DayZ (Daysi Handal) a female Honduran singer sings in English.
In Danli we are used to have power cuts on Saturday morning from 8 am to 4 pm. Sometimes they make it every other Saturday.
But now we have to endure more frequent and unexpected power outages, mostly in the afternoon and evening.
The National Company of Electric Energy (ENEE) has not deigned to explain these power outages, and local media do not seem interested in reporting this.
ENEE is also not responsible for appliances damaged by frequent power fluctuations, nor for the losses of local economy.
In Honduras the business of electrical energy is monopolized by the State, and as expected the State has not been a good manager, so much that even with its monopoly, ENEE is now having financial hardships.
Everyone has heard of the crisis in Honduras since 2009 June 28, the day President Zelaya was expelled from the country. But the world did not know the origin of the crisis caused by Zelaya’s attempt to impose a National Constituent Assembly in order to draft a new political constitution which would have allow him to stay in office. In order to justify the change of constitution he called an election tainted by legal flaws.
June 28 was the day the consultation would take place, and the military intelligence received information of Zelaya’s dire intentions, his plan to dissolve Congress and the Supreme Court in the same day.
The Supreme Court issued the arrest warrant and the military executed part of that warrant, but the surprise was that instead of sending him to the competent judicial authority they led him by force to Costa Rica.
This was enough for the so-called “international community” to vigorously denounce a coup d’Etat in Honduras, and a military takeover of power.
Even when the legal basis for the expulsion of Zelaya was explained, as well as the state of necessity forced by the need to save lives and protect the constitutional order, the international opinion stubbornly described what happened as a coup d’Etat.
But in a real coup Congress and Supreme Court are dissolved and the military rules by means of decree-laws. That is not what happened in Honduras, instead a civilian government from the same political party of Zelaya seized the management of the Honduran State, ending the electoral process that had begun in 2008 under the tutelage of Zelaya’s administration.
The constitutional order was not broken in June 28, 2009, but there was a substitution of the executive branch, and even some of Zelaya’s ministers continued in office in the Micheletti administration. The State does not depend on this or that person to survive, any officer may be replaced with the State order remaining intact.
The way to replace a president is set in the Constitution, and that was the procedure followed to invest Roberto Micheletti as head of the executive branch, because as president of Congress he was the next in the chain of command to replace the ousted ruler, having resigned the vice-president Elvin Santos.
When the international public opinion knew that in Honduras there was not a military regime, but a civilian rule based on the same constitution, it was already too late. The sense of pride and prestige of world leaders prevented them from acknowledging publicly that they had been wrong. Also the fear of presidents of being overthrown prevented them from recognizing the legal presidential substitution.
An international media campaign against Honduras, headed by Hugo Chávez, defamed by every means this little country, accusing the Micheletti administration of savage human rights violations. Meanwhile Zelaya toured Latin America discrediting the country of his birth.
And as the interim regime was not scheduled to last long, its main mission being to safeguard elections that would give rise to a new administration, no country wanted to risk its prestige by recognizing an interim administration accused of being coupster and human rights violator.
But the elections were held successfully on November 29, with an orderly transition of command, which allowed Honduras to obtain recognition from many countries, with the exception of those countries allied with Hugo Chavez.
These elections have eased social tensions caused by the overthrown of Zelaya, but the threat against Honduras is not over yet.
The Lobo Administration
Honduras’s enemies, internal and external, are scheming to see how to take control of this little country, and the Porfirio Lobo’s administration seeks to appease these enemies by granting their requests and offering them positions in the government.
President Lobo mocks those who supported Micheletti, saying: “these blanquitos (Whiteys) didn’t even vote for me.” (Lobo disparagingly calls ‘Whiteys’ those who supported Micheletti, in reference to the protests in which they walked wearing white clothes at the heights of the political crisis). Thus President Lobo mocks those who defend the current Constitution, accusing them of being of the “far right”, offending the national dignity, dignity that was raised very high by the Micheletti administration, who strongly opposed the blatant foreign interventionism in the Honduras’ internal affairs.
President Porfirio Lobo wanted to give the appearance of neutrality in his political campaign, not leaning toward any of the warring factions represented by Zelaya and Micheletti, but just before the elections he tacitly expressed some sympathy for Zelaya.
And as soon as Lobo sweared to “respect and enforce the Constitution and its laws” in his inauguration, he violated his promise providing a safe passage to Zelaya, thereby protecting a fugitive from justice. Lobo then referred to Manuel Zelaya as ‘President Zelaya’, saying: “It’s not acceptable to have a president locked in an embassy.” Zelaya took refuge in what used to be the Brazilian embassy, and the right thing to do was to ask him for a formal request of political asylum in the country of his choice if he wanted to exit the country without being arrested. Referring repeatedly to Zelaya as ‘President’, and later in Spain, saying that what happened in Honduras was a ‘coup’, Lobo has put into question his own legitimacy as President.
Now Manuel Zelaya is in Santo Domingo, always conspiring against Honduras’ interests, and even against the interests of Lobo, who asked nothig in return for his liberation. And to this day Zelaya has shown not one ounce of public gratitude for being set free by Lobo.
Besides granting amnesty for political crimes in favor of Zelaya and his followers, using the mechanical majority of members of the officialist party at Congress, President Lobo has put pressure on the Supreme Court to restore some Zelayista judges dismissed for political proselytizing, and has even spoken repeatedly of his readiness to conduct a referendum to allow the call for a National Constituent Assembly, an action that was the reason for Zelaya’s removal.
Mr. Lobo has appointed a troublemaker Zelayista —Cesar Ham- as the head of the National Agrarian Institute (INA), who has only worsened a problem of invasion of cultivated land belonging to businessman Miguel Facussé. By promoting legal uncertainty in the rural land the Lobo administration discourages urgently needed investment.
President Lobo has gone so far as to offer himself to personally bring back Zelaya to the country, watching over him to prevent his arrest.
Lobo’s latest blunder was to denounce a conspiracy to overthrow him, without offering any evidence of such a complaint, but he soon decided to take vacations in South Africa to see the Soccer World Cup, showing he is not serious in his report of the alleged threat of a new coup. The fact that these statements damage the country’s investment climate does not seem to be a concern for the irresponsible Lobo in the slightest.
And on top of this irresponsibility, Porfirio Lobo left abandoned the public administration, and it was not known for certain whose vice-president was appointed as temporal substitute for Lobo.
President Lobo made his unexpected statements about new coup threats when some reporters asked him about his alleged intentions to remove the president of the Supreme Court from office. This clearly seems to be a diversionary maneuver by Lobo.
With his actions and words President Lobo is made to look, as every day goes by, more and more like the deposed Zelaya. Many of thouse who supported Micheletti also voted for Lobo, only to be disappointed by his unworthy conduct serving as president, since even though Porfirio Lobo has done everything possible to appease his Zelayista enemies, they continue in their denigration of him. Porfirio Lobo sells cheap the country, he gives everything in exchange for nothing.
If those who voted for Lobo were trying to cast away the influence of Zelaya —given that Zelaya stil regards himself as a Liberal Party member, while Lobo has belonged to the rightist National Party— they are now disappointed by the attitudes of Lobo.
Thus a climate of uncertainty persists in the country. The Lobo administration has no clear direction and apparently the ghost of Zelaya is still haunting us.
In Honduras, as in other countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated the second Sunday of May. This is a very popular celebration that takes place in all types of organizations: schools, churches, unions, trusts, etc.
Companies seeking to market their products through this special day reminds us weeks in advance the value of mothers, and they invite us to celebrate her with gifts. In schools children make crafts to give to their mothers, where they are also taught the Honduran Hymn to Mothers.
The Hymn to Mothers, whose lyrics are by Augusto C. Coello, and music by Rafael Coello Ramos, is sung in schools, colleges, churches, and other groups that come together to celebrate mothers on their day.
Mother’s Day is much more popular than Father’s Day, for the love of mother has no comparison. While there are irresponsible fathers who leave women after pregnancy, single mothers engage in any kind of sacrifices for the welfare of their children. That is why Mother’s Day is celebrated with great joy and gratitude.
In Honduras, Mother’s Day was officialy declared in 1927.
Honduras’ name was given by Vicente Yanez Pinzon and Juan Diaz de Solis in 1508, it most likely originated in the castilianization of Huntulha, and it refers to the watery coast and not to the deep sea. The territory was also called Higueras, Guaymuras and Cabo de Honduras.
Honduras Official Name
Although “Honduras” was named after [Central American] Independence in 1821, the official name was given and formalized on May 8, 1862 by the House of Representatives, in the city of Santa Rosa de Copan. In this respect, the Decree No. 3 indicates that “the House of Representatives, considering its authority and duty to institute the name the nation will bear, proceeding in line with the political status that belongs to it, attending the principles unfolded in the charter, has seen fit to decree and decrees: Article No. 1: The name of all towns that form the State, including its adjacent islands, will henceforth be the Republic of Honduras.”
Taken from “Honduras Geográfica”, an El Heraldo newspaper supplement. First Edition.
Here I put my translation of the Honduran Hymn to Mothers, used for Mother’s Day:
Lyrics: Augusto C. Cuello.
Music: Rafael Coello Ramos.
In the name of mother is enclosed
The highest expression of love.
For there cannot be on earth
A clearer picture of God.
When we open our restless eyes
At the first glow of life,
It’s her pale and moved face
Our first and sweet vision.
And upon entering the unknown path,
At her holy and charitable shadow,
Every thorn that wounded our sole
Is turned by your hands into bloom.
Mother, you are our consolation in sorrow,
Hope and faith for the road,
A good tree that gives to pilgrim
Rest, shelter and peace.
Your love is sanctified in such way
That God himself being tortured to death
Sublimated his holy martyrdom
With your last kiss on his face.
As a holy service Honduras consecrates
In this day your immortal glory.
Mother you are good, joy,
Protection, light and forgiveness.
Your exalted virtue going through
The mystery of remote ages
Expands in the warm notes
That beat in this song.
Check here the official Honduran current local time, which is the same for all cities.
La Tribuna is one of the main newspapers in Honduras. Published in Tegucigalpa, with more than 100,000 daily copies, is known for its bias in favor of the Liberal Party of Honduras (Honduran “Liberal Party” tends to be conservative). Its founder, Oscar A. Flores, was a known liberal politician, and his son —former President Carlos Roberto Flores— is one of its major shareholders, and one who oversees and write the editorials.
La Tribuna, a conservative-leaning newspaper, took side with those who adverse Manuel Zelaya Rosales in the political crisis that led to his ouster, crisis that threatened to destroy democracy in Honduras. However, in order to maintain a balance of information, La Tribuna also published the views of the followers of Zelaya, and published the international news that branded as “de facto government” the interim administration of Roberto Micheletti.
La Tribuna newspaper has traditionally been the favorite of the capital city its neighboring cities, so El Heraldo —its closest competitor— has had to work hard to win the preference of readers.
In the city of Danli, for example, La Tribuna has traditionally been the favorite, because it has published more content about this eastern part of the country, with the outstanding collaboration of the journalist Luis Alonso Gomez.
Having the backing of tradition, La Tribuna has been neglected in several respects. El Heraldo beats it on presentation and layout, as well as in investigative journalism and innovation. La Tribuna was the last major newspaper in Honduras to have a website. Its website has also been lagging behind with respect to El Heraldo.
But La Tribuna newspaper has its own strengths. With the collaboration of renowned columnists, like the well-known politician and former presidential candidate, the versatile Ramon Villeda Bermudez, son of the recalled President Ramon Villeda Morales. Also political analyst Juan Ramon Martinez has an influential column in this newspaper. The humorous column “Let me tell you …” (“Déjenme Decirles Que..” by Jorge Montenegro has many followers.
La Tribuna newspaper offers a channel of expression to his readers through the column “The People’s Tribune” (“La Tribuna del Pueblo”) and the inner section of “Popular Corner” (“Rincón Popular”).
The section of juicy gossip, known as “Pildoritas” (“Little Pills”) is very successful and has imitators in other newspapers.
On Saturdays there is a special section with interviews with various celebrities of Honduras known as “Day 7” (“Día 7”). This section includes the column of “The Log” (“La Bitácora”), in which an anonymous author makes a critique of the work of different Honduran media. The column “Idiomatic Peccadilloes” (“Pecadillos Idiomáticos”) makes a critique of language errors committed by the media, and occasionally sneaks a religious message. In “The Beauty of Day 7” (“La Belleza del Día 7”) us men can delight with the image of a sexy woman in bikini every week.
On the cover of La Tribuna newspaper, the Tribunito figure presents us with a funny daily phrase, making puns with current issues.
One of the benefits of La Tribuna is that important documents of general interest are published in their entirety in its physical publication, such as the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Agreement and the inauguration speech of President Porfirio Lobo Sosa.
Photo by Gabriele Merk.
This list only includes alive persons who have had certain international repercussion:
Scientist: Salvador Moncada.
Tennis player: Izza Medina
Soccer Players: Carlos Pavon, David Suazo, Amado Guevara, Wilson Palacios, Maynor Figueroa, Henry Thomas.
Soccer Coach: Ramon Maradiaga, also known as “Primitivo Maradiaga”.
Radio Talk Host: Renan Almendarez Coello, alson known as “El Cucuy de la Mañana”.
TV Hosts: Neyda Sandoval, Satcha Pretto.
Sports Commentator: Salvador Nasralla.
Catholic Cardinal: Oscar Andres Rodriguez.
Singers: Angela Bendeck, Jireh Wilson, Moises Canelo, Guillermo Anderson, Renan Carias.
Evangelical Pastors: Guillermo Maldonado, Rene Peñalba, Evelio Reyes.
Presidents of Honduras: Roberto Suazo Cordova, Rafael Leonardo Callejas, Carlos Flores, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, Roberto Micheletti, Porfirio Lobo Sosa.
Writers:Julio Escoto, Eduardo Bähr, Roberto Sosa, Roberto Quezada.
Sculptor: Mario Zamora.
Painter: Ezequiel Padilla Ayestas.
Football Player: Steve Van Buren.
Entrepreneur: Maribel Lieberman.
There’s a new president in Honduras. His name: Porfirio Lobo Sosa, better known as Pepe Lobo.
After the ordeal of the political crisis, resulting from an alleged coup d’etat, Pepe Lobo will not be called “de facto president” (Will he?). Contrary to what enemies of Honduras bet, elections were held, and the transfer of command took place, although Manuel Zelaya was never restored, and never will be. Honduras is the little country that could, to the dismay of international leftism.
There are already countries that have recognized president Porfirio Lobo as legitimate; unlike Micheletti, who although was legitimate under the law of Honduras, was not recognized due to a campaign mounted by Hugo Chavez, and the understandable fears of the presidents of the world .
We have a new president, and nobody can claim he was not elected in free elections, the cleanest and most voted elections of Honduran history. The Honduran people want to live in peace and get out of that climate of tension and confrontation that has been forced upon Honduras for seven months. Now is the time to start again.
We are grateful for the courage of Roberto Micheletti, who along with his team were put to very strong international pressure, giving an example of dignity and patriotism that will leave its mark.
This new breath of patriotism makes us aspire to better things, to require politicians to comply with the law, to be more transparent and democratic, to avoid the ways of old politics. Now the people want to have more dialogue and less authoritarianism, they want things done by consensus and not by imposition of a sector.
But unfortunately, we see politians who have not learn the lessons of the “coup”. They continue their same old practices.
Manuel Zelaya was overthrown by flagrantly violating the Constitution and laws. The damage that Zelaya made to the country is immense. And this was not only a political issue, the state treasure was looted; and now a majority of Nacionalista legislators have decided to give amnesty to the offender, for the sake of a supposed national reconciliation. Now, those of us who ask for law enforcement, who say no to forgiving and forgetting this criminal, are branded as extremists. Forgiving those who have betrayed the homeland is to strengthen those who have hurt us.
There can be no reconciliation by decree. Do not give forgiveness when the offender does not admit any wrongdoing, because it only serves to strengthen him. It is not fair, that while there are people in prison for minor crimes, Zelaya, who plundered the public treasure, is considered a “guest of honor” in other countries.
The National Party continues with the same old policy of doing things without consulting the people. After so much talk about the need for reconciliation, in the first working day in Congress they used their mechanical majority of deputies, their blue bulldozer, to impose their views.
And Pepe Lobo, who spoke of dialogue so much, made beginner mistakes in his negotiation with President Leonel Fernández in Dominican Republic. He gave everything in exchange for nothing. And apparently, no one could advise him, or he did not want to get advice. The worst thing is his commitment to do something of dubious legality, which can bring him problems since day one. In his quest to earn points with the “international community” he misses the mark with the national community, which is demanding a better conduct from politicians.
When Zelaya tried to leave the Brazilian Embassy to Mexico, Micheletti government rightly refused to grant him a safe conduct, because the conditions required by international law and Honduran law were not met. But, surprise, Pepe Lobo appeared with a signed agreement to provide a safe passage to Zelaya and his “intimate circle” without requiring compliance with any requirement.
We must recognize that if it were not for the heroic action of expelling Zelaya and the international pressure beared, no elections would have been held in Honduras. The plan of Zelaya to hold on to power was very clear. So we must be grateful to Roberto Micheletti. But Pepe Lobo did not have the decency to even mention him in his inaugural speech. But this is understandable, given the aversion felt by many rulers against Micheletti, it’s easy to understand that Pepe Lobo didn’t want to be associated with him.
However, he shouldn’t have gone so far as to thank the enemies of Honduras in his inaugural speech. He only failed to give thanks to Hugo Chavez.
Pepe Lobo is giving away the government in the hands of the enemies of Honduras. Cesar Ham’s appointment as minister of INA and Alejandro Ventura in Education is a blunder. Cesar Ham said he will administer INA according to the guidelines given by his own party, UD Party, rather than committing to follow the policy of Pepe Lobo. And to put Alejandro Ventura, a union leader, to lead the Department of Education is like putting the fox to guard the henhouse.
Once I thought that Pepe Lobo was a very skillful politician who made use of political Machiavellianism, but now I see I was wrong. Pepe Lobo does not have a master plan or grand strategy. Pepe is papo.
I hope I’m wrong, for the good of Honduras, but things are looking bad from day one.