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.