Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Shopping is Good in Panama City

So the USA is suspending the issuance of visas in its consulate in Tegucigalpa...

Who needs Miami anyway?

While shopping might be good in Miami, it's just as good in Panama City...so if you were planning a shopping trip stateside, think outside the box and go to Panama instead...you'll be glad you did. It's a nice place...modern, safe, good restaurants, and excellent shopping!!

And while you're at it, buy that condo in Panama City...they're a better value for the money than Miami.

Bottom line, if the U.S. government wants to hurt ordinary people, don't let them do it. Vacation, wine, dine, shop, and invest elsewhere...Let them be the ones to suffer instead.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Impressions of Tegucigalpa

Below are excerpts from the blog Inside South America by Tyler Bridges, a journalist based in Caracas


Mel...o drama

There's an article in this month's 'Vocero' magazine, a bilingual, freebie publication that you pick up in coffee shops by Gaspar Vallecillo Molina entitled 'Mel...o drama. Su ultimo acto. Un teatro de lo Absurdo' (Mel...o drama. His last act. Theatre of the absurd).

I just like the name...'Mel...o drama'...so fitting and so aptly put.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BBC, Where Are You?

The homepage on my computer is BBC News. It's been my homepage for many years because the depth of their international coverage is much greater than the American news sites which tend to be extremely domestic oriented, or when they do cover international news, they tend to only cover areas such as Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Much to my dismay, the BBC's coverage of the crisis in Honduras has been extremely biased in favor of Comandante Cowboy and his followers. They have tended to report on every small protest involving Zelayalistas and portray them as brave victims while ignoring the tens of thousands of peaceful pro-government supporters.

So it comes as a great surprise that BBC didn't have a report on yesterday's demonstrations showing the random attack and burning of a bus (with people on board scrambling to get off) and the burning of a restaurant as well as other random destruction of property. Well, actually, it wasn't a demonstration or protest; it was riot. And, to make matters worse, many of the rioters were reportedly paid to participate, so it wasn't out of conviction. They are kinda like football (soccer) hooligans.

So what happened to your reporting BBC? Did your reporter just forget to file his report for the day or was it his day off? Or maybe, just maybe, the Zelayalistas didn't appear as sympathetic as you wanted (or needed)? Maybe their burning and violence didn't serve as good propaganda or garner support for the cause? Mr. BBC editor, please feel free to leave your comments in my comment section.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Reuters article

U.S. appears to soften support for Honduras's Zelaya

Wed Aug 5, 2009 2:52pm EDT

By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. policy on Honduras' political crisis is not aimed at supporting any particular individual, the State Department said in a new letter that implied softening support for ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

The letter to Republican Senator Richard Lugar contained criticism of Zelaya, saying the left-leaning former leader had taken "provocative" actions ahead of his removal by the Honduran military on June 28.

The State Department also indicated severe U.S. economic sanctions were not being considered against the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti, which took over in Honduras after Zelaya removed from office.

"Our policy and strategy for engagement is not based on supporting any particular politician or individual. Rather, it is based on finding a resolution that best serves the Honduran people and their democratic aspirations," Richard Verma, the assistant secretary for legislative affairs, said in the letter.

"We have rejected calls for crippling economic sanctions and made clear that all states should seek to facilitate a solution without calls for violence and with respect for the principle of nonintervention," he said. The letter was dated Tuesday and obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama has condemned Zelaya's ouster, refused to recognize Micheletti, cut $16.5 million in military aid to Honduras and thrown his support behind the mediation efforts of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, whose proposals include Zelaya's reinstatement.

Last week the U.S. government announced it was revoking diplomatic visas for several members of Micheletti's administration.

REPUBLICAN THREAT

But the State Department letter, while "energetically" condemning Zelaya's ouster on June 28, noted that the coup had been preceded by a political conflict between Zelaya and other institutions inside Honduras.

"We also recognize that President Zelaya's insistence on undertaking provocative actions contributed to the polarization of Honduran society and led to a confrontation that unleashed the events that led to his removal," it said.

Zelaya was pushing for constitutional reforms that included changing term limits for presidents. His opponents accused him of trying to seek re-election, but he denies the allegation.

The Supreme Court ordered his arrest and the Honduran Congress later approved his ouster.

In the letter to Lugar, the State Department also indicated the Obama administration has still not made a definite decision as to whether Zelaya's ouster constituted a coup.

"We have suspended certain assistance as a policy matter pending an ongoing determination under U.S. law about the applicability of the provisions requiring termination of assistance in the event of a military coup."

Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had asked the government to explain its policy on the Honduran political crisis, warning that Senate confirmation may be delayed for a diplomatic nominee for Latin America without it.

The letter appeared to be a response to this request.

Because of U.S. support for Zelaya, conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMint has threatened to delay a Senate vote on the nomination of Arturo Valenzuela to be assistant secretary of state for western hemisphere affairs.

DeMint welcomed the State Department letter but said the Obama administration had not gone far enough.

"I'm glad to see the State Department is finally beginning to walk back its support for Manuel Zelaya and admit that his 'provocative' actions were responsible for his removal," he said through a spokesman.

"These admissions are helpful, but what is necessary is for President Obama to end his support for Zelaya who broke the law and sought to become a Chavez-style dictator," DeMint said, referring to Venezuela's socialist president Hugo Chavez, an ally of Zelaya.


Some Good News!!!

According to a report in Reuters today, American support for Zelaya has softened. This is cause for drinking a six pack of Imperial because this means Comandante Cowboy will not be returning to Honduras as president. Without U.S. pressure or sanctions, Mel doesn't have a chance on his own (or with Chavez's and Otega's support) of a successful return. Although long past due, in a letter to Senator Richard Lugar, the U.S. finally admits that much of Zelaya's problems were of his own making and that the U.S. doesn't have any intention of imposing crippling sanctions.

I'm sure Comandante Cowboy has already read the article or heard the news, so he must going into severe depression now. (It's time to get on the prozac, Mel).

Sweet dreams, Mel.

Three cheers and hip, hip hooray!!!

Also, my public thanks to Senators Mack and DeMint for their support of Honduran democracy.

Please read the article at: www.reuters.com/article/email/idUSTRE5744L120090805

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Graffiti, a Sign of the Times

My wife returned to Honduras yesterday after spending a wonderful summer with me here in New Orleans. She hasn't had the time to get out and about in Tegucigalpa since her return, but she did make one observation en route from the airport to home: Tegucigalpa is now full of pro-Zelaya graffiti. Every possible wall seems to have been defaced...so I guess the spray paint merchants are doing a good business.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Take a Stand Columbia

The Chavez axis with Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia has led to very rocky relations with Columbia. Recently, Venezuela has been accused of supplying anti-tank rocket-launchers to Farc rebels, and Mr. Chavez has frozen diplomatic relations with Columbia as a result. Ecuador has not had diplomatic relations with Columbia since March 2008 when the Columbian air force bombed a Farc camp just inside Ecuador. Nicaragua has had a soverignty dispute with Columbia over some Caribbean islands for some time.

All this diplomatic rancor has led to economic consequences for Columbia. Ecuador has imposed tariffs on Columbian goods and Chavez is threatening to do the same. (Please see BBC News article "Columbia's Rocky Regional Relations", dated July 30, 2009).

Wouldn't this be a good time for Columbian President Alvaro Uribe to strike a blow at the Chavez axis by recognizing the new anti-Chavez government in Honduras? Come on Mr. Uribe, take a stand for democracy: Recognize the Honduran Government.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Menage a trois

How do you say 'menage a trois' in Spanish?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Two Thumbs Up

Saturday night is movie night!

A Behind the Scenes Look at the Recent Action in Costa Rica

videoDon Godo has been able to obtain behind the scenes footage of the recent action in San Jose.  Steamy stuff...No wonder Xiomara stayed in Teguz...!!!