Chávez plane over Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Photo: La Prensa, Honduras
Photo: La Prensa, Honduras
After being refused permission to land at Toncontín Airport yesterday morning, ex-President Mel Zelaya left for Nicaragua or El Salvador or somewhere, flitting from country to country on a plane provided by Hugo Chávez. Every time CNN shows him, he is in a different country. Zelaya vowed to return later in the day.
The government of Honduras announced the closure all of its airports to all unscheduled traffic yesterday. Scheduled airline traffic was allowed to land but some flights were canceled due to worry about the situation here.
Currently all airports are operating normally except Toncontín in Tegucigalpa, which is expected to be back to normal by Friday. (But please check with your airline if you are planning to travel to Honduras.)
In press conferences aired by CNN en Español, former president Zelaya has been urging his followers that they don't have obey "illegal" government authorities and to meet him at the airport. Zelaya/Chávez thugs are terrorizing Tegucigalpa, vandalizing businesses, threatening business owners, peaceful protesters, and other citizens.
July 7, a stressful day
So yesterday we sat in suspense all morning and much of the afternoon, wondering if Zelaya would return by air, wondering if Honduras would be invaded by UN troops, Chavez troops, or US troops! Wondering if the peaceful country of Honduras would be in war! The international media speculates about so many things which only add to the stress.
Later in the day, another plane flew in containing Mel Zelaya and the President of the Assembly General of the United Nations. Chávez's plane circled the capital city of Tegucigalpa for several minutes while the control tower told them that they did not have permission to land and ordered the pilot to leave Honduran air space. The already short Tegucigalpa runway was blocked by a truck. It was very tense watching that plane circle in the dark sky. Honduras has filed a complaint of violation of air space against Venezuela.
Such relief we felt when he left! Eventually the rioters at the airport dispersed, but not until one was killed after a group of protesters broke down the security fence and charged the soldiers. A phone call, supposedly from the plane and supposedly from Zelaya, had encouraged the protesters to assist him. CNN en Español showed video of them threatening the soldiers launching big rocks at them, starting fires all day.
An investigation has been performed and the bullet which killed the 19-year-old was not of the caliber that the military used. In fact, we are being told that the crowd control soldiers had only rubber bullets. Ramón Custodio, Commissioner of Human Rights, has issued a strong statement saying that the murder was not committed by the police. Every effort is being made not to result in injuries to the crowds.
Zelaya stole from the mouths of the poor while giving them false promises. He recruited followers with cash payments of $20 and cell phones. More and more cases of corruption are coming out daily. The government is wisely showing reporters the orders for capture and Interpol warrants so the people can stay informed that actions are being taking against these corruptos.
Some protesters have admitted to receiving L.300 per day (about US $16) plus gas for motorcycles. If they bring someone with them, that person also receives L.300. Yesterday, a national announcement was made asking those who have received "cuarta urna" money to return it to any government office.
For the past week, rioters have threatened, abused and attacked the soldiers. Some are armed and have used grenades to attack businesses and have threatened peaceful protesters, businessmen and Honduran reporters. Yet, despite 10 days of this, only one person has been killed.
The Honduran military should be congratulated for the restraint and professionalism that they have shown. We could be seeing a situation like happened in China yesterday, with more than 100 killed. Those of us who see not only the sensational clips shown on CNN, but what went on before and after, are viewing a much different situation than you are seeing on the news.
A surreal world
It is surreal to hear Zelaya say that he is coming back to save us from the repression of a "military regime" and then listen to the hypocritical, heartless and uniformed statements of the OAS members.
Yesterday, he said that he will return to Honduras, have no doubt about that. "I'm not going to say how." He stated that they could expect him in any town or any state at any time.
OAS Secretary General Insulza talks about restoring democracy and human rights. He is concerned only with the rights on one person, Mel Zelaya, criminal, corrupto, drug-user, with drug trafficking connections, who has sacked the country's finances. Neither Insulza nor Zelaya are concerned now, nor never have been, with the human rights of 7.5 million people.
Democracy in Honduras has been broken for a long time. This is an attempt to restore it and it is being rejected by the world. Today, Zelaya is meeting with Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State. In earlier press conferences, he has indicated that he will return later this week. If Zelaya returns to Honduras, even for a short time, it could have devastating results. Any compromise on the part of the new government will result in Honduras returning to business as usual for the corruptos. I hope that does not happen.
Yesterday, a diplomatic contingent from Honduras went to the US and are expected to meet with Mrs. Clinton today as well. We'll wait with anticipation to hear the results of both of these meetings. President Roberto Micheletti announced last night that he has confidence that Secretary Clinton understands that "democracy is as important to us as it is in the USA."
A tyrant is being protected by other tyrants. What tyrants are running this world! How dare they jump to conclusions without any investigation based on the words of a criminal? How dare they decide that Honduras' Supreme Court is unable to interpret its own constitution. How dare they not consider the wishes of the people. How dare they not consider how the country has suffered under Mel Zelaya?
Sure the world can crush Honduras. But Honduras is not going down without a fight. Each injustice and insult that occurs only solidifies Catracho pride and makes them more determined.