime, so with hope these criminals will receive their just punishment and not escape prison.  Unfortunately, in Honduras we do not have the death penalty for disgusting trash like this.  Anyone who would shoot a 16 year old that is 8 months pregnant deserves to suffer a very cruel punishment in exchange.

My heart goes out to her family who is suffering deeply with her loss.  My condolences and I am very glad they were able to save the life of the little one even though Catherine was not able to be saved.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sponser a Child Fraud

(the organizations name and the participants names are not included to protect their privacy)
One of the things that makes my blood boil is these sponser a child organizations that take people´s money and mislead them in return.  There are a few reputable organizations out there so they are not who I am talking about.

A person who I met online and now consider my friend after meeting him in Honduras spoke with me about a group where he had sponsered a child for 20 some odd dollars a month. The organization sent him a letter supposedly from the child saying that his money had built this child´s family a new chimney.  He decided he wanted to meet the family and this child.  The organization said he could have 1 thirty minute meeting in Tegucigalpa(not where the child lives) and it would cost him approximately $2,000 for the background check, transportation, and other stuff related to organization costs) That is outrageous for a 30 minute meeting.  This person wasn´t worried about the background check but felt it was crazy to spend that much money and felt they set it at this level to make it where they would not go and meet the family and he was probably right.

The friend of mine set out on an exploration of Honduras, hoping but not expecting, that he would find his sponsered child and their family.  He was lucky and found them on his second day in Honduras.  In his discovery he found the organization never built a chimney, never gave this child any school supplies or anything related to the organization.  He also found out that his child had never sent him the letter thanking him for the new chimney.  He was very disappointed.  However, they connected and now have a relationship and he helps them directly.  The organization was rather upset that he found the child..of course.

This time he came and visited and enjoyed getting to know his sponsered god child much better and assisted the family and talked to them about the needs they have. I was filled with joy that they made this connection and this man truly cares about this child.

I felt I needed to speak about this because these organizations are sometimes not on the up and up and are becoming rich off of promoting that they help the poor without helping the poor at all.  If you want to adopt a child per se(understand these people are not giving you their child, they are giving you a sponser or god parent status) then it is best to contact people inside the country that are either ex pats or someone else where you can help a child directly with funds or contact a school about paying a scholarship for a needy child...there are plenty of schools and I can provide you a list if you would like to do that.  School for children that is private ranges in can be very inexpensive to expensive and there are a range of types of private schools from non religious to religious, catholic or evangelical.  Some are bilingual some are not.  Let me know in email what your price range is and I will match you to a school.  You can provide the school with the funds if you distrust providing it directly to the family.  You can also purchase books, uniforms, etc on line or send money to the school where they can purchase them.
If you want the name of a family I can put you in contact with several in my immediate area.  I do not want your money...but I will be honest with you 20 dollars will not feed a family or the child for a month like these sites tell you.  Also, INFA and other organizations here that are orphanages will gladly take donations of food, clothing, school supplies, money, etc.  I believe an ex pat here runs an orphanage and another runs a private school(if you guys will post your information it will be appreciated and how they can provide a donation to you..even greater appreciated.) Schools run from as little as 300 lempiras a month to 4,000 lempiras a month for a higher class bilingual school like the American Academy in San Pedro Sula.

If you want to adopt a child from Honduras that is possible as well.  You can contact INFA.  It is a long process, but well worth it.
You must be over 25 and under 51 to adopt in Honduras. I am not sure if there are any exceptions to that rule, but you may want to contact them about it if you are out of these age I am sure there are probably exceptions to the rule in Honduras.

Monday, December 07, 2009

School and Why I Get in Trouble When I Wander Around US Blogs Too Much

Every once in a great while I decide to surf...invariably it gets me into trouble...lots of it.  Now I have spent two nights wandering site to site and finding myself sometimes amused and sometimes wandering what in the world these strange people are thinking about.  I find it harder sometimes to identify with US citizens on line than other Hondurans or other Ex Pats...and it seems to get worse as time goes on.

My latest run in has been one about public school, homeschooling, divorce, and wild nonsense that would make most of us go bananas.  After months of talking about stuff here though I needed to read other stuff and now I could kick myself.

I came upon two cases of home schoolers.  I used to like home school parents and still do to some degree, but after these blogs I am not so sure that there is not a certain population of home school parents that are completely loony toons. 

I hear many refer to the public school system as Satan´s tool and wild things of that nature. Others say that they don´t want to expose their children to different world views that the reason they home school is to isolate the children from that sin filled lifestyle.  Then I hear others who just want to make sure their kids get a quality education and felt like they could not in the local school system.  The latter I can respect to a degree.

However, children should be exposed to certain things that we do not find so savory so they know how to deal with those life situations when they come upon them.  Face it people we cannot protect our children from everything and it is better to deal with the situations as they arise or discuss what is right and what is wrong before those situations come up instead of sheltering the child from everything one perceives as worldly or sinful.  Too much sheltering is a bad thing.

When I think about the home schooling that I did over the past year it wasn´t so much because I wanted to home school, it was because I had no choice.  The people of Honduras and Ex Pats know well that the situation was wild this year and children lost out on almost the entire school year.  I wonder how the home schoolers would feel about US public schools if they had to spend just one year sending their children to a public school in Honduras.  They might suddenly realize the fine schools they have before them and that they have been just a little too uppity about. 

One thing about US public schools...they are in session every day for 5 days a week from 7 am to 3 pm in most states and they do not miss time unless there is a drastic emergency during the school year.  Another thing US students can be sure of, if they are poor they get free lunch and their lunch is balanced.  They get free text books and get clean, well groomed schools that are rarely in the desperate shape that some politicians try to paint them as being in.  I wonder how many politicians from the US or parents would flat pass out of they took one look at the state of affairs in Honduran public schools. Lead paint, crumbling cement blocks, sometimes dirt floors, no windows, and text books...what text books? Then your child might find himself walking home several times a month because teachers just decided to go on strike because they didn´t like something or another about the government or their uniform, or whatever.  I will never complain about US public schools again!  US students have it very good and their education is something that is guaranteed and not something that is half baked.  I worry more about the parent that calls a US public school, Satan´s tool...being her kids teacher 8 hours a day than I worry about a public school teacher who is well trained and probably a Christian anyway.
I worry about the bloggers that went bananas over a father in New Hampshire wanting his 10 year old in public school so she could consider other people´s view points and perhaps open her mind.  They called him every name in the book.  I was certain this man was an atheist by the time they were done with him.  His own daughter claimed that she felt he didn´t love her because he would not follow her religion and thus was going to hell. That sent sirens off in my head that you cannot imagine..a ten year old doesn´t invent that junk on her own and normal churches do not teach this crap to kids about their parents.  I was again certain he was an atheist from those comments.  I found out he was a Catholic...I was speechless.  How did this child suddenly decide in her homeschool, with her mother 24 hours a day..that daddy was going to hell because he is a Catholic? Oh anyone else hearing fundamentalist cult whistles yet? I sure am.
The mother went nuts and hired ADF because she thinks that not getting to home school interferes with her religion..what? How does sending your kid to public school deny you the right to practice your religion? It doesn´t.  She goes to church on Sunday and if you church requires you home school and not go to worldly public school find another church...something is seriously wrong with a church that requires such nonsense or teaches that daddy will go to hell because he is a Catholic.

Ok enough ranting on that issue..and now my hats off to the public school system in the US.  While some of the schools have much to be desired there...the schools in Honduras and the teachers here do not hold a candle to the teachers there.  If they would stay in school the full year they might give US schools a run for their money, crumbling walls and all.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

20 Days Till Christmas: Christmas In Honduras

We have 20 days till Christmas and I will be celebrating my second Christmas here.  Christmas in Honduras is very different from Christmas in the United States.  We have no concept of Thanksgiving as a marker here so you start seeing Christmas things in October here.  However, Christmas is not near as commercialized as it is in the United States.

I was having a very difficult time getting in the Christmas mood this year, but one of my neighbor´s 22 year old daughters has been bugging the snot out of me about when I am going to put up my lights and tree for Christmas...well today I caved and she won and I put up the lights and tree.  I have a poinsetta decorated white Christmas tree...with red poinsettas all over it and gold balls with poinsetta Christmas lights that have two settings.  I also have garland lights for the house that I put on the second story railing.  She was so pleased with me...she calls me ´suegra´to bug me because she says she is going to steal my 19 almost 20 year old soldier son when he come shere and that they are going to run away and get married...(she is joking of course, but anything to tease me).

I suppose the more I look at the lights the more I will get in the mood...

In Honduras tamales at every house during go from house to house to house...drink grape wine(it is really good), eat tamales, eat pork leg that has been baked, the kids set off tremendous amounts of fireworks...and yes there are Christmas gifts and new clothing, but not to the level of the states..most kids get one or two gifts and new clothing one really gives mounds of gifts like the states.  I really enjoy Christmas here because it is not just family, but friends as well. I love the house to house to house stuff and while the firecrackers give me a headache the kids have fun...So grab a bottle of grape wine, a bottle of fresh made rompopo, tamales, fireworks and Christmas is ready...

75 Days in the Brazilian Embassy: Now What?

Zelaya has been in the Brazilian embassy for 75 days today after he snuck in on September 21 and found that he had to exile in the Brazilian embassy to avoid capture by the military.

Now the elections have passed and Pepe Lobo is the next president and he will take office on January 27, 2010 as required by the Honduran Constitution.  The world is recognizing the electoral process and one by one turning their backs on Zelaya.  The next country is Brazil...they are considering recognizing the election results since the elections were clearly fair and transparent.  If they recognize the elections what happens to Zelaya? How much longer can he continue inside that embassy prison cell he created for himself?  He has been abandoned by everyone but his family and Rasel Tomé.

He was abandoned by Tamayo for what was rumored to be domestic violence that occurred between Zelaya and his wife Xiomara.  Tamayo apparently got in the middle to stop him from hurting her and an argument broke out.  Tamayo used the excuse that his sister needed him in El Salvador, but he hasn´t been to El Salvador in 26 years until it is highly unlikely that his story was true...apparently Zelaya beat Xiomara so badly she had to be hospitalized and it was more than Tamayo could deal with so he left the embassy and faced deportation instead. 

Zelaya clearly is suffering from mental problems that probably have been compounded by the situation he has found himself in.  I am sure he never dreamed that the embassy would become his prison.  He miscalculated how much following he had and it was too late when he realized that the Resistance could not carry him back to the presidency and that the Civil War he dreamed about had not occurred.

Now that elections have passed even the Resistance has recognized that Lobo will be the president come January and they accept the results of the elections...their goal they say is the Constitutional Assembly...of course that will not happen, but how bad has it really gotten when his following abandoned him outright and were clear they no longer were calling for Zelaya´s restitution since his term would end on January 27 anyway.  People are starting to come to their senses now.

So what is this man going to do? He cannot continue in the embassy.  The sensible thing would be to ask for asylum and get a way out of the country without being arrested or turn himself in and face the music that awaits him.  The military feels so safe about the situation that they retired barricades that had been at the embassy for over 2 months.  They are still guarding the embassy to arrest him if he comes out, but there is no danger of the embassy coming under siege now.

The real question is if Brazil recognizes Lobo, will they make Zelaya make a choice on what he is going to do? His days are numbered regardless.  The Brazilians need their embassy and he has got to decide what his destiny is....I suspect that the Zelaya property in Catacamas will soon have a for sale sign hanging on the gate...and Zelaya will be an asylee in another country...I cannot picture him facing the music.

The real thing to celebrate is that elections were so peaceful and that the crisis is all but ended.  No one will stop holding their breath though until he is out of the embassy and Lobo is sworn in as president of Honduras. 

Now the doors are open to the future for Honduras and what Hondurans do with it will depend on them..this can easily make Honduras a first world country even as small as they are...will they jump at the chance or remain on the sidelines is the real question. 

Friday, December 04, 2009

Letter from Our President Roberto Micheletti Bain

Dated November 29, 2009 and printed in Spanish in the Prensa.

I want to add my own thoughts.  If it were not for the other ex pats, my neighbors, my husband, friends, and many other Hondurans I do not know how I could have made it through without running for the hills.  Many times I was scared and many times I was afraid we just would not make it with everyone against us, no matter how wrong they were.  It was difficult and as many others living in Honduras I spent many sleepless nights and anguish for what would come next.  President Micheletti wrote precisely many of the things in my mind.  While some things may have been lost a bit in translation because the letter is long I have done my best to translate it here and it took me about two hours.  I appreciate any corrections of errors as I am tired now and refuse to proof read I think it is important to write here what he had to say.  I love Honduras and I am so proud of the people here and what they stand for.  I have long wondered exactly what it meant to defend democracy and be proud of who you are and now I know and I understand in every grain of my being.
Now to the letter

Heroic people of Honduras:

I present myself before you to celebrate with complete satisfaction today the elections. I want to take a few minutes in this time that I am absent to tell the nation a few words that will serve to consolidate the job that is being done by all Hondurans in good faith.

We have lived without a doubt one of the most important historical journeys of our country, of Central America, of Latin America, and of the world that lives in Democracy. We have confirmed to the world that all the countries, however small, have large spirit in everyone of the citizens that participate in the construction of their future.

For this reason, I salute, with my heart in hand all Hondurans that today exercised their right to vote. They defied the international pressure, the fear that was sowed by radical sectors of society, the intimidation of the enemies of the state, and all that planted hate to stop the exercise of clear liberty in the sovereign right to insist on respect for our laws and concur with the enthusiasm at the ballot box to elect our next president.

Every vote emitted represents a value of the Hondurans that we give to our liberty to decide. Every vote is the voice of a community that asks for respect and in change promises to respect the law over all things. For this reason I bring before you the thought of Albert Einstein when he said ´My ideal politics is the democracy To let every man be respected as an individual and not idolize any man. We have given clear proof that this thought is alive in Honduras and that gives us pride.

More over every vote is the validation of the strength that Honduras has to correct their path and continue constructing the nation inside a democratic and republican system. Honduras is not the property of anyone more than the Honduran citizenry and it has become the responsibility of politicians that love Honduras to assume the responsibility to return us to the path that respects the law.

If in the walk it has been precise to go away from friends, it is sure that we are on your time and proud Honduran citizens will give us the reason. The friends will return and their heart will open the doors to this valiant nation, progressive and always indebted to democracy and the law.

No one better than the children of this land of Morazan known how much pain and anguish it has costed to have the right to complete this journey full of decisions and dreams. No one more can understand how much anguish it has been for Honduras to confront our brothers and the destruction of the national harmony.

No one more than Hondurans can understand that a new day is born and a new moment is coming closer in this government team of transition to complete their job of turning over power without conditions to the governor who has been elected by the people.

And of course, no one more than Hondurans will savor tonight the exquisite flavor of dignity, of liberty, of the right to defend their national honor at the ballot box.

As a part of this government team it satisfies me to get to this point, nights without sleep, days of conflict and a interminable time of affliction proceeding this moment when we complete one more pass to the process of service and protection of the most expensive patriotic values.

If initially the journey was complicated and delicate it was because the international community left us alone in the job of defending our nation and our laws, every moment lived in front of the nation signifies for the government team and for the thousands of citizens that we have been strengthened, a proof of force that all Hondurans will be able to rise up.

The best proof that we are a nation with a future is in the smiles that we have seen on the length of the journey of the interminable lines of voters. Every heart, every volunteer, every dream closed in the vote, it brings back the faith we have tried to rescue since the start of the process.

On the path many things have changed. Today we are a country with proven sovereignty, without fear to defend our dignity before even the largest countries, and with faith in that if we act inside of the law, we all can win. Beyond that the discourse, today our Honduras has come forward to prove to the world that it is a nation of dignity, free, without imposition, and with much pride for itself.

Our constant prayers had their reward, the Honduran people have reacted and it is presented more than never an example of dignity and of complete promise to democracy.

I thank the electors for this act of faith in the future. They are not acts of support for a government but more than that…every vote was a confirmation of what we are as a nation and that we deserve respect from everyone and that we will be relocated within international concert, as a country of brave people, with values and plain decision.

Nothing more than this would have been possible without the backing of the citizens who are responsible for the protection of democracy and the sovereign liberty of the Honduran community. We are at the end of the day a team has formed with citizens of diverse tendencies to confront this job of making sure that the law is respected above all factors of distortion.

The Congress of the Republic, the Supreme Court, and the Electoral Tribunal, the Attorney General, the Prosecutor, the Police, and the military should feel satisfied for the lighted path of their jobs and promise to the liberty in this country. Of all of them we can feel most proud because of their support that this nation required in this moment to continue the path of the dignity and today we have moved a little further forward.

As a part of this team of government I am convinced that I will have no larger satisfaction in my life. I am serving my country, my convictions, but beyond all I am serving every person who believes in this country, in our future, and our capacity to move forward.

The votes have concluded. The government team salutes all of the citizens and all of the candidates, the winners and those that had the bravery to confront the situation and make proposals to save the country from the worst influences.

I salute the leaders of all of the corners of the country, where the electoral process has been a total sacrifice, but where without a doubt, the hope is the reason to work so that an idea converts into a project that we will all follow.

The country’s history will applaud the strength of the candidates of all the parties that participated enthusiastically. In the personal I have to share with them the emotion of the celebration of the win of the community against others with the power of our words and the faith in our future, to those enemies of the process I ask that they honor the will of the people by means of a vote.

Without tremendous valor demonstrated by the candidates these elections would have never occurred. Thanks to every one of them for demonstrating with their actions their promise to the future of this nation.

In the same form I thank the enthusiasm of the electoral authorities, of the political parties, and the delegates of the electoral tables, because they are the guarantee of the will of the people that was totally respected and backed by transparency. I will cite the words of Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg speech on November 19, 1893 ´The world will little note nor remember for long what we are saying here, but never will they forget what they did here´ I am sure of this and all that each one of the guarantees of our free elections will bring the spirit of pride to be written with strength in this page of national history.

After this moment of euphoria that precedes this announcement of the results the government team detains itself for a moment to share some reflections about the passes that we are going to have to take so that the country will complete its new holy cycle of democracy.

It is important that we have national unification in our projects of the future and for this reason we all must walk together without error to the methods of the reality that exists for us.

Not only do we have in front of us the job of recovering what has been lost in these months of conflict, if not more beyond that we have to work together so that the poverty, lack of education, insecurity, and all of these problems that steal our dreams are jobs that will start immediately without excuse or any delay.

This job only can be started by the new government if it has before it a United Honduras, convinced of its strength and with a promise to the future. From the Congress of the Republic that I am proud of having worked with as with all of the political jobs and business initiatives that have developed from me personally I have known the reality of this country. However, in front of this government team I have completed this vision and for this I proclaim that now we unite as a country, work together to go beyond political colors, to advance as a nation so that we complete the remaining tasks.

This process of unification will place great virtues of Honduras beside its unintimidated bravery as a sovereign nation. The development of human potential and business potential will be in the hands of the most extraordinary example of power and valor as a nation.

We have demonstrated to the world that we are a country where dignity should be respected. Now our job as a community is to orient this same valor to find the methods that are most important to facilitate the lives and jobs of our children and grandchildren. WE are the ones who have the responsibility to protect and develop the country. We together insist in our authorities to guide the nation and the state respecting law and putting themselves at the service of our needs and community.

I take advantage of this reflection to the future to thank the backing of moral leaders of this country that was given in this moment of our democracy. Without their bravery , without the promise of those sectors of society and without the significance of them and the abuse they dealt with and the anonymity of their aggressors, this country could never have advanced so rapidly to such a complex method that today we are celebrating.

Honduras, today more than ever, we are on our own path without conditions, orders, more than ever we have demonstrated that we are the owners of our own destiny, designers of our future, and doctors of our own health as a nation.

We have lived in our future and to make our phrase a classic of the philosopher Plato ´The liberty is in being owners of your own lives´

God Bless Honduras and Long Live Honduras!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Honduras Takes Sharp Turn Right

After a wild four years in left field Honduras has taken a sharp right turn.  Not only did Hondurans vote for the ´cachurecos´(Nationalist Party) for the presidency in which Pepe Lobo is now the president elect with a huge undeniable margin, but they also swept away much of the ´reds´ power hold on the country in mayor seats and Congress.

Cachurecos won 252 mayor seats and Reds won just 46 with 2 still in dispute.  In Yoro the entire department went from Red to Blue and the Reds do not control a single seat.
In the department of Cortes another traditionally Liberal department the Reds only won 1 seat and San Pedro Sula is in dispute right now awaiting a recount and final tally to determine the winner.
In the department of Santa Barbara with 28 mayorships the Nationalists won 22 mayorships and Liberals won just 6.
The department of Paraiso where the dramatic border event by Zelaya took place and was traditionally Liberal as well also went to a blazing blue...13 mayors are now Cachurecos and 7 Reds.
In the Department of Olancho where Zelaya and Lobo are both from the department is also now deep blue.  While 20 mayorships now belong in blue hands only 3 are red. 
In Colon where Nationalists usually barely make head way they control all but 1 of the mayor seats.

The projection for Congress is that the Cachurecos will control more than 70 of the 128 seats leaving just 58 for the opposition.  This is an important event since Cachurecos are known for being a solid voting block and for following the lead of Pepe Lobo...if he says to Cachurecos vote for this...they do and as a solid block.  So clearly the right has unsurmountable power in Honduras....Now what will they do with it since it is probably the first time in hisotry that they have held so much power in their hands.

The difficulty in the hotly contested mayor seat of San Pedro Sula is a seat I would not want if they begged me to take.  Two doctors, a cardiologist (Liberal Candidate) and a gynecologist (Nationalist Candidate) are in competition for the seat and the vote took place smooth and it has turned into a close election that brings back memories of the US 2000 presidential election between Gore and Bush.  There are 426 urns that are sealed with the results inside and results were to be left out of the urn and in a sealed envelope, yet poll workers did not follow instructions and sealed it in the box leaving in question the mayor seat of the Industrial Capital of Honduras.  The TSE in San Pedro is not authorized to open the urns and they are being transfered to Tegus for scrutiny in front of both candidates and other observers. There is also some question about manipulation of the closing count making it necessary to hand count all of the ballots for a confirmation.  Today the results should be clear as to whether the Reds or Blues will control the 2nd largest city in Honduras and take a bankrupt municipality in their hands.  It is one that should not be envied and needs critical life support.  San Pedro is not just handicapped it has literally 1 foot in the grave.  The municipality is completely bankrupt from the corruption that has siezed it for four years.  Both candidates are good and while the seat was held by a liberal previously Zuñiga is not your average candidate..he ran on the Micheletti ticket and is very popular as is Bendañas.  Zuñiga is a cardiologist that has long assisted the poor even before he was in the political realm as is true for Bendañas as well.  Zuñiga stood up to Zelaya over the 4th ballot box and lost his executive status with  Catarino Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula.  What is even more interesting is that Zuñiga was originally on the Micheletti ticket.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Huge Victory for Honduras

I stood upright for hours from just after midnight Sunday morning until Monday 3 am while the elections started their journey.  Normally as an international observer I would not have had to stand so long or do such a long shift but disaster almost occurred.  They had so many urns to deliver that they ran out of custodians for the urns.  I was picked to be the observer while the presidents of the voting tables became custodians and after the elections I became custodian with presidents as co custodians until the custodian arrived it made it difficult for me to observe any of the other schools, but I was informing how the votes were going in the other schools in the neighborhood and everything seemed to be very smooth and quiet in the other areas with people voting and going home.  The vote did start a little late in all of the three schools in our neighborhood but voting was extended till 5 pm as there were lots of people waiting to vote in the two upper schools and there was a steady stream even after 4 at the smaller school where I was located.  I picked the school, because I had been told that there was a few of the Resistance members that had incorporated into the tables and were going to be assessors to throw the election in the neighborhood which would have gave illegitimacy all around.  I was really glad I was there, because there were a few incidents but they were quickly resolved and the military and police acted completely professional during the entire time. 
There were two leftist political assessors with no credentials that consistently interferred with the election process by making rude comments of which they were advised quite a few times with my presence to not be doing things that violated the law.  Well four o´clock came and it was discovered that we were going to have to stay till five.  Everyone was very tired so I sort of understand their wanting to go home, but the two assessors it is the tables decision to close or not and no one can tell them what to do.  The major from the military told her clearly that she would have to leave if she kept involving herself in the process and furthermore, that she would have to stop making political based comments.  Then said to all of them that if one of them stepped to abandon their spot until 5 he would arrest them and they would be forced to stay in the room present, under arrest, until the 5 pm time frame and then they would be taken to jail for boycotting the election and trying to defraud electors.  They stayed and the resistance assessors were quiet up till they tried to start talking about ´coup´and ´farce´in the elections etc.  The major asked them how 6 years in prison sounded and that he would not touch her but the police would be glad to take her to a cell that was awaiting her.  She really did become quiet then and about 10 minutes later left the election location in disgust with her inability to invalidate the process that was taking place.
When they started to count the ballots it took until 10 pm to count the votes.  The counting went very smooth and quiet with no interuption considering that the resistance had left the building. 
We then had to wait and go to the area where ballots were turned in and I went with the soldiers as they asked me to go and receive the other ballot packs and urns.  I accompanied their pick ups since they were absent their custodian and things went smooth with no real problems to be noted...just very tired poll workers everywhere. 
When we arrived back at the location with all of the urns the custodians had finally arrived and it was 1:30 am so I was able to go home and fall into bed with no further knowledge of life until the next morning.  However, I was so proud to participate.
Pepe Lobo is the president and as the vote looks it looks like Dr Zuniga is the mayor of San Pedro Sula, Ricardo Alvarez is the mayor for Tegucigalpa.  Elvin Santos was very gracious in his consession speech.  I could not have been more impressed with his impressive ability to communicate peace, professionalism, and pride in Honduras...he will probably win if he runs again in the next electoral process and that would not bother me a bit.  I for now though am very happy that Pepe Lobo is the new president elect. 
The story of Dr. Zuniga is an interesting one.  He is the liberal candidate for mayor and he only had three weeks to campaign which made it difficult.  However, he had a lot of people and was well partisan people like him not for his politics but his personal character is impecable. 
Dr.  Zuniga was the director of Catarino Rivas and he is a cardiologist and has helped poor people in the community for years and long before he ever went into politics.  Zelaya wanted him to assist him with creating votes for the fourth urn and Dr. Zuniga said that he would not do that and that it was WRONG and corrupt and that he was not that type of person.  Zelaya fired him as a result and today the ´pueblo´has voted for him to become the next mayor in just 3 weeks of campaigning..impressive...and a clear message to corrupt officials and to Zelaya about his fourth ballot plans.
Meanwhile....Zelaya was in the Brazilian embassy screaming that the elections were fraudulent and that he was going to nulify the elections.  He called for the world to not recognize the elections. I wonder how he managed to count the ballots, scrutinize the voting process and all that jazz from inside the Brazilian embassy? Did he forget that he is in jail?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Spinning the News on Honduras

International media has outdone themselves since June 28 to spin the news in Honduras to the point that it is almost ridiculous and sometimes outright false...

Here is one more example of media spin from an article written today..

False Claim #1 The only leftist in the presidential contest, Carlos Reyes, withdrew from the race, while the anti-coup Resistance Front said it is already too late to ensure a free and fair ballot.

This is absolutely false...Cesar Ham is from the Unification Democratica and he is a leftist to the extreme...Of course Carlos H Reyes was the only Communist which is perhaps what they should have written...

PINU candidate Bernard Martinez is also from a party that is center left...

Liberal Party Candidate is Elvin Santos...Mel Zelaya was a Liberal party member...

In fact the only real right candidate is DC candidate Felicito Avila

The Nationalist party is Center right and that candidate is Pepe Lobo.

The two main parties both have candidates running for presidency and one of the mayors of Tocoa, Colon who had been in the ´resistance´ got on his knees and begged for forgiveness for his errors and joined Elvin Santos in encouraging people to vote.

False Claim #2 Many of those protests have been broken up violently by soldiers and police on the orders of the coup regime, with a toll of a dozen deaths and hundreds injured and arrested. While the leader of the de facto regime, Roberto Micheletti, resorted at one point to a state of siege and has forced anti-coup media outlets off the air for weeks at a time.

Most of these protests have been violent and the soldiers have done an extraordinary job of keeping thier cool.  There have not been a dozen deaths either.  He actually also resorted to a curfew because of the looting of private homes and businesses and attacks on private citizens..which clearly warranted the situation of a curfew.  The media outlets that were forced off air would not have been on the air in the US in the first place...they were calling for violence and for blood to flow in the streets and one of the announcers is an anti semite who calls Hitler a hero that should have finished the job...and to make it worse he raped his ten year old daughter, went to prison on a ten year sentence and was pardoned by ZELAYA.

False Claim #3 But while the coup plotters accuse Zelaya of seeking to extend his stay in office, any potential constitutional change to allow presidential re-election would not have taken place until well after the incumbent stepped down in January.

Coup plotters...your bias is clear.. Zelaya was attempting to extend his stay and he said so himself on live television.  Also, the attempt to make constitutional changes was not for him to do that was unconstitutional and the Supreme Court said so...what part of that can you folks not understand?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

OAS Fails Again

The OAS had an emergency meeting behind closed doors. The subject of course was Honduras. The meeting was held in secret, but it is clear that their goal was to convince countries to unite against the elections and to not recognize them until Zelaya is returned to power. (Oh what to do with those naughty citizens in Honduras that just do not want to do as they are told by papa Insulza...)

They were unable to move people from the idea of elections being the right thing to do. Not recognizing elections before they are held is extremely unusual and as far as I know has never occurred. This is the same as telling the public they have no right to decide for themselves who will lead them. It almost feels like the OAS thinks that Hondurans are too ignorant to fix this situation via elections.

The US however has changed their posture a lot since the signing of the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord and so far the US government has honored their deal with Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Elections will be recognized as long as there is no funny business in the electoral process. They finally recognized in the sensible fashion that these elections had been scheduled by Constitutional provisions and not by the present government. They recognized that the previous government oversaw the primaries so to not recognize them would essentially mean they had not recognized the primaries that were held under Manuel Zelaya. I actually think that the US woke up and smelled a rat and they were looking for a way to change their position. When DeMint contacted them he gave them an out and a way to change their position without losing face. I probably would have respected it more if they had just said that they had reviewed evidence and that the evidence suggested that they had been holding the wrong position and were changing their minds, but either way I will take the change of heart gladly.

Instead of the OAS worrying and wringing their hands over Honduras they should really be directing their attention at Venezuela and the situation that is threatening to spin out of control there. They also need to be taking a closer look at what is going on in Nicaragua and stop worrying about Honduras as Hondurans are about to resolve the conflict for themselves and the OAS has further destabilized their legitimacy for their posture on the elections.

Thank goodness that more than the US came to their senses. There are 5 and maybe 6 OAS members that are going to recognize the elections. The US, Columbia, Peru, Canada, Panama, and we are still waiting on word from what the official position of Mexico is going to be, but it appears at this point that they are going to recognize the electoral process in Honduras as a legitimate one. It is about time people came to their senses.

How Badly the Media Duped Americans and Europeans

I often had wondered how the misreporting had affected the international community and in particular Europeans and Americans.  I know that it is easy to dupe people via the media and generally while the media may report half truths it converts into outright lies when it is passed from one person to another.

Yesterday, on another group in a discussion about free speech a poster from the US came out and said you want to just convince us that your military junta and military coup de tat is legal and ok.  Then she went on to say , ¨The military removed your president at the point of a gun at the beheadst of the Elections tribunal with no formal process whatsoever. ¨ She also said ´whatever happened to that agreement that Micheletti signed that was to allow Zelaya to serve out his last months in office.´
She further went on to say that Zelaya was elected by a landslide.  She told us we didn´t know what we were talking about when someone from Venezuela and myself corrected her positions.

Now for those of us living here we know that absolutely none of what she was saying is true.  Zelaya was certainly not elected by a landslide.  He was involved in the closest election in recent history and he was elected by the lowest electorate turnout ever.
We also know that the Elections tribunal had nothing to do with his removal that would be the Supreme Court that issued the arrest warrant against him and the Congress who removed him.  I wanted her to explain why that is not a formal process since it is the way it is defined in the Constitution that the Supreme Court has the authority to issue arrest warrants against politicians.  What was even more sad is she claimed that we(people who live in Honduras and Venezuela) didn´t know what we were talking about and that she knew more about what had occurred than we did.  Yet, she didn´t even know that the agreement did not say that Zelaya was going to return or how he was actually even removed or why.  This is an American who is of the Progressive persuasion.  I can only shake my head at how misinformed people can be about issues that affect Latin America. 

Her and another poster complained about the CIA funded and trained military.  I pointed out that in Senate testimony no proof whatsoever has been provided that suggests that the CIA either funded or trained the Honduran military ever.  Testimony further goes to suggest that while the 3-16 might have had something to do with some of the disappearances it was not at the orders of the CIA and that most of the disappearances were caused by the Contras and not military forces in Honduras and that further there was absolutely zero proof that this had occurred at orders of the Honduran government.  Ambassador Negroponte testified to this information before the Senate and he was the ambassador during the 80´s in Honduras.  He investigated claims and could find no proof of the allegations yet groups like SOA Watch repeat these claims, Media Matters, CNN, Democracy Now, Democratic Underground and so forth in the progressive loops all repeat these claims...not once do they consider looking at testimony or proof that soldiers in Honduras were trained not by School of Americas(which isn´t CIA, it is Army), but they were trained by Ft Bragg, North Carolina soldiers.  Furthermore, I find it incredible that the SOA Watch continues to make claims that soldiers are still being trained by a school that no longer exists...yet they never mention Daniel Ortega...hmmm
The media should present the facts with zero slant...if it is an allegation it should not be included until they have the facts to prove what they claim...allegations are what causes false perceptions and accusations against the innocent.

Why Recognizing Honduran Elections Is Right

Recognizing the electoral process in Honduras is recognizing the fundamental rights of the people to have a voice.

The elections were programmed by the Honduran constitutional process which dictates that they occur every four years and the last president was elected on November 29, 2005. That candidate was liberal party candidate José Manuel Zelaya Rosales. I will not go into whether fraud did or did not occur then as it is not important to this electoral process which clearly does not include him.

The preliminary vote for the candidates that we have today was held last year in November. The election was held late due to a natural disaster that occurred then. However, while I recognize that there was serious flooding and good reason to delay the primaries many felt that Zelaya wanted to do away with them all together at that time and there was a feeling of uneasiness growing in the population at that time as to his plans of turning over the presidency when the time came. The vote was held though and out of that primary came the following candidates: Nationalist Candidate: Porfirio Lobo Sosa, Liberal Party Candidate: Elvin Santos, Christian Democracy Candidate: Felicito Avila, PINU Candidate: Bernard Martinez (and the first Garifuna candidate ever), and UD Candidate: Cesar Ham. At that time Honduras also had their very first independent candidate: Carlos H Reyes. However, Carlos H Reyes has resigned his aspiration to the presidency. It is clear that on November 29, 2009 elections were scheduled to be held and during that same time frame Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales still held the presidency. So the process is legitimate even though he claims it is not.

The US and some other countries have decided it is difficult to not recognize the voice of the people and to also not admit that the process was one that was scheduled previous to the present government of Roberto Micheletti Baín. One cannot argue that the electoral process has come out of his government with a straight face, because in reality the electoral process commenced during the government of Zelaya. The US and others recognize this complicated situation as well as the recognition of the voice of the people as being a solution to the crisis. It is important to observe the elections because a government cannot determine if they are fraudulent or not if they have not observed the actual process and whether it was a clean election. So the observers are arriving at rapid pace…and we all welcome this. If anything these elections should be closely observed by every country that is involved in this situation to determine the legitimacy of the process and reserve preconceived notions. My only exception to this is that I do not believe it to be beneficial to have observers from the ALBA countries. ALBA has a predefined interest in the elections not being recognized and therefore has an interest in not recognizing the process as legitimate.

In just 5 days and 5 hours we will hold elections to select a new president and move forward from the crisis that has surrounded Honduras since June 28, 2009. However, there are many questions that remain. Many say what happens after elections? Where do we go from here? What happens to Zelaya who is still huddled in the Brazilian embassy and complaining profusely about the situation he has found himself in and the elections? A few months ago he was praising the US and now he is complaining bitterly about their decision to recognize the elections and their decision to respect the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord and the decision of Congress regardless of what that decision might be. Congress has decided to wait until December 2, 2009 to debate on Zelaya and what happens to him. I believe that he has discovered that the vote is not going to be in his favor and therefore he is complaining bitterly about the agreement and backed out of it when he discovered that he could not manipulate the Congress into returning him to the presidency. His ranting has surely not assisted in giving anyone the desire to return him to the presidency or to be convinced that he has repented from previous actions. If anything he seems more determined than ever to continue on with his illegal actions that he had previously undertaken and ended with him being removed from the presidency he held. The Honduran constitution worked and with a united government it has held strong.

It does not really matter whether you are from the right or left at this point, voting is the only thing that matters. Everyone should vote so that the democracy is strengthened instead of weakened. Voting is a duty of every citizen regardless of their political stances and that includes the Resistance. If they hope to have a voice in government and attain their goals…I have to question how they plan on doing those things if they have boycotted the process and have no voice in the government.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Elections and Views of Two Taxi Drivers

As I rode to the closing of the Nationalist campaign in San Pedro Sula today I rode in one taxi that was a person saying he is not going to vote. When I rode back in another taxi that person was a Nationalist. The attitude was very different in both drivers. However, both were not very adept at what is actually going on in the country and both were poorly educated.

The first driver was convinced that Zelaya was tricked into signing the Tegucigalpa San Jose Accord because he believed that he had been told that he would be returned on November 5 to the presidency and the Congress was just a formality. I do not believe that someone who is supposed to be intelligent enough to be president is able to be tricked into signing an agreement that says something very different from what he is claiming he was promised. This is a convenient excuse and more propaganda to lead the ignorant into believing he was duped. Before I got out of the car I turned to him and said…you know why voting is important? He looked perplexed at my question and said no. I looked straight at him and said in the US, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and women fought for more than 100 years to have the right to vote and in Honduras for just 27 years has the community had the right to vote and to ignore that struggle is to spit in our ancestors faces and stomp on their graves for that struggle. He was silent and thanked me and said that he would consider my thoughts and decide on whether he would vote or not. Will he? I do not know…but I hope he will take my words to heart because I meant every single one of them. His attitude had indeed changed from the moment in which I had entered his car to the moment I left it at the rally.

When I had enough of the rally because it was really very crowded and very hot at the same time I decided to not wait for the buses to leave and deal with the crowds which I hate. So I went and found another taxi. This time I stepped into a totally different attitude. This driver was indeed going to vote and felt like Liberals were divided for a long time to come and that their division had handed the presidency to Lobo on a silver cake platter. He said they may as well inaugurate him after seeing the campaign rally there is little doubt he will win. I was impressed with his observation and asked what his thoughts were on the situation in the country. He was very pronounced in his opinions and still like others held the opinion that none of the presidents or hopefuls has ever really cared about Honduras. He felt it would take a group of Americans or Americans and Europeans running the country for at least 8 years to change attitudes and the direction of the country. He said we need people like you who know what justice is about. I considered his thoughts…and sympathized with them. He said look I am not educated and never was, I am poor or lower middle class like most of the country and our only hope is a government that will lead for the people and not for a handful of people who tag along for personal benefit. I felt that was a dead on target point. Impressive for an uneducated taxi driver. However, his next statement would take me by surprise. Evidently in recent days he had been robbed, the robbers stuffed him in the trunk of the car and he is sure if he had not pulled the emergency release and escaped they would have killed him. He was so suddenly angry at this that he said that they need a president who will either kick out or do away with all of the gangs, thugs, robbers, and general undesirables in the country. He said Hondurans are a hard working people, but those of us who do not want to work ruin it for everyone that does want to work and do something for themselves. While I found his words to disturb me I found it even more unsettling that I found myself agreeing with him as to truth in his thoughts. I disagree with doing away with undesirables as attractive as that might seem. However, there does need to be a strong stance taken in reference to the undesirables in this country.

What I do know about this entire experience separate from my experience at the rally itself was that people from identical backgrounds have taken entirely different positions on this crisis and I hope that in the long run it is for the positive and not the negative of Honduras.

One thing is clear and that is that Manuel Zelaya was able to divide Hondurans irregardless of identical backgrounds and that division will take many years to heal if it were not for the peaceful nature of Hondurans I am afraid that this country would have been mired in a civil war at this point and I am thankful for their peaceful nature because it may take them further than other countries without the need to hurt over those they have lost before the crisis is resolved.

photos courtesy of La Prensa of campaign closing rallies in San Pedro Sula. 

Lunacy from the Democratic Underground

I saw an article that made me spit coke everywhere.  I had to add this here because it is an absolutely FALSE report. 

Their claim is that the government is requiring everyone to turn in their guns starting Monday...not quite true at all.  What is true is that from Monday until December 2, 2009 you are not permitted to carry a gun with you in the car even if you have a reminded folks in the US...that a person must have their gun registered in the first place to even own the gun.  So if they don´t have paperwork yes they will take them to jail along with the is illegal to carry an illegal gun..however, if a person with a legal permit is found to be carrying a gun it will simply be detained and they can pick it up again after December 2.  That my friends is a very different story from what Democratic Underground or AFP is telling folks...

I did not bother with the know it alls at Democratic Underground ..Judi Lynn will tell you that she knows more about what is going on in Honduras than people who live here do...I did send an email to AFP asking that they correct the false story.

Judi Lynn will also make the false claim that 26 people have been murdered by the government in ethnic cleansing...I want her to name these 26 people and provide her proof the government ordered their murders.  I wonder if Judi Lynn realizes that Honduras has the highest murder rate in the Americas?   Does she realize what fantasticly low number 26 murders in 4 months is if ethnic cleansing were going ...I want to know what ethnicity is being cleansed?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stupidity Abounds in the Resistance Thugs and The Boycott

The supposed grandmother of their group claims that the constitution needs to be written again because it is ancient and the documents are outdated.  She claims, ´No one follows it anymore anyway because it is so old.´  They have ancient articles that cannot be rewritten.  Does this woman know what those articles are beyond the presidential term limits? I wonder if she thinks that Honduran borders should be a debatable subject or for sale?  I wonder does  think a president should be able to change the form of government? Should he be able to give precious resources away to other countries like Chavez? That is what the stone articles entail....protecting sovereign rights.

This ridiculous claim left me speechless. 

The US Constitution...a document I consider indeed ancient and I dare say someone would get the snot kicked out of them in the US fo saying such mockery.  The US Constitution was ratified June 21, 1788.  The Honduran Constitution January 11, 1982.  So this elderly woman who is three times as old as the constitution thinks the document is ancient.  For crying out loud it is 27 years old...that is not ancient...I was born in 1971 and I for sure do not think I am ancient..if someone said the things she said about the US constitution I would slap them silly.

What leaves me even more dumbfounded is they have bought this crap about boycotting the election...they are convinced that the vote is rigged and that no one should vote anyway.  If you do not vote you lose your voice.  How ridiculous can a person be to try to prevent people from voting? Isn´t will of the people what should be heard? They have choices...but they seem to want to take their choice away.  These same folks will be crying about how they aren´t represented in a year...and I will be the first to say it is your own cotton picken fault. 

This same grandmother even flat out lied when she claimed that it wasn´t them stealing, looting and throwing rocks or spray painting was the military she claims...interesting that there is photographic evidence that proves she is a dirty liar.
Now I was always taught to respect my elders so it bothers me some to say that about an elderly woman...but to blatantly also needs to be pointed out....

What is even worse is that Zelaya and the Resistence are not content with just boycotting peacefully and not voting themselves...they want to force others to not vote against their will.  They have elaborated violent measures such as ´miguelitos´to prevent the vehicles from being able to transport the urns or ballots.  They have elaborated bombs like those found in a car last night close to colonia Satelite.
So they are not content to allow others to participate because they are crying over not getting their way.  So instead of accepting what happens they intend to throw a temper tantrum that includes harming other Hondurans. 

Racism is another issue along with an envy complex among the Resistence.  They are angry that others have more money than they do.  They are complaining about Jews, Turks, and Americans...yet when they go to the US they are the first to scream racism because they are Hispanic.  Interesting.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Micheletti, Zelaya, Congress, the International community and Elections

Oh boy there was no way I could pick so I just decided I would go for all of it in this update.

Micheletti announced last night that he was going to consult with members of the government about taking a leave of absense from November 25-December 2.   That made everyone stop momentarily and say ..what?  I have decided it is probably actually not that big of a news piece as it can be a few things, but most of it is speculation and it probably adds up to --a vacation.  I am exhausted from all of the crisis stuff so I can only imagine how he feels as president.  I do think that there was probably some suggestion in the factor from the United States since Kelly was here just a few days ago and so Micheletti decided to give them that in exchange for their recognition of the election process and the legitimacy of people being able to choose for themselves.

The biggest concerns in my middle class area were what if there is violence.  However, that was put to rest by another blogger who stated that he had said he would go back immediately at the first sign of violence.  That set me a bit at ease again.  My mother in law is worried to...she has seen more than her share of uprisings and since she lives in an area that had trouble in the 80´s with invasions from both Nicaraguans and Salvadorans she gets scared and it makes me bite my nails..and I never do that.  I love my dear mother in law to death and anything that makes her jittery affects me.

Naturally the Zelayista blogs like Honduras Coup 2009 were rattling on about how it must be some elaborate evil plot of some sort...whoever the writer RNS is I suspect that his credibility could very easily be impeached he surely is very easily impeached with his absolute denial of any other opinions than his own.  He calls readers who disagree with him misguided...never mind that constitutional experts also disagree with him.

He seems to concentrate more on tenses than the actual things that are said...conspiracy theories have never worked with me.  They claim he is being slick by saying that he might step aside after consultations during that time period...never mind that he has to consult to find out if he can legally do this during the time frame and if he cannot legally then he will not...what difference does it make it is for a week for cripes sake!

They also go out of their way to blame Pepe Lobo for the removal of Zelaya.  I want to see where he voted in the removal or went to speak to the Supreme Court before it occurred...just beg this blog to show me one piece of evidence that he directly removed Zelaya...and before they embark on it ...I should tell them I know Pepe Lobo personally so I know for a fact he had NO influence on the situation that occurred on June 28.  He was profoundly concerned about the situation that Honduras was finding itself in, but he did not go and pull strings as they suggest.  It is wise people to make sure you have evidence against a person before making false accusations against them.  I myself questioned his silence and took it directly to him and it was explained to me and I was satisfied with what I was told as a result. 

They complain that an extraordinary session should have been called a week ago..but they never considered that all of the opinions that were solicited are not in yet and they need that before any session can be called.  They also are not considering the unfairness of not letting these Congress members complete their campaigns before a session is cannot violate the rights of many for just one person.

They also go out of their way to call the Tegucigalpa-San Jose accord illegitimate...I find that an interesting word since BOTH sides willingly signed it and no one was forced to do so.  That alone makes it legitimate so I would like to see their reasoning that the agreement is not

Zelaya of course is raising sand about Micheletti and making dozens more false claims as he has done all along.  His letter to Obama revealed the lack of credibility he has...there are not hundreds of assasinations as a result of the political situation in Honduras...that is just maddening and ridiculous.  I would have loved to see Obama send him a return letter asking him to name these hundreds of assasinated people...

In the end elections will be in just 8 days and nothing is more legitimate than the vote of the people of a country.  It will be those who use their vote who decide who will be in charge come January.  The vote on election day is the one way that everyone has an equal, poor, black, white or brown...all have the same single vote and united voice.  What is more legitimate than that?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nine Days Till Elections...The Road Ahead

We are exactly nine days from the elections and Honduras has come a long way.  The president who wins the elections will clearly have a long road to travel.  He will have a harder job than those that came before him.  He will have to actually work to clean up the corrpution, deal with the crime that is overwhelming in areas like San Pedro Sula, deal with the explosion of narcotics trafficking that has almost overtaken the country since  Zelaya became president.  He will have to deal with the international community looking at his every move in order to discredit him.  He will have a small section  of the population that will consider him illegitimate.

The president that takes charge will have a bankrupt government that will have to make hard decisions and have to lobby hard the loans and aid to rebuild from bankruptcy.  The government will also have to present equal justice to the poor and the wealthy and do something about education.  Teachers are already lobbying for their raise. 

Teachers lobbying for a raise makes my blood boil.  What precisely have they done to deserve a raise? They spent the entire school year in the streets on strike or loafing.  They need their pay cut and all raises structured around the results they give as a teacher.  The first step is rewriting their docente law so that they do not use it to abuse their position and hold the public hostage.   The government should be required to pay them on time and they should be forbidden from strikes except outside of school hours.  If they do not like those terms they are welcome to find a job in the private sector.

More to come...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Rebuttal to Roberto Quesada´s Editorial in Honduras This Week

Unfortunately, the military coup in Honduras and the United States’ announcement to recognize the elections, without reversing the military coup is another coup to all of Latin America and undoubtedly a regression in relations. The other day, while waiting at a traffic light, I told another driver who was wearing a hat with the image of Obama, “Obama has let us down in my country Honduras, they are about to recognize some elections under a state of terror”. The traffic light changed and each of us accelerated and quickly lost sight of each other.

Actually that is incorrect in my opinion. Elections where the people choose who their new leader is has always been the solution and always will be the solution. Violeta Chamorro is one example of that, Pinochet is another; elections have always resolved governments seen as illegitimate. What is undeniable is that elections were already scheduled for November 29, 2009 from the moment that Zelaya was elected. The Supreme Elections Tribunal is a separate entity from the Executive office and is separate from Congress. The primaries were held under Zelaya and the candidates are the same with the exception of Carlos H Reyes who withdrew his candidacy on his own.

The elections were and always will be legitimate and it is ridiculous to not hold the elections. Zelaya did not want elections to occur period. He wanted to erase them…that is why he chose to hold the illegal referendum when he did.

Ambassador Hugo Llorens, as you can see, this military coup concerns even children.

Your son is feeding off your outrage and he should not be exposed to it. The children should be left out of this situation entirely. Furthermore, military coup it is not. If this were a military coup then Roberto Micheletti would not be at the helm. The leader would be Vasquez Velasquez and there would be no Congress and no Supreme Court to make any decisions. If you doubt that then you need to refer yourself to other military coups that have actually occurred including Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Aristides in Haiti.

Nobody believes the story that Hondurans should resolve this issue "Honduran style". That banner belongs to the de facto government. The US has always intervened in our country. Perhaps the rumor that the Obama administration allowed the Republicans to twist its arm on Honduras is true. If so, then I think Mr. Obama's decline is imminent.

Really? I believe that Hondurans should resolve it. I think that outside interference has had the tendency to mess things up worse as history has shown. Who better to resolve this than Hondurans with a mediator to keep a war from breaking out? Yes, they have always intervened and that is precisely why they should desist from it further. That is how we became a banana republic in the first place. No the Republicans did not twist his arm as he promised a long time ago that he was not going to involve himself in internal matters in other countries and he is trying hard to keep the promise.

Many of us still hope that the US will change its ways in Latin America and that it will adopt positions emphasizing human equality and dignity for their own sake, regardless of ethnic background, creed, or religion. At the Summit of the Americas, celebrated this past April in Trinidad and Tobago, in which Mr. Obama promised a new era of relations with Latin America, he gave us much reason to be optimistic. He succeeded in removing much of the distrust we naturally feel for the US. Unfortunately, the announcement by the US government that it would recognize the elections in Honduras without reversing the military coup only dashed our hopes.

It should not dash your hopes considering what it means is moving on past the situation and not keeping things status quo. Furthermore, there was an agreement named Tegucigalpa-San Jose that was signed by both sides and agreed to and thus far Micheletti has held up his end of the deal. Zelaya is the one that is throwing a fit as if he were a child. He needs to grow up. If he could not bribe Congress into reinstating him that is just too bad he agreed to accept what they decided.

We, the truly democratic people of Honduras have already overthrown the military coup at the intellectual, informative and moral level. But then came Thomas Shannon’s announcement which gave oxygen to the dictatorship which was beginning to expire. You are aware that this move served to turn back the hands of time and return the US to the days when it created and backed dictators in Latin America. Recall President Theodore Roosevelt's comments about the dictator Somoza in Nicaragua, "Yes, he is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch".

Actually that is incorrect…Zelaya was huddled in the Brazilian embassy from Sept 21 forward and people were jumping ship right and left before Shannon came and when Shannon came he brokered a deal…both signed no one was forced…so now if Zelaya is honorable, and I do not believe he is, he would stick to the agreement. It is sort of like you agreeing to sell your land, signing the sales contract, spending the money, and then deciding you do not want to sell and aren´t going to give the money back either.

Do not think for a moment that the US’ announcement to support an electoral process conducted under a military coup which has left in its wake more than thirty peope dead, four thousand violations of human rights, and repressions of freedom of speech is only having an impact on Latin America. No. Inside the US, labor unions and immigrant, religious and artistic organizations are repudiating what has happened and believe that if the US does not reverse the military coup in Honduras, the time will come for payback at the ballot box.

More than 30 dead people? Name them and provide proof that Micheletti ordered them murdered….unless that is you are going to include Micheletti´s nephew , Concho Gomez and the brother of Callejas. Sorry, but being dishonest and exaggerating does not help the cause it just makes you look ridiculous. You talk about payback at the ballot box. Well that is precisely what we are saying you should do instead of trying to insist that Zelaya be reinstated and elections cancelled go to the ballot box and vote for your choice even if it is a punishment vote.

While we were looking at photos related to the coup, my son asked why they had done that, and I easily responded, "Look, you as a US citizen have medical insurance, a doctor, immunizations. You go to a nice pre-kindergarten. You have everything. You even have a cafeteria where you eat for free. You go to the park and you play and it is safe. This is what President Zelaya wanted for children in Honduras. He wanted children to not have to walk barefoot. He wanted them to have enough food to eat, to be able to play, to not die because of a lack of affordable medicines. He wanted them to have the opportunities to study. In short, he wanted the Honduran people to one day have a better life. He wanted them to have a lifestyle at least half as good as that enjoyed by children in the US.

That is not what Zelaya wanted for children in Honduras. He had 4 years to do the job and do what he wanted and he did nothing of the sort. As a US citizen a child does not have free medical insurance, free cafeterias, etc. If he wanted them to have better educations then he would not have been promoting children being out of school while teachers were in the streets. During his entire administration not one time did the teachers complete their 200 days in classes. If you solve the teacher strikes then you have solved half the problem already. Until you deal with teachers that are terrorists then you cannot move forward.

So then my friend Ambassador Llorens, what else do you need now to rescue democracy in Honduras. Does it take a genocide, a massacre? Andres Pavón, the president of the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH) has already alerted us about a massacre plan to help perpetuate the dictatorship in power. Not too long ago, Mr. Obama spoke at the funeral for the three victims of the massacre last Thursday at Fort Hood. He said, “No religion could justify these cowardly killings”. I would add to this that absolutely nothing justifies a military coup or the recognition of elections under a military state of terror in which more than thirty people have already lost their lives.

They called Andres Pavon to show the evidence and they would investigate he has NO evidence so please elaborate why he went to the media and not to the police first? Should a person not try to stop such a massacre by showing evidence? You cannot make false accusations in Honduras as that is a crime. If he has evidence he needs to bring it forward. Even a massacre will not perpetuate Micheletti in power. The elections are going to occur, the votes will be counted and that will be that. If there is a massacre I welcome outside police such as CSI units from the US to go and investigate the situation and determine who is at fault. Kelly seemed to allude to the violence being caused by the Resistance and he is right. I have watched their violent mannerisms and frankly they have brought much of their pain upon themselves.

You know all too well that social injustice in Honduras runs deep. You know that President Zelaya is innocent.

So it is a figment of our imagination that we watched him on live television commit the acts he did? If he is innocent then why not face the courts? He was offered the opportunity to face a court in an international court.  If he is so innocent why would he refuse? Is the International Court unjust too?

You know that the dictatorship lead by Mr. Micheletti and Gen. Romeo Vasquez Velasquez have systematically violated human rights.

No, no one knows anything for a fact. If you have evidence you are welcome to present it at any time and particularly on this forum. Evidence speaks, not just words or baseless accusations.

You are aware that the only way to reverse the military coup is to reinstate the constitutional president, Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Really? So the way to reverse the military coup in Nicaragua was to reinstate Somoza? Or was it to have elections and let Ortega leave power?

The upcoming elections will only worsen the crisis, and those who support them will be nothing more than direct accomplices. Meanwhile, what Mr. Obama expressed in Trinidad and Tobago about a new era of respect in relations between the US and Latin America becomes wet paper, and the only option for Latin American countries is to align themselves more with the southern part of the hemisphere and strengthen their relationships with other continents... regions with which we can share a mutual respect.

Direct accomplices? No that is incorrect they will be Honduran citizens exercising their right to suffrage because if you do not use it then you will lose it. If you do not vote you cannot complain about the candidate you get stuck with. Voting resolves the worst of conflicts. Insisting that Zelaya be returned to power is not the resolution it is only a path to a blood bath because while there are some that want him back in power there are just as many and indeed more that do not want him back in power and elections cancelled. Cancelling elections is not saving democracy it is subverting it.

My impression from his description at the bottom and in his editorial is that he lives in the United States.  He does not have a clue what is actually happening in Honduras as he is not here.  He speaks about Hondurans, but he is married to an American with an American child and lives in the United States.  If he is so worried about democracy and the betterment of Honduras why isn´t he living here?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Padre Tamayo in Custody of Salvadoran Authorities Now

Tamayo has left the Brazilian embassy and was taken into custody by the Salvadoran diplomats and El Salvador has promised that he will be returned to El Salvador on Wednesday.

Tamayo early on involved himself in the Resistance and was deposed from his priest position in the cathedral in Salama by Catholic authorities for his failure to follow orders from the church to desist from his activities.

Tamayo continued and when Zelaya returned to Honduras on Sept 21 he also hid inside the Brazilian embassy.  He was stripped of his Honduran citizenship for trying to boycott elections.

Now the question is...when does Mel come out and turn himself over to authorities?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reward Europe by Traveling for Vacation

Hondurans and Ex Pats as well as Americans...we should reward Europe by visiting some of their most famous destinations.

Liberal International made our Interim president Roberto Micheletti vice president and their base is located in London.  Of course you all know that Liberal International is mostly European and I was estatic about their move this last weekend.  So estatic that I think we should reward them with our vacationing there.

However, setting up a trip to Europe is difficult and so I have decided to share some tips with links to places that can set you up for your vacation.

Imagine touring fabulous France.  Visit Paris first and stay at one of the many hotels that you can view at the above link where something is available at incredible rates for everyone.  There is so much to do in Paris from shopping to visiting the Eiffel Tower.
Or if you would like to drift back in time and imagine what it must have been like to be a prince or princess you can visit the many castles that are in France such as Palace of Versailles that belonged to King Louis XIV in 1682

Then you have Rome where you can go and visit where Catholicism began.  You can lose yourself in the beautiful ancient Rome where civilization became mighty.  The best is you can do it for an incredible price.  I have always dreamed of visiting Rome so this may be the right time to go.

Or Venice where you can travel and fall in love all over again.  There are few cities as romantic as Venice.  an you imagine a price of 50 Euros for a beautiful hotel in Venice? Now you can..explore the stunning cathedrals and architecture in this most lovely city.

Then after all of that you can visit Amsterdam.  Who could visit Europe without going to Amsterdam?  You can visit the Anne Frank house where she hid from the Nazis, visit and see Van Gogh or Rembrant all on the same trip making it an unforgetable vacation.