Thursday, July 15, 2010

Politicalamity

June 28th was the one year anniversary of the presidential change-over...the sloppy presidential impeachment...or the coup, depending on who you ask.

So one year later...how's things?

I'll be blunt, and go from there: things are much calmer and back to routine...but do not read that to mean things are great.

I am not a political analyst, and citing all the facts, stories, newspaper articles, etc. would be way too time consuming for me. If you are interested, here is how I see it:

The elections went off well, turnout not overwhelming but fairly solid and comparable to the elections four years prior. The political dancing was quite spirited internationally on how to handle these elections, which were already set up and established before the events of the 28th of June. With them going essentially without incident, and the apparent lack of real support for president Zelaya's proposed reforms (which were never defined outside the idea of a vague constitutional reformation), those countries that previously had expressed outrage at the events that transpired were in a bit of a pickle as to handle the new government.

(the graffiti all over town still exists for the most part. Ugh, how ugly. I am never really supportive of most of what I see in graffiti, mostly because...if it means defacing other people's property, beautiful murals, etc. then that tells me enough of what that person stands for to know I probably disagree with them in more than just that. This particular graffiti is expressing displeasure with the influx that was previously encouraged (to bring investment, jobs, etc. at the cost of not getting sales tax from those endeavors) of foreign restaurants (McDonald's, Burger King, Applebee's etc.) as being seen as polluting the culture here. The graffiti says "eat baleadas" which is a very identifiable "Honduran" food instead.


The USA finally recognized Porfirio Lobo as president (Pepe Lobo as he is usually referred) and many other nations, but there are also several that are remaining chilly on the prospect until Mel is allowed back into the country and other demands (that he not face charges, etc.) Countries that have heavily embraced Venezuela and/or Cuba-like political systems have been the ones that have most staunchly not recognized the government...since president Zelaya was embracing such philosophies and leading Honduras in that direction in more ways than one...which is one of the reasons he was removed from office, and what I believed to be a very real possibility: his moves for referendums, etc. was to make a Hugo Chavez like move to stay in power indefinitely.

The resistance, as they call themselves, are still active protesting for Zelaya's return, for constitutional changes (still not defined what needs reformed however...very vague) and some even for Zelaya to be president again. However, the vitriol has reduced, the deep divisions and hatred that was seen has calmed somewhat, and definitely it seems that most people just want to get on with life...to focus on economic reforms, ending corruption, and providing better security and safety for all Hondurans.

And that is where I say...things may be back to a routine that was found mostly before all this mess, but that does not mean things are great, because those items are for the most part still not being addressed. The first six months of Pepe's presidency have been mostly focused on reconciliation, trying to not say anything stupid and for the most part staying off the front page of the paper, which he has done.

But safety and security for the populace? Arguably just as big a problem as before the political mess (President Maduro did far much more to stem such a tide...Zelaya seemed not to care, and to this point...I have not seen Pepe even say much let alone do much on this item.) Anecdotally, three people I know have been robbed within the last seven days....all of them under 20 years of age. (for those that know them...Henry who is Nerys son, Diana, Dora's daughter, and Juan Isaias (he has translated occasionally for us, helped at the milk project)

Even though they are decried in the US and other international media (which amazes me how wrong they continue to report things here) the curfews and added security measures taken last year during Micheletti's administration were seen as awesome here in terms of curtailing somewhat the wave of delinquency that seems to just hit over and over the entire country! I know I am not alone in thinking that those kind of curfews overnight would probably get quite a bit of support from people here...we would embrace quite a few things that people in the US or other countries might not embrace...like during Maduro's term seeing military in the streets, pulling people off buses searching for gang members, etc....visitors were scared, those of us here were comforted.

Economically...so many people are still without work, or underemployed, with no real hope on the horizon of seeing real change to them. We especially see that in the Churches...in their tithe amounts. It is hard for Churches to support their pastors and the Church in general financially when so few of those in the body actually have any real income.

Corruption? It is hard to look more corrupt than Zelaya, but I do not think anyone has allusions that those in power now are clean as a whistle, and that real reforms/audits are occurring. Are things better? I would venture to say that in my brief time here...yes. But there is a long row left to hoe.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Thanks for mentioning Henry and the others who were robbed. Henry has been very discouraged lately. He needs prayer. And new schoolbooks.