Sunday, February 07, 2010

Post Election/Inauguration Observations

The inauguration of Porfirio "Pepe" Lobo Sosa took place on January 27, 2010. Although by Honduran standards it was a grand affair, I have my own observations.
  • As President Lobo stood giving his speech, the people behind him sitting in chairs drove me crazy. They fidgeted, the talked, they passed bottles of water back and forth. They talked on their cell phones. One man in particular sat there, with his legs spread wide and any minute, I expected him to have an itch that required a scratch. Just waiting for him to do it was extremely distracting. It just seemed like they were watching a parade pass by instead of the newly elected president. Just lacked respect.
  • The delegation sent from Washington to attend the inauguration had no place to sit. They arrived and, gee whiz, where do they sit? Very quickly folding chairs were found and voila...they had seats. Who planned this anyway? There should have been seats!
  • I was bothered by all the people President Lobo thanked in his speech. The majority of them received resounding Booooos. I was at work during the telecast so I didn't catch all those who were booed but it also included many Hondurans. By the time Lobo finished his speech, 50% of the people had gotten up and walked out of the stadium. They too, didn't appreciate the people he thanked. I don't know if he ever thanked the citizens for electing him.
  • When it came time for Lobo to sign the document granting amnesty to Zelaya, they booed. Personally, I think the government will regret not forcing Zelaya to take political amnesty. As Zelaya boarded the plane, all he said was "Regresare" or "I will return." His resistence movement is continuing to mobilize and work toward the constitutional change (no term limits) and don't plan on disbanding just because Mel Zelaya is out of the country.

After the inauguration was over, the new President proceeded to the Brazilian embassy to fetch Mel Zelaya to take him to the airport. At the embassy, we all anticipated the departure of Mel. We had all been here when the whole thing started and this was kind of like closing the book on him. We looked out our windows to watch the motorcade drive off. As they all drove out of the street where the Brazilian embassy is and turned down Avenida La Paz, we all gave a sigh of relief. I bet the sigh of relief from the neighbors of the Brazilian embassy could have been heard for miles! What a horrible 5 months it's been for them!

Mel is currently staying in a mansion in the ritzy section of the Dominican Republic where celebrities have luxury homes. I've read that the citizens of the DR aren't very happy that they are footing the bill for Mel. You'd think with all the money he has stashed away that he could at least offer to pay the rent. It's reported that he won't be there long as Mexico is his next destination. Who knows if the Mexican government will house him for free.

According to local papers and the rumor mills, Mel is already forming his own 'cabinet' and one day has plans of returning to overthrow the Honduran government. I pray nothing like that happens. What this country needs to do now is move forward and heal...heal from the wounds caused by a megalomaniac who was only concerned about himself. He stole, mishandled government funds and couldn't have cared less about the state of the country he was elected to serve and protect. I've already read comments attributed to him that reflect how he really feels about 'his' Honduras..."Don't go to Honduras," "Countries of the NOT recognize the government of Honduras," "Do NOT give humanitarian aid to Honduras." Doesn't sound like he cares about Honduras now that he's safe outside of the country.

Move on, Honduras. Work hard at repairing your country. Get your teachers to teach school instead of demonstrating in the streets (and getting paid whether they are in class or not). Do something about the corruption. Do something about the rampant crime (14 homicides a day), and that means when you arrest someone, don't let them out the next day.

And last but not least, thank you to Roberto Micheletti. In your short term as President, you did a great job of holding your own. You held fast to your beliefs and convictions and didn't buckle under to the those who said you should restore Zelaya to power. And what a shame that Pepe couldn't have thanked you for what you did for the people of Honduras in his speech.

I wish Pepe Lobo luck. He is going to need it to get this country moving in the right direction.


Tambopaxi said...

Debi, Nice post, thanks. Re: lack of seats for the U.S. delegation, I had the impression that the U.S. hadn't RSVP'd for event, and so, no seats. Was that true? saludos from Quito (try and make this your next post after the ME tour!), Tambopaxi

Debi said...

Hey Tam! Oh, you can bet the U.S. delegation was expected. I'm sure it wasn't intentional but...when you have as many people sitting behind the president elect as were there, what are the odds that some didn't belong there?