Saturday, November 14, 2009

Friday the 13th, Honduran Style

I'm not at all superstitious. I walk under ladders. I love black cats. I step on cracks without a second thought. However, this particular Friday the 13th wasn't a very good one for the people of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

The day began with a report of an RPG (Rocket Propelled Grenade) explosion but with very little details. As information began to come in, it was determined that it was most likely shot from a small plane and the target was the building here in Tegucigalpa where the election materials ('ballots' comes to mind) are stored, awaiting distribution to the polling places. It failed to hit its target, instead most likely hit an electrical line, resulting in an explosion in the air but very close to the ground near the building. In today's El Heraldo online newspaper reports (, officials stated the RPG was from Nicaragua.

As the day progressed, 2 bomb threats were reported, one at a building several blocks from the American Embassy, the other allegedly at Toncontin International Airport. After bomb squads searched both areas, no bombs were found. However, it is apparent that those who would make these threats have one motive...disrupt the lives of the Hondurans. Cause fear and intimidation. Make people think twice about voting.

Elections are just a little over 2 weeks away and Mr. Zelaya's supporters are ramping up their efforts to cause whatever problems they can to stop/disrupt/discredit the elections. The vast majority want this election to take place. They want to choose their next president but if Zelaya has his way, it won't happen. From inside his 'headquarters' in the Brazilian embassy, he is calling the shots. He is giving instructions to boycott the election, cause chaos and confusion, intimidation and fear. He claims that the world cannot recognize any new government unless he is reinstated as president. This week, President Micheletti offered to resign on the condition that Zelaya cease his efforts to be reinstated, request political amnesty from Brazil and retreat to some other country. Spain has been mentioned. So far, no response from Zelaya.

Today's papers had photographs of 3-pointed spikes that were seized by authorities, intended to be put in the streets so that trucks could not deliver the ballots to the polling places. I guess that was Plan B since Plan A's RPG missed its target.

Let's go back to Mr. Zelaya for a minute. He is a spoiled child who, when he realized that he wasn't going to get his way after the signing of the Tegucigalpa/San Jose Accord, threw a tantrum and refused to play with anyone. He is totally unpredictable and cannot be trusted to abide by any agreement he enters into. He has a history of this as President. The thought of having him back in the presidential palace calling the shots is pretty scary. I do understand that the goal of the United States is to have a democratically elected president in place when the elections take place. I must add here that there is tape of Zelaya in a news conference admitting that he won that election (by the narrowest margin) by fraud. So many Hondurans fear that if he is in power for even a day or two, let alone 2 months, the damage he could do is mind boggling. El Heraldo had a quote from Mr. Zelaya today:

"El ex presidente Manuel Zelaya dijo que el gobierno de Estados Unidos lo ha dejado 'en medio del rio diciendo que ahora la prioridad son las elecciones' en Honduras.


The ex-president Manuel Zelaya said that the government of the United States has left him 'in the middle of a river, saying that now the priority is the elections' in Honduras"

Wait a minute...isn't that exactly what we want...fair elections? You mean Zelaya isn't the main object of our attention?? How dare we do that...

My tour here ends in May and I will be on my way to Muscat, Oman. There are certain events which must occur before the State Department will begin evacuation procedures of Americans in an embassy. There's a list outlining these events. I'm told we aren't close to taking that action but there have been meetings so everyone is prepared should it come to that. I think Zelaya's thugs have more tricks up their sleeves. I really don't want to leave until May. I want to see this crisis resolved, a fair and decisive election and the inauguration of a new president for these Honduran people. They all so deserve some good in their lives.

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