April 18, 2011

A very, very bad teacher

I showed you a video of a good teacher a couple of weeks ago. A translation of that video is posted here. This week, I'll show you a video of a very, very bad teacher. His name is Hector Cruz Moncada and he is not only a teacher, but a school director (principal) in Tocoa, Colón.

The news video is in Spanish, of course, but a Honduran friend translated and wrote a transcript of the video shown below — with collaboration on the slang from my Facebook friends. (Thanks, everyone!) I missed recording his interview shown on the news the day before in which Sr. Cruz warned that they were arming the students and teachers.

In this video, Maestro Cruz threatens the life of a brother of President Lobo, saying Lobo will be feeling the same things felt by the relatives of teacher Ilse Ivana Velásquez Rodriguez who was run over and killed by a press vehicle (Habla Como Habla) during a protest. He also indicates that they have gotten bomb-making material from "other Central American governments" and that engineering teachers will be building bombs in the school laboratories to be used to "burn Tegucigalpa", the capital city.

A few days afterward, Cruz issued an apology.

While I was waiting for the translation, I originally wrote that I would be willing to bet that Hector Cruz is still employed by the Department of Education and that no action will be taken to remove this violent man from a position of authority over children and teachers. But his name was included among the original 305 teachers who were suspended for not showing up to work on April 4. However, it now looks like President Lobo will be backtracking on the teacher suspensions. It will be hard for students to learn responsibility when they see that in the 'real world' of Honduras, no one is ever held responsible for anything.

I asked the translator what she thought of Cruz and she responded with this:
"He is going to continue brain washing the students. As a [Honduran] student myself, I was also exposed to that type of brain washing techniques. My husband was exposed to more severe and stronger individuals at the university level. This is not something new. While I was growing up, some of those teachers were communists and one of them was killed. Still I think that weak brains fall for those ideologies. We didn't because our values were well established. During that time, they [the teachers] offered us liquor and smoke. Nowadays, money and technology is taking great part as payment. A growing teenager might be capable of falling for an Ipod, money, computer.

But it is true that at the university (CURN/UNAH) students had to support or at least pretend to fall for the revolutionary ideologies to pass certain classes such as "El Hombre y la Ciencia". El Comandante Cero used to come at night and give lectures in the Centro Universitario Regional del Norte/Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras. Mentioned lectures were given only to students and instructors that were recognized communist leaders. Those visits were only known after the fact of course.

My husband says there were also students that were government spies and in one instance he recognized one that worked for the DIN (now has a different name), he immediately made a "hush, hush" signal to my husband. My husband says that he always kept himself neutral to this because the less you knew, the less danger you were exposed to. Imagine this was in the 80s. There were always the students that were in "la la" land and never saw anything or opted out to just play safe like my husband.

I think that all those university students that during that time went to Russia/Cuba to study should ring a bell. "

Translation of video of Héctor Cruz Moncada,
school director in Tocoa, Colon

Cruz: The military is not gonna be able to put up with us. We have industrial mechanical experts and mechanical engineers. We have chemist, physicists, and pharmacists. You are going to see that we are going to prepare our own bombs made by our own chemistry and physics instructors in the capital of the republic (Tegucigalpa). And, what goes around, comes around, we are going to have to confront all those cops, just the same way they are disrespecting us.

Reporter: These are the declarations given by the director of the Froylán Turcios school in Tocoa, Colon. This was aired yesterday. We have more exclusive declarations given by this same principal. The following is a direct threat to the president’s brother.

Cruz: Through the Central American governments who have the raw materials [for bombs] and we are analyzing in the laboratories that we have in different schools, that I am not going to reveal the information to anyone, because that is our strategy.

Cruz: The president Pepe Lobo won’t even know what hit him. He is gonna get it directly ... he better remember that he has a dear brother named Ramón Lobo Sosa. That is the dearest brother who has supported him always. He is going to feel what the brothers and nephews of the teacher Ilse Ivana Velásquez Rodriguez felt. It is not enough for him for a teacher to get killed, that is inhumane. If they continue killing more teachers, more students and more family....watch out....the general strike is approaching.

Reporter: Now you heard a threat, a death threat. We don’t know if the attorney general, the police, and the president Pepe Lobo are already acting [on this threat]. Yesterday’s threat was against the security of the state: “We are making bombs, we are arming the students and we are going to burn Tegucigalpa”. Today’s threat is directly against the president’s brother, Ramón Lobo Sosa, who resides in the town of Bonito Oriental, Colon.

Reporter: Yesterday we also presented a legal complaint that the president made against some people who threatened his sister who lives in Juticalpa, Olancho. This is a situation that he is trying to deal with as a personal matter. These types of problems are not in his job description as president. He will have to go and talk to the people who are making the threats. Still, we can not ignore what is happening to the President of the Congress, whose mother was also displaced from her house due to strong threats as well. In what kind of country we are living? Where are we going with all this?

Reporter: We have clearly explained the responsibilities that a teacher should have and the rights that they can opt for but in no way the path they are following. Let’s hope that this will only be a teacher union battle trying to show their achievements, but not with the involvement of third parties trying to collapse the country another time.


Related news reports about Héctor Cruz (in Spanish):

La Tribuna
La Prensa

The original Good Teacher video and the new translation.
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