November 18, 2009

Deserting the sinking ship and other news

The sinking ship

Zelayistas and journalists are deserting the sinking ship of the Brazilian Embassy. Yesterday, Salvadoran Padre Andrés Tamayo left. Deserters are escorted away by police and, I believe, are examined by doctors prior to release, which seems a wise move so that false accusations of ill effects from death rays, toxic gases, mind control radiation and whatever else they dream up cannot be claimed later. In one photo of a Zelaya follower telling a doctor about his symptoms, a Brazilian blogger notes with humor the skepticism in the face of a journalist (in the blue shirt) standing by watching.

The fact that Padre Tamayo himself asked to leave, supposedly for a family emergency involving his sister, did not stop Cholusat Sur TV from interrupting programming yesterday with an Ultima Hora! report saying that Tamayo had been arrested - Ullllllltima Hora! - and was in the custody of Immigration officials - Ulllllltima Hora! - and implying all sorts of probable abuse of the priest.

Padre Tamayo has been in Honduras for years organizing environmental protests, a worthy cause. The hypocrisy of his new found association with Zelaya, whose notorious logging family is credited with much of the massive destruction of the mountain forests in Olancho, is not lost on anyone with a brain. Unfortunately, Padre Tamayo began organizing disruptive political protests and calling for boycott of elections. Interfering with elections is prohibited in the constitution and political activism is specifically prohibited to foreigners.

Callers discussed this lamentable situation. One caller even cried. Minutes later, a conversation with a Zelaya follower in the Embassy proved that Tamayo left of his own free will. Host Esdras Amado López disappointedly made the correction, but then, using logic that only Channel 36 and its listeners understand, they continued to discuss Tamayo's departure as if it was forced against his will.

In a big blow to the Zelayistas, Radio Globo host Eduardo Maldonado jumped the Zelaya ship as well. He has been viciously condemning the coup d'etat, promoting boycott of elections, and making outrageous personal attacks up to and including Cardinal Rodriguez for the past 4 1/2 months.

All of a sudden, in a 180 degree turn, a new kinder, gentler Maldonado is a good Liberal again, will vote for Elvin Santos, and is encouraging everyone to vote as the "only way" to restore democracy. It is kind of fun to watch him trying to reprogram his listeners. Unfortunately (that they are so easily manipulated) or fortunately (that they are now on the side of free elections), reprogramming after 4 1/2 months isn't as hard as you might think. While some listeners express their anger or confusion ("but yesterday you were saying....."), it is absolutely amazing how many of the listeners jumped ship with him and are now saying they will vote.

Would you chew gum in a meeting with President Obama?

Craig Kelly from the US State Department arrived today again for the third time in a month, reportedly to get Zelaya to comply with the agreement. While discussing the current visit, the noon news showed video of his last meeting with President Micheletti and others. Though I'd seen this video several times, I happened to be watching on the big TV this time and realized that US Ambassador Hugo Llorens was chewing gum (or something)! Are you kidding me? How rude and disrespectful. I wish I could have made him take it out and wear it on his nose like one of my teachers used to do when someone was caught chewing gum in class.

By the way, the video (from the last visit) showed Micheletti and Kelly sitting side by side in arm chairs, leaning in toward each other chatting. Micheletti seemed very relaxed and was laughing. Sitting a little way off was Llorens, watching them and looking uncomfortable.

Micheletti mentioned that his meeting with Kelly was at 4 p.m. El Heraldo's minuto a minuto column reported that Kelly and Llorens headed to the Brazilian Embassy about 7:30 p.m. The 10 p.m. news showed a caravan of SUVs leaving the Brazilian Embassy. The reporter said they were headed back to another meeting with Micheletti.

Kelly's meeting with Zelaya wasn't very long as El Heraldo reported at 8:50 p.m. that Zelaya spoke to Radio Globo after the meeting. Zelaya insisted that the US clarify US position on his restitution and complained "They are talking about an agreement that we have already left for dead." Telesur has a little more. [google translation] It seems that Zelaya wants to send Patty Rodas to talk with Hillary Clinton. Oh, I would love to be a fly on the wall in that meeting!

There is much speculation that Kelly is here to force a third-party president despite the hypocritical diplospeak that the US will support a Honduran solution. The US has no right to select Honduras' president, even if it is only for 70 days.

Even the ancianos protest

While the Resistance (all 50 of them) continued their protest in front of the congress yesterday, some old men were also protesting with loud speakers (I didn't catch where, but I think it was in front of the Election Tribunal or possibly the congress). One old man talked directly to the news cameras, wagging his finger: "We are going to vote! We are going to vote! Listen to me. We are free! Forget the world! My whole family and I are going to vote! We are going to vote for democracy, for freedom, just like we have now. We are going to vote! Vaaaaamos a votar!"

That is an attitude that I hear from many Hondurans: "This is OUR country. We will select OUR president and we really don't give a flip what any other country thinks about it."

If Hondureña Maria is any example, the voter turnout should be good. She told me that she and her husband are flying in from Japan to vote. Now that is someone who believes in democracy! Oooooh! It gives me shivers. How about you?

Newer posts Older posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...