People say I'm a dreamer...I call it a defense mechanism against life.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Honduras Chronicles Part I

It’s been almost two weeks since our FORMER President Manuel Zelaya was graciously escorted out of the country, and during this whole ordeal I have felt a range of emotions from anger to pride to hope. It’s amazing how different I feel since this crisis exploded, I see myself, my country, my fellow countrymen, and the world in a whole new light. Here’s a little account of what life has been like for this proud Honduran amidst a political crisis.

I must admit that the last few weeks have been tense and filled with uncertainty, but other than that I truly believe that right now is an exciting time to be Honduran. I have witnessed history in the making. I have seen how people have put aside their differences, political and personal in order to defend the liberties and freedoms, we had once taken for granted. I think never before had so many Hondurans read the constitution! As Hondurans we have realized that we are capable of being bold, hell I think we are capable of greatness!

The week leading up to the expulsion of Mel Zelaya, I saw how our president was becoming more erratic in his behavior and his speeches became more leftist (in a very nasty, if your poor it’s the rich people’s fault kind of way). I literally went to bed every night not knowing where our country was headed; I could just feel a shit storm was brewing! On Sunday June 28, 2009 I awoke to the sound of military fighter planes circling the beautiful skies of my city, Tegucigalpa. I opened one eye and saw my alarm clock was blank, hence no power. I heard my mother had just woken up and I told her “Either Mel Zelaya was taken out of office or those are Hugo Chavez’s planes”. My mom was able to find a small battery-powered radio but all the radio stations were off the air! Finally I was able to tune a station, and I received confirmation that the President was removed from power and flown to Costa Rica. I knew things where not normal and that my country was starting a difficult road, but above all I felt relief that that mad man was gone!

Exactly a week later after these events, it was announced that the ex president would attempt to return to the country. Both the international community and leaders of the Catholic and Evangelical churches begged him not to return yet, out of fear that confrontation between his followers and police/military would surely result in deaths. Around noon that day, the new government announced that Zelaya would not be allowed to enter the country, in an effort to prevent violence. Despite that, around 5pm a private plane (owned by PDVSA, the national Venezuelan oil company), with Zelaya allegedly in it, began to make its approach towards the runway in Tegucigalpa. Mind you, the plane had no authorization to land, and yet it entered Honduran airspace with some its locator devices turned off, making its detection harder. Apparently the plan lead by Hugo Chavez was that Mel’s supporters would storm the runway, which was being guarded by the military, in order to create a sort of human shield if you will, for the now ex-president and take him to the Presidential House. In the end the military where able to control the crowds and was able to block the runway. Unfortunately, one of the protesters was killed, nonetheless I feel the outcome could have been worse, and I applaud the military for its restrain. I have to point out that I find it disgusting that Mel Zelaya and Hugo Chavez where calling for the protestors to come into direct clash with the military, they wanted to see deaths, to create martyrs for their cause, shame shame on you! That being said, I was glued to the TV hoping that this wouldn't result in a massacre. I now nervously wonder what will happen this Sunday, I think us Hondurans deserve a break from all the drama!

As most Hondurans I have become a news junkie! Before leaving for work I have my coffee with the news turned on, I get to work Im reading two online newspapers at the same time, my boss has the news radio on, and afterwards we swap printed newspapers between colleagues. When I get home, I can’t wait for it to be 5:30, when the first newscasts begin. It’s exhausting but I feel a compulsive need to be informed, helps me deal with all this uncertainty.

Since I’m on the topic of news, I can’t begin to express how frustrated and angry I feel about CNN one-sided coverage of the events occurring in my country. Here in Honduras we’ve began referring to it as Chavez News Network. Its reporters hardly ever speak about the countless acts of corruption of our former administration and how many of us favor the new government.

I don’t like seeing my country divided between those who support the removal of Mel Zelaya and those who favor him, and I’m aware that our situation is serious and so far a clear solution in nowhere in sight. However I am hopeful that Honduras will make it out of this one, and in the process we shall become politically more mature and from now on we shall demand greater accountability from our leaders. I also hope that we do not see any more deaths as a result of this crisis; human life is precious and should not be wasted on behalf of personal interest of individuals and struggles for power. We are a small country, with a weak economy, and no oil, but nonetheless we deserve to be respected and it shall be us who decide the future of our nation. Venezuela, Nicaragua, or any other nation: you have no right to interfere! Finally I want to tell the world that democracy now more than ever, is alive and well in this so called “Banana Republic” of 7 million and a half brave souls.

-Das Ende-


Nothing Profound said...

Stella-thanks for this account of what's going in your country. As a US citizen I am horribly misinformed about events occurring in other parts of the world. To hear the news from someone whose sensitivities and intelligence I respect makes a world of difference. I hope everything works out for the best and that democracy will be restored and innocent people won't have to suffer.

Stella said...

Thank you for taking time to read this post. my country is going through hard times, but Im hoping for the best and staying positive.