Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Protest for Peace and Democracy
Throughout the cities of Honduras, there were protests from 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM for peace and democracy. Organizers were preparing for the demonstration in Tegucigalpa, hanging banners and setting up audio equipment for today's protest. Groups of supporters began arriving early.
Police and soldiers were scattered about the corners surround the square, with a larger concentration around the congressional building. Attitudes were relaxed, unlike the tenseness that was evident during the marches in support of Manuel Zelaya.
The procession of supporters arrived before 11:00 AM, shouting logos like "Out with Mel!" The plaza was filled with supporters of the Honduran government, and their decision to remove Mel Zelaya.
Speakers at the rally consisted of organizers, mothers, fathers, and students who spoke out against the crimes committed by Zelaya, Hugo Chavez's support of Zelaya, and they claimed their support for the constitutional removal of Zelaya from office.
Armida de Lopez Contreras, an organizer for the rally, gave a detailed explanation of why they are rallying for their government and against Zelaya. She explained that this is a pacific demonstration from the Honduran citizens, and that this is not the result of what has occurred in recent events, but has been gaining momentum over the course of two months. Mel Zelaya is a totalitarian and wanted to run a vote on Monday (June 29) that was contradictory to the Constitution. The Honduran Supreme Court had warned his Zelaya that his actions were unconstitutional, and the two political parties united and voted to remove him from office.
Lopez continued that this is in fact not a military coup. The Supreme Court ordered the military to remove Zelaya from office, and the decision to take him out of the country was made for his own personal safety. Zelaya is now manipulating the OAS and other nations. His removal and prevention of serving in the government fall in accordance with Article 239 of the Honduran Constitution.
When asked about the claim from Zelaya's supporters that the government is paying the attendees of the pro-government demonstrations, those that were questioned said there is no truth in the claim. Luis Flores countered that Hugo Chavez is sending money into the country, and that the poor are being manipulated by promises of more money to be sent their way.
Student Juan Galvez talks about the increase of drugs within schools. He stated that before Zelaya's turn as President that illegal drugs were not being sold in school, but during Zelaya's presidency, drugs were easily available. Claims have been made that planes carrying drugs from Venezuela have been arriving in Honduras.
The organization Generacion X Cambio (Generation for Change) was at the rally today. Jordi Roig, a member, said they are now in a fight for their future and they do not want what has happened in Venezuela to happen to their own country. They do not support the unification of Zelaya and Chavez.
At the end of the demonstration, participants returned back to work and their homes, but they will be ready to take to the streets again in support of their democracy.