January 28, 2010

A little gratitude

Roberto and Xiomara MichelettiMission accomplished! Democracy saved in Honduras
Ex-president Roberto Micheletti and his wife, Siomara

Honduras Weekly published an article, Mel the Grateful, about Manuel Zelaya's inability to show appreciation to Porfirio Lobo for his efforts on Zelaya's behalf.

Zelaya did later rectify that to a very small extent, but insisting that his departure from Honduras disrupt Lobo's inauguration day celebrations shows that Mel still believes that the world should revolve around him. Lobo showed graciousness, and I would even say bravery, in accompanying Zelaya to the airport. Based on past experience with Zelaya and his followers, anything could have happened.

On the other hand, Lobo also has shown a lack of gratefulness. One very important point is that Pepe Lobo should remember that he has Roberto Micheletti to thank for his election. While dozens of presidents and international organizations around the world were trying to stop the Honduran elections (at the same time they were lamenting the need for "the return to institutional democracy in Honduras"), it was Roberto Micheletti and only Roberto Micheletti who ensured that the elections would occur.

As early as June 28, in his first speech, and in every one of the many speeches and press conferences after that, Micheletti told the Honduran people that free and democratic elections would occur on November 29, as scheduled, and that "no one, absolutely no one" would stop them.

We never had any reason to doubt him and neither did any of the presidential candidates, who could have easily cried to the world if they thought otherwise. Even the two Resistance candidates who called Micheletti a dictator knew it wasn't true. A dictator wouldn't have held elections and certainly wouldn't have allowed them to speak their minds.

President Roberto Micheletti never promoted the candidate of his own party (or any other party) and never denigrated any of the candidates in any way. He behaved with dignity and impartiality. In his farewell speech, he called upon the Honduran people to give greater understanding and support to Porfirio Lobo, and made an appeal to the international community to do the same.

Unfortunately, Pepe Lobo not only has not shown gratitude for that, but he's also smeared Micheletti by making vague comments about "both sides", throwing Zelaya (who did everything humanly possible to stop elections) and Micheletti into the same pot. Lobo publicly pushed for Micheletti's resignation. He announced that he didn't want Micheletti at the inauguration without showing the courtesy to discuss it with Micheletti first. He worried about the dignity of ex-president Zelaya, who demonstrated no dignity, but not that of President Micheletti.

There was much celebration and cheering yesterday, but during President Lobo's inauguration speech, when he thanked Costa Rica President Oscar Arias, the crowd booed. He thanked US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton − the crowd booed. He thanked US Ambassador Hugo Llorens − the crowd booed. He thanked OAS Secretary General José Insulza − the crowd booed. He thanked Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández − the crowd booed to such an extent that Fernández looked quite uncomfortable. All had tried to force the resignation of Roberto Micheletti and the return Zelaya to power in Honduras.

In contrast, when Lobo thanked Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, the crowd cheered to such an extent that Martinelli rose from his seat to acknowledge the crowd. The crowd then cried, "Say thanks to Micheletti! Thank Micheletti." Lobo did not, though a person sitting near to him said that he must have heard the pleas from the crowd.

Porfirio Lobo and General Romeo VasquezLess reported is this: With each name mentioned, more and more people started leaving the stadium. By the end of President's Lobo's speech, no more than 60% of crowd remained. Not a promising start. (Photo: Porfirio Lobo with General Romeo Vasquez, El Heraldo)

Just a small public thank you would have meant a lot.

Hat tip to Ulf, Inti, and Mitch
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