Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hey now, hey now, our would be king is back

The politics of the whole situation are too unfortunate to get into in any great length here, I’ll just say that it would appear that Mr. Zelaya is coming back to town without any fear now of any charges being brought against him for the alleged misdeeds he participated in while in office.

The fact is that with an agreement signed last week, at the rumored insistence of the US government amongst others, Mel Zelaya is expected back today to Honduras.

Given we live so close to the airport, where he is reported to land, yesterday and today have been a little more interesting than usual. I kind of feel like it is my duty to get out there and see what is happening.

Yesterday after wrangling through traffic to get the kids from school (took me an hour all told), and checking traffic reports on twitter (social media trumps regular media here in this regard...specific twitter account created just to report traffic problems in Teguc) I decided to go out for a run to see what was happening already, almost a full 24 hours before his supposed arrival (~noon today)

I ran through a crowd of several hundred making preparations already...some with tents where they were planning to sleep. They had materials for a stage (for a reported speech later today) and quite a few news cameras and other vehicles in the area, one of the sides of the road blocked from then until the crowd is expected to clear this afternoon...for about 24 hours. The nice part is...that as a runner, that meant I had free reign of an otherwise busily travelled road.
Today, people were gathering from the early morning, with more of the road closed...the entire length of the airport. I went out to run again to get a first hand look at what was going down, at least in the morning.  I am not superstitious, but I wear whatever is up next in the rotation, however I folded and put away my clothes. To go out running in a sea of red and black wearing opposite party colors of white and blue...well, I am sure I would have received stares anyway, but it seemed my presence did not go unnoticed. Most people just questioningly stared, I was listening to R. C. Sproul podcasts, so any insults or other comments I think I was, only occasionly, getting were nicely filtered out.

Those having to fly out of the airport can only enter walking via the North entrance. I am sure that for any groups or people not familiar with the situation without any guidance would be either lost or at least intimidated.  Continental has already landed, as far as I know flights are continuing as scheduled.   
There were people gathering from FFAA as well as coming from the Anillo (both sides of the airport) walking to Plaza South of the airport near the end of the runway. If you wanted to get free was somehow being provided. If you wanted to buy hats, shirts, flags, etc. with Mel’s problem. Entrepreneurs had set up selling food, whistles, and other odds and ends.
A slight political aside...I would say 1-5% of those there, a very small number, were proclaiming themselves with the Liberal party...almost everyone was with the FNRP (Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular...a communist/socialist group that flirts with becoming a political party but mostly just seems to be unhappy with everything and everyone...except for the most part Mr. Zelaya.) This picture shows one of the many posters plastered on the walls in front of the airport...reading “From the front to Socialism, welcome comrade Zelaya”

Those not in FNRP colors or garb, and there were quite a few out and about on the streets not right in front of the airport...were in their Barcelona jerseys for the big game this afternoon.   
I had to be a little careful where I was taking pictures, and of course these pictures are not the best since I was running...and using my phone camera instead, but for the most part most people were just getting started and I was not feeling I was in any real danger. The fireworks, literal and figurative, and more will likely come later this morning when his arrival gets closer. Helicopters were already monitoring activities overhead, there were some political chants, but most people were either walking around, or just waiting.

In the streets around the airport where cars could travel, there were also many with flags for the FNRP and trucks carrying people to get them close enough to get to the event. For the most part it seemed that those not interested in all this...stayed home or stayed elsewhere in the city, where traffic is reportedly clear and with no least at this point. Buses and cars lined the streets around the airport...buses that are from all around the country that brought people in for the marches. How they paid their way a good question. Within a few blocks however, traffic was clear.

Will he stay? Will he stir up more problems? What will this mean for the political and international relations for Honduras? Only time will tell. It is not likely to be boring, that much is likely.   


John (Juan) Donaghy said...

I have to disagree with your remarks about the Resistance. The Resistance does not have one ideology - and it is hardly Communistic. It also is doing a lot in terms of grassroots education in political participation, looking for ways to practice democracy at many levels. It contains all sorts of people, including a large number of people of faith - including the Iglesia Cristiana Agape of Comayagüela and many Catholics, including the bishop of Santa Rosa de Copán and many of the priests and faithful in the diocese.

Felipe Colby said...

The FNRP has always in public put itself forward as a socialist/communist organizaiton. I see hammers and sickles flying at most of the demonstrations,the posters, the graffiti they leave behind, etc...and I do not see them shying away from that as leaders either...especially with their partnerships with the governments in Venezuela, Nicaragua, and others, and such great contempt for anyone they deem to be on the other side, whatever side that might be.

Political participation the way the FNRP does it...I certainly do not want to teach my children. I am not thrilled with the way the other parties do it here either, but the violence, looting, graffiti and vitriol is much worse from the FNRP.

How people justify their membership in the FNRP or any other organization while serving God is ultimately between them and Him.

Thanks be to God that we still have the right to express disagreements here in Honduras, you disagree, and I take heart in the fact that we both have the right to do so.