They were right. People kept saying that what Honduras needed to help the country was for the elections to take place. They did and it seems to have worked. The resistence movement has abandoned Citizen Zelaya, as have all but about 15 of those who had become squatters in the Brazilian embassy with him. Every time one of them left the embassy, dragging their suitcase on wheels behind them, I think we could all imagine Citizen Zelaya crying into his hands, wondering how they could leave him in his hour...er day..I mean month of need.
I believe, as do so many others, that he was too focused on himself (among other things). They finally saw him for what he really was...everything for himself, not for his country. He just didn't get it. The money and power went to his head. Well, the money is well hidden but that's another story.
Honduras learned a very important lesson, and future politicians should understand this. They saw that corruption is something that is unacceptable. They stood strong against many who tried to change their course, unsuccessfully. They can credit the interim president, Roberto Micheletti, for not giving in to the many threats and actions taken against Honduras.
On Dec. 2, Congress voted on whether or not to reinstate Citizen Zelaya as president. For the first time, the voting was televised and each of the Congresistas had their turn at the microphone. Some merely said they were in favor of the decision made on June 28th or they said they were against it. Others realized that what was happening in that room was really a historical event and they wanted their 15 minutes of fame....some thought they deserved 50 minutes of fame! Several times, the president of Congress had to interrupt them, respectfully reminding them there were others who were waiting to vote. They would thank him and proceed with their rant. The importance of this televised vote was that for the first time, the citizens of Honduras could actually see what the people they voted for were doing. I spoke with my maid, Gloria and tried to impress on her just how very important this was. I told her that in the US, we could always check the voting records of the people we voted into office. She was amazed. And by the way, they overwhelmingly voted to accept what took place back in June. Sorry Citizen Zelaya.
Back to Citizen Zelaya and his future. He really has only 2 choices...he can request political asylum and leave the country or he can walk out of that embassy into the arms of the police and be held accountable for what he has done. I hope he leaves. Honduras needs to recover from the crisis it has endured for the past 7 months. Healing can't begin if Zelaya is put in jail and begins the process of answering the charges against him. That would only stand to invigorate his supporters and we'd be back to where we were a couple of months ago, with the streets filled with demonstrators. He should just leave and let this country move on. Let the people here look to the future with a renewed sense of pride and encouraged by their newly elected president, Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo. Last week, he came to visit the Ambassador. I happened to be working in his office and when Pepe walked in, he came right over to me and shook my hand. I congratulated him and wished him the best of luck in his new role. He smiled and graciously thanked me. Then he and the Ambassador left and walked throughout the embassy. He greeted everyone he saw, from the cafeteria ladies on up. He seems to be comfortable in his new role as President and thanking the people for their votes sure didn't hurt his popularity any!
As I prepare to leave Honduras next May, I will leave knowing that I was here when the people of Honduras found out what it was like to stand up for what they believed in. They saw a leader who, at all costs, did his best to preserve the rule of law and keep their constitution intact. This really is the little country that could.