Monday, June 29, 2009

In The Midst of Chaos

My first overseas assignment and my first coup. I'm way too old for this.

Of course, I know it's no laughing matter. It's sad when a government is so terribly corrupt. It's sadder when it looks like he will get away with holding a 'poll' of the people to see if he should run for an additional term when the country's constitution forbids it. It's a shame when his best friend is Hugo Chavez. So, the military did what it felt it needed to do to preserve Democracy. They gave him an early wake up this morning, arrested him and whisked him away to Costa Rica. Then they proceeded to name the president of the Congress as the new President and he will serve out the remaining 6 months of Zelaya's term. They state they have a signed resignation from Zelaya...Zelaya denies it...the plot thickens by the minute.

This morning, there were tanks in the streets, jets flying low, soldiers with menacing looking guns and of course, supporters of Mel Zelaya in the streets. I haven't heard of any violence. Wait..I did hear that the Ambassadors of Cuba and Nicaragua somehow managed to find themselves in the street somewhere, one of them with a few bruises. But that has yet to be confirmed. Sad.

Messages have been sent out over the emergency radios that all embassy people were to stay home. I've done that all day. I've had a few calls from my bosses, filling me in on what's happening, which is very little. The last call came a few minutes ago informing me of the good news that I was Essential Personnel and (the bad news) I would have to report to work tomorrow. Apparently, the embassy will function on a limited staff for the safety of all Americans and locally employed staff (LES). And a word about our LES...they are the best in the world!!

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. In my mind, Zelaya's supporters are gathering around the campfire and planning their strategy. Chavez has vowed to defend Zelaya's right to be president...and he has placed his troops on standby. This has all the makings of a Movie of the Week.

P.S. All information here has been taken from different news sites. You can go to, or any other news source and probably read even juicier and/or more up to date stuff than what I've written here.


Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for a while, and you were actually the first person that I thought of when I heard this on the news yesterday. I hope things remain peaceful down there for you, and democracy continues to reign.

Debi said...

I so appreciate your comment. It's nice to know what I write is of enough interest for a follower! The sun is up, I have power again (slept listening to Old Yeller the Generator all night) and who knows what the day will bring. I'm headed to the embassy, being one of the 'essential personnel' so I should know more about what's going on tonight. Hopefully, no one will do anything stupid today.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what all Hillary was doing there on her recent visit. Seems to me that the reaction from Washington supporting the ousted Zelaya falls right in line with the left wing administration here in our Country. Stay safe, Debi, you are in my prayers. A.

Anonymous said...

Hi there!

I too have been following your blog. You were the first person I thought of as well.

I am glad to hear that your power has been restored and you sound like you are in good spirits.

Please post again when you can. You are in our thoughts.

Debi said...

Thank you so much...these are definitely experiences I'll be able to tell my grandsons! To sum this up in a nutshell and to explain the support the exiled president has, the Congress broke the law. Our elected officials cannot condone actions taken that break the law, not to mention are contrary to the Democratic process. If they had waited until he had held his illegal voter poll, then their action would have been justified. I know it's hard to watch our government back someone as bad as Zelaya, but remember...they are backing the Democratic process. However badly he needed to be ousted, they went about it the wrong way. I'm hoping the statements from Washington reflect why they were against this coup.

La Gringa said...

Hi Debi, I was a little surprised that you can even write about it.

I've been oh-so disappointed in the US and Embassy reactions. Did you know that Channel 8 propaganda station was showing a 30-second clip of the Ambassador saying he approved of the cuarta urna for days before the supposed election? It was on at least every hour. Every time I saw it, I wondered if the Ambassador really said that or if they cut and pasted the video. It really made my husband mad.

I just wrote a piece that I would love for the ambassador to read. Any way you could get it to him?

Jamie said...

As an American living in Honduras, it's so difficult for me to accept my US government's reaction to this whole Zelaya mess. I expected the US to support Honduras, a struggling nation trying to defend its Constitution. The US has supported many technical "non-legal" situations in the past and know that this could have been spinned very differently in benefit of the new government. It's sad that there is a chance that Mel might be back. Thanks for posting. I've had your site bookmarked since the Spring and it's great, warm and lovely to read. A request for more pics of Teguz please!!

Debi said...

LG, my initial reaction was negative to comments made by my government. However, the more I learned, the more I realized that they are backing the Democratic way of doing things. If they had just let him have his public opinion poll and then taken action, there would have probably been more approval. I can understand, but am oh so uncomfortable, with our leader's response to this matching those of Chavez. I'll do my best to get what you wrote to Ambassador Llorens.

Debi said...

Jamie, thanks so much for reading 'me.' I love writing and there's so much to write about. I also love photography and will try to get more pictures on here. I have less than a year left on this tour and I have so much more to see and share!

Be A Blessing said...

There are conflicting reports about the safety of American visitors in Honduras. We have a mission team scheduled to arrive there on July 3rd, is it safe?

Debi said...

There are travel warnings. It is reported that the neighboring countries have closed the borders so travel by car may be problematic. There is a website where you can check the travel warnings but I'm at home and don't remember the website. Email me at and I will send you the link. Travel here at this time is not advised.

Be A Blessing said...

Can't deliver a message to your email - it will not allow. Our sources in Tegucigalpa say demonstrations are in the middle of the city and after we fly in and leave the city we should not be affected. Is this information accurate?

Debi said...

Be A Blessing, I hope my email to you arrived and it was at least helpful.

Anonymous said...

Do not take my comment in a negative way. After rediscovering your blog and reading everything you wrote, why I could have kissed you. (not sure who would have been more upset, you or my wife) Your support of this interim government has been outstanding, especially since nearly every ex-pat here in Honduras feels Obama had gotten this wrong. Since reading your blog it’s clear to me the State Department knows the score. It’s also clear that Obama had the correct information available but chose to ignore it.

I have read your blog off and on again for over a year. Some how I missed your blog until yesterday and read all of your postings since this mess began. What I enjoy the most about blogs is reading the comments concerning an authors opinion. My comment was based on a comment made on your on June 28th. blog. In your comment section on June 30th. you posted: “my initial reaction was negative to comments made by my government. However, the more I learned, the more I realized that they are backing the Democratic way of doing things. If they had just let him have his public opinion poll and then taken action, there would have probably been more approval.”

I owe you an apology, I should have quoted my reference with my first post to have avoided any confusion. I do not recall, and I have quickly scanned your blog to see if anything has changed on this one statement. Your overall support goes without question. I guess I am some what disturbed that many are willing to bend on the issue that the Honduran Government should have acted differently. The facts bear out overwhelmingly that they took appropriate actions in every step of the way, including loading Mel on a plane and kicking him out of the country.

Ron S.

issues regarding Obama may be best left off your blog and I would certainly understand if you choose not to post this. hence, that is why I posted my e-mail and you have my permission to post that as well

Debi said...

I gladly accept the virtual kiss!! And no apology is necessary. While I will always support my government (and that is not to be mistaken for required support) I may sometimes come to different conclusions or opinions. Throughout this entire crisis, I keep going back over things that were done and it's always those small details that will get you in trouble. Our government is looking at this through many many eyes...eyes of advisors, eyes of those in government who are critical of the handling, eyes of spouses at home who probably give some great advice. Sometimes it takes a while to sort everything out and I am more and more confident that that will happen here. This is too important an issue to jump to the wrong conclusion and although I may not have liked some things I've seen and heard, I believe I see the pathway that is being laid out. What our leaders do here will follow us for many years to come, good or bad. Every step needs to be measured and done right. I have confidence that in the end, the goal will be accomplished. Two weeks ago, I wouldn't have been able to say that but I think I see that Mr. Zelaya may very well be his own worst enemy. I'll admit that I've had a few moments where I was very uncomfortable reading what I was reading and seeing what I was seeing. But in the end, the goal of a new democratically elected president for Honduras is going to happen. The question that I haven't been able to have answered is this...Will the new president be recognized if the elections occur without Zelaya as President? And is that why getting him back is so important?

Keep reading Ron...the last chapter on this adventure has not been written!