Monday, June 29, 2009

Yet another one. This is long and hopefully clears things up.

I want to clear things up, because I am getting a lot of outside traffic. First, for those who don't know me, I'm not a political expert. I am just a regular citizen, who is watching this and trying to give you both views on the situation. So, to clear some things up:

1) I do not think that using the military to fly Zelaya out of the country was the way to go. Congress should've started impeachment hearings long before this. But I do not think that they, or any one of us, really thought that Zelaya would go through with the vote after the Supreme Court issued the order. And so I think they saw it as too late to do anything but take him bodily out. Again, it was a really bad solution, particularly seeing how the international community is responding, but I have to try to understand their rationality or I will go insane.

2) Zelaya was left in Costa Rica to do as he would. That is very bizarre. I don't get the rationality behind that, to be honest. A simple arrest would've worked, but again, if he had been left here it could've unleashed a chain of truly violent protests. So again, I can see the rationale. Doing it in the middle of the night at gunpoint though? Very bad.

3) My problem with the international condemnation of the coup is not that I agree with the way it was done. My problem is that it is painting Zelaya to be blameless and is spurring his irrational ideas of returning at the head of an army helped along by Hugo Chavez. Do you see what I mean by that? By interviewing ONLY Zelaya and his supporters, by hearing only his people at the UN and the OAS, they are making it seem like the population WANTS him back.

4) This. We do not. Not me, or anyone I know. Last night, his supporters were calling for worker's unions to go on a massive strike. To block roads. To do whatever was necessary. What happened today? A few people at the Communications Offices. A big crowd in front of the Presidential Palace. Big, but not nearly as big as we have seen before, protesting against Zelaya. Then they started burning tires, throwing stones, breaking windows and setting billboards on fire. My cousin works very near to the place where this happened, and he saw the protesters breaking windows in nearby Chili's and Burger King restaurants. And Zelaya's supporters call this "peaceful"? Wrong. They dispersed, but god, it's these people who get shown on TV and it's making us look like savages. And it is making it look like the crowds wanting Zelaya back are HUGE.

5) Now, about this protest. I have to be honest about this, too. You know how I know it was happening? Because CNN Spanish was showing it. No local news channels were showing images. CNN SPanish finally had a reporter on the ground, and she was very emphatic saying that the crowds were NOT in the thousands, and that the police had NOT provoked them. And then the CNN signal cut off. That was bad. If the new government wants to look fair, they really cannot keep cutting off the flow of information. That is pretty bad. But Tegucigalpa is a tiny city, so the news spread fast. the crowds DID disperse pretty quickly.

6) After that, it was fairly quiet. We still have a 9pm-6am curfew. But through this all we're hearing CNN interviewing Zelaya and Hugo Chavez saying how he'll do anything to get Zelaya back into power. Do you know how terrifying that is to hear? When people here are trying to get back to their normal lives, when Congress is doing everything legally (after the coup and the "resignation" of course)? It's not RIGHT, dammit, that Zelaya keeps saying he'll come back at the head of an army or whatever, and we're sitting here just...waiting for this to go down peacefully. Information is so very confusing, is my point. But I'm speaking from my heart, and I am being as rational as I can.

7) And now we have Mexico and Guatemala taking out their ambassadors. That is making us look so bad.

8) The people who Micheletti is naming as his ministers are, honestly, truly, people who are NOT likely to participate in an illegal taking of power. In this country, it is very easy to distinguish the liars from the honest, and Micheletti is drawing some of the very few honest people to his side. That is encouraging.

9) So, what do I think should happen?

The international courts, the press, the UN, the OAS NEEDS to investigate it thoroughly. Read our constitution. They can say better than I whether Micheletti's actions are legal, and what Zelaya's actions were. I confess I am not an expert, but again, if the supreme court and the congress declared the vote illegal--these being people who know the constitution in and out--then weren't Zelaya's actions completely illegal and he was unfit to rule? We need to take a careful, long look at the legal situation here. We can't just have people saying "ZELAYA SHOULD COME BACK IMMEDIATELY". That would be a disaster. Can you see that? Things can't just go back the way they were on Thursday or Friday.

All I'm asking for is for people to think things out. My hope is that the OAS and the UN have enough clear-headed people to see things through and to not condone any rash actions. Particularly not to listen to Hugo Chavez. Though, as I'm being told, the president of the OAS is a leftist extremist who loves Hugo Chavez. Great. Just great. I just want this to end peacefully. And while that might be a very dim, stupid hope, it's still there.

So, a couple more things:

- Zelaya's supporters are STILL calling out for massive strikes and road blocking. What will that accomplish except more confrontations and possible death? Nothing at all.
- I hope the international press sees the whole picture. They are starting to, if watching CNN Spanish now is any indication. We need dialogue, not one-sided rants and ravings. And Zelaya really needs to answer questions. Tell us, once and for all, what you wanted to change about the Constitution. Do you guys know that he NEVER said that? He never once said what he wanted to change about the Constitution. Everyone assumed it was a return to power. He denied it, vaguely, but he never said what he wanted to change about it. Can you see why people were suspicious?
-a few local reporters have been beaten and harassed by Zelaya's supporters. Are these a peaceful bunch or what? He was spending millions on his campaign, millions on promotion. The people's millions. Did you know his government had yet to submit its budget to Congress? No one knew what they were spending money on, or how. Certainly not in helping the country.
-There are some other huge problems happening in the country. There are floods, communities STILL suffering from the effects of the earthquake. Maybe NOW, with this transition people can get the attention and help they need.

People here are rational. They are calm. No one wants a fight. Only a handful of people want radical actions.

We need things to stay calm. We need people to go back to work. We need to get the government to focus on the people and not a farcical vote as it had been doing these last months.

And we need to keep elections in place in November.

We need the international community to see the entire picture. That's what I'm trying to do.

So...welcome, new readers. This is kind of weird. I usually just rant and rave and post stupid pictures. But I'm glad I'm giving people a new perspective.

Local news is reporting than in San Pedro Sula a mob attacked reporters and beat up a couple of them quite badly. THESE are Zelaya's supporters. Peaceful, indeed.


Anonymous said...

hi and sorry your country is going through this AGAIN. I sense you are too young to remember the other coups. Hang in there, it's going to be day to day for a while, with each side dressing up like the other side and doing mischief and violence. It's called outside agitators, and its common as rice during 'coups.' As is purposeful disinfomration in media, and interrupting communications networks. I'd suggest perhaps, not sure, but follow BBC, not CNN, if you can. People in other parts of the world also would like to hear from Hondurans who are dirt poor, but we know they probably dont have computers.

hope things get more clear, more honest on both sides, soon

Anonymous said...

I think we - comparatively wealthy people - have to support the empowerment the majority of the poor.

Chavez did in Venezuela, and it's good for the poor.

Zelaya tries to do it in Honduras, where the poor are the broad majority.

If you are a patriot and want to strengthen your nation you have to bring education, sufficient meals, clean water, health, self-esteem to the majority of the poor.

I am pro Zelaya, therefore. And pro ALBA in general.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Brazilian and part of the Brazilian press and the Brazilian government are calling this a "coup".

President Lula is, as always, saying stupid things like "what was the problem with consulting the people?", ignoring completely that both the Supreme Court and Congress had declared the referendum illegal, and that article 239 of the Constitution of Honduras says that anyone who proposes to extend term limits immediately loses their posts.

However, there is one blogger in Brazil, Reinaldo Azevedo, who has actually read the Constitution of Honduras, like you suggested, and is basing his opinions on what the Constitution says.

I recommend for anyone confused about the situation in Honduras to read his blog. Those who don't speak Spanish nor Portuguese can grasp the meaning of his posts with Google Translate.

Chris said...

I'm a young guy from Poland and all I know about your country is from our press. So I may not have a full view on the situation, but it seems to me that the army did the right thing. They took him away before he managed to establish his absolute power or whatever. Right, the means perhaps was a bit exaggerated but it's hard to judge - maybe, as you say, it was too late for more diplomatic moves.
On the other hand, if all national institutions were against him, why was he such a threat?

Sin said...

dude, good job on all this and putting the word out there. i feel so helpless up here. i wish i could strangle obama and clinton.

i wonder if, once the U.S. and the international community gets Zelaya reinstated, and if Zelaya refuses to leave office, will everyone intervene again.

i think it scares people that the military had to step in and arrest him. people need to understand that in Honduras that is the military's job, once Congress ordered that the Head of State be arrested. hell, if obama had to be arrested tomorrow for treason, you think they would send the washington p.d. to arrest him? doubt it.

please update once you know more dude. i'm getting better news reports from you and from calling my parents. hang in there. let me know if there's anything i can do to help. has hablado con villar?

Figgylicious said...

To "Anonymous" who posted at 5:49

Tell me, what, if anything, did Zelaya do in his nearly-four years in power for the poor?

How is Zelaya not a member of that very same "Aristocracy" he is railing against?

How does Zelaya DARE to speak for "the poor" when he has been spending millions on his survey instead of actually HELPING them after the floods, the earthquake, the economic crisis, the situation of violence here, the terrible educational system? He gives them a raise in salary that helped absolutely no one, because all it did was raise prices in everything from food to gasoline.

So, spare me. Yes, I am privileged, but don't give me that bullshit that Zelaya wants to help the poor. Speeches and claims that you will help the poor does not feed the people. If he really wanted change his actions should've spoken for him in the last three years.

And, do you have any idea of the hole that Venezuela has sunk into since Chavez has been in power? I lived in Venezuela, and I know a lot of Venezuelans there now, and believe me, things are not as great as Chavez makes them out to be. Do you really want that for Honduras, a country that can barely support itself?

Chelsea G. said...

Hi Figgy,
Thanks for your post - it's exactly what I was thinking. Hard to believe that Obama and other world leaders are saying that this was a "terrible" thing - in fact, the most terrible this is that no-one in the democratic system bothered to reign this idiot in before he got drunk on power and totally out of control. Sounds like a very silly man. I hope that the local left-leaning leaders will not make a big fuss about this - Hugo Chavez's words about powering up his army are really scary.

Anyhow, stay safe, Figgy, and take care. We're hoping for the best result for Honduras.

Chelsea, Victoria BC, Canada

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this is destroying your tourism sector. I have a friend in tourism there and was planning a trip in September. She says it's not safe, and wait til after the election. How many tourist dollars has the country sacrificed that could have been saved with a less coup-like resolution?

Chuck said...

Thanks Figgy for keeping us posted. I bnelieve Obama will soon see the way things are and renig his support of Zelaya. Zelaya is NOT a supporter of the poor. He is another Hugo Chavez, only interested in his own preservation. Let's hope swensibility prevails and the people of the world see that it was a legal maneuver to remove him from power. Honduras needs honest government, this may help. Please continue to write as you see things on the ground.
Chuck, (a frequent traveler to Tegu and Danli.)

David Täht said...

Stay safe, read your email...