Saturday, July 18, 2009

Honduras Political Update II

Over the last several days and even week things have settled down across Honduras. Many of the schools have returned to giving classes and others plan to start on Monday. Today there has been more peace talks in Costa Rica. As I understand there has not been an agreement but there is to me more talks tomorrow.

I find it interesting to see how the Internet news that I have seen has been focusing on the negative of this whole thing from the actual coup to the violence. The violence has been very contained and is not wide spread across the country like it would seem from the Internet videos and news. There have been some very large protest but just about everyone of them peaceful.

Where Tiffany and I live in San Luis everything is peaceful. The people are just kinda waiting to see what is going to happen to their country. From the ones I have talked to, many of them feel that the ex president was leading the country down a Communistic road but others who don't really understand what Communism is are only seeing the raise in minimum salary that was given as well as the cash hand outs that have come from the Zelaya government. One lady was quoted the other day as saying that she was paid around $50 to vote a certain way and as she put it "who cares how you vote when you are hungry". I spoke with another man who was fixing our telephone lines for our radio station and he was telling me that Hondutel, the main telephone company, has not paid him his salary for 4 months. He can not quit working now or he will loose all of his rights to back pay. He has 3 children at home with out food.

What most of these poor people say is that the ones running the government don't care what happens to them and that has really been the case most of the time but along came ex president Mel Zelaya and raised the minimum salary, started handing out food, cash and trying to win the people. So many of the people see him as the one who cared for them. The majority of the people who are out supporting the return of the ex president are either among the really poor people or the people who have been paid to protest.

Well, for now that is how it is. Tomorrow the peace talks continue.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Honduras Political Situation

Just a little abbreviated version of what is going on in Honduras. Sunday the 28th of June the Honduran President Mel Zelaya was taken out of power. He was trying to have a national vote on rewriting the Honduran Constitution which would give him more power and also let him possibly run for election indefinitely. Supposable to have such a vote is against the Honduran constitution. The Congress as well as the Supreme Court reviewed the situation and the request and told the president it was not legal and that he could not do it. He stated that he wanted to do it anyway and ordered the military to distribute the ballot boxes or start the process so the country could vote on the 28th of June. The head of the military stated it was against the law and that he would not obey the president’s order. The president in turn fired the head of the military causing a chain reaction of others resigning their positions. The Congress reunited and put the director of the military back as head of the military which Mel Zelaya would not accept. Mel pushed ahead planning to have the vote without the vote of the Congress, Supreme Court or the Military to support him. In a meeting between the Congress and the Supreme Court the decision was made that to allow the vote would be illegal so the order was given to the military from Congress to remove the president and take him to Costa Rica.

There had also been word passed among the people that if they voted ‘NO’ on the vote they would go to jail so many of the people out of fear had plans to stay home and not vote at all. The Congress and the Court decided it would be wiser to take the president from the country, removing him from power, rather than allow the vote to go through. As I understand there is not a plan set up in the Honduras law by which they can impeach a president and take him from power. There are supposable 18 counts against Mel Zelaya if he returns to the country including making it possible for drugs to be passed through Honduras on the way the north with his permission. It has been printed that at times 2 plans a night from Venezuela would land and unload packages said to be drugs and money. There supposedly is evidence need to convict him just on this one offense.

As of yesterday ex president Mel Zelaya tried to return to the country of Honduras. There were some 20,000 supporters of his there to support him. The airport was closed though and the military had parked and placed things in the runway to keep him from landing. The airport has been closed indefinitely until they deem it safe for reopening. Mel has vowed to return to Honduras and says he will attempt to fly in again sometime in the next few days. The teachers are also on strike all across the country and have stated that they will not return to give classes until Mel Zelaya is reinstated in power. I have been told the number teachers in Honduras are around 60,000. So far one has died and many have been hurt.