Dr. Chris Barry of Bellevue was the VOSH leader. His team provided much needed eye ware and screened patients for cataracts which are common in people much younger than we see them here in the states.
One week after our return there was a hurricane in the area. Two weeks after that there was an attempted takeover of the government by then president Mel Zalaya which was being aided by his buddy, Marxist Hugo Chavez. The Chavez effort was aided by the Obama administration. This was a stunning revelation of the Obama's Marxist leanings.
I wrote perhaps the first article published in a major U.S. newspaper, The Seattle Times,...sounding the trumpet for the peaceful defense of democracy in Honduras. That op-ed was circulated through the Internet in Honduras and helped spur discussion here in the United States.
The following is an update written by my Internet friend, Bill. I look forward to meeting him when the election cycle is over.
"We've lived a year now without Mel...at least without his manipulating the State under his overbearing, direct, and very corrupt control.
No, things in Honduras are still far from perfect. Our continuing, and paternalistically inclined government remains broke. Taxes and bureaucratic salaries are still rising sharply. Regulations abound, and don't seem to be abating. Teachers continue to be on strike more often than not. That has been the norm since we moved here, 15 years ago.
But at least the worst abuses seem to have ended. Millions in cash are not being withdrawn from the Central Bank to be distributed by select politicians for dubious purposes. We have so far foregone a Socialist overthrow of the government. So, things really are better today in Honduras than I'd have imagined they'd be a year ago. That's when the Zelaya plan to turn Honduras into a Chavistic paradise was thwarted, at least for the moment, by appropriate action taken by the Congress and Supreme Court of Honduras.
Oh, anyone with a smattering of interest in Honduras knows that there are many activists who demonstrated and wrote about the "wrongs" of the transitional government, headed by Roberto Micheletti. The ALBA nations (aligned to Cuba and Venezuela) still insist that our current government is illegitimate too, because the free elections held here were conducted by an "illegitimate" government. I don't suppose those interests will ever be placated, no matter how much the ever conciliatory Pepe Lobo (current President of Honduras) defers to them.
Time to put the past behind us. Diminish crime. Create a climate attractive for investment, domestic and foreign.
I've been proud to live in Honduras, ever since we moved here. Things are handled well, especially when the chips are down, like they were after Hurricane Mitch. When the going gets really tough, Hondurans do what has to be done. Trouble is, then they relax. And then they want the government to resolve all problems, just like they've been taught they should do in the public school systems.
Trouble is, the "more government" solution never works...anywhere! (Right on, Bill! PR)Anyway, we're still here. We're still more or less free. Honduras continues to have a real shot at success, if she can muster a little confidence and the wisdom to be a little more laissez faire in policy.
I kind of wish other nations, like the United States and Spain would be more tolerant. Of course, I think we all need to be tolerant, and work together! After all, there's no perfect model. And we're all on the same boat!
We did the right thing a year ago. Thank God we didn't get sold the Chavez model.