This is an incredibly long article by Dr. Jack Wheeler. It was published on his website. It is such a great summary of Honduras' history and a good reflection of my own views on the current political crisis in Honduras. I figure a lot of you only want the explanation of the current situation in Honduras, so I bolded/enlarged the first words of the paragraph where that part starts. :)
translation: Honduras, a small country, but with great dignity, has buried Chavismo
(see Wiki definition of Chavismo here)
THE BRAVEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
by Dr. Jack Wheeler
Thursday, 23 July 2009
On July 30, 1502, on his fourth voyage to what he thought were newly-discovered lands in far eastern Asia, Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), reached an island which he called Guanaja, low-land.
Sailing due south, he soon came upon a massive coastline which he knew was no island. He also came upon a massive storm. Racing east in the deep waters along the coast, he reached a cape which provided him protection.
"Gracias a Dios!" he exclaimed. "Que hemos salido de estas honduras!" Thanks to God, we have escaped these treacherous depths.
On a beach of what his men now called Gracias a Dios Cape, he held a mass to commemorate his salvation, and in a solemn ceremony, claimed the territory and adjacent island for the Kingdom of Spain in the name of his sovereigns, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille.
Columbus' men named the land Honduras.Columbus found the only inhabitants of this land to be primitivos, primitive tribes such as the Lencas. Unbeknownst to him, a thousand years before a great civilization was here with its capital at CopÃ¡n. Around 800 AD, however, it collapsed, and the great Mayan cities such as CopÃ¡n, Tikal, and Chichen Itza abandoned to the jungle.
The Great Admiral sailed away, and 22 years later in 1524, the Spaniards came to stay in Honduras, led by one of Hernando Cortez's captains, Cristobal de Olid. Another Cortez captain, Pedro de Alvarado, did the same in the region between Honduras and Mexico, which he called Guatemala, Mayan for Land of Trees.
Alvarado attempted to continue south along the Pacific coast but was repulsed by Pipil Indians. After fervent prayers, he returned the next year, 1525, and succeeded in establishing a colony which he called El Salvador, The Savior, in thanks for his prayers being answered.
Meanwhile, other Spanish explorers had founded a colony far to the south which they called Panama, after the name of a large Guarani Indian village meaning both lots of fish and lots of butterflies.
In 1522, a Spanish explorer, Gil Gonzalez de Avila, ventured north of Panama into a land he called Costa Rica (Rich Coast) after meeting some Carib Indians wearing gold bands in their noses and ears.
He continued north to a land of large lakes, fertile valleys, and a native people whose ruler much impressed de Avila, King Nic-Atl-Nauac. De Avila rendered his name Nicarao, and combined it with "agua" for all the water and lakes to call the land Nicaragua.
Various captains from Mexico and Panama fought with each other for control over the entire region between them until the Spanish government, in 1543, declared it combined and subsumed in a new administrative/judicial district of New Spain called the Audencia of Guatemala. In 1609, it was given more formal autonomy as the Captain General of Guatemala.
Two hundred years later, thanks to the impact of the American and French Revolutions, and with Spain being conquered by Napoleon and ruled by his brother Joseph Bonaparte, an independence movement erupted in Mexico in 1810.
It was a bloody mess until the Treaty of Cordoba in 1821 granted full sovereignty to Mexico, which promptly annexed all of the Guatemala Captain General - except for Panama which annexed itself to Colombia to escape Mexico's clutches.
The bloody mess continued in Mexico however, resulting in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica joining together in 1823 as the United Provinces of Central America and seceded from Mexico. This just imported the bloody Mexican mess of civil chaos throughout the new country - so finally, from 1838 to 1841, all five provinces declared their independence from each other.
As they did, a group of British settlers who had been living along the Caribbean coast of Guatemala - a region called Belize after the Mayan belix, muddy water - since the mid-1600s declared themselves free as well and asked for British protection, which they got.
Subsequently, in 1862, England formally declared it a British Crown Colony, naming it British Honduras - even though it had no border with Honduras. It's been sovereign since 1981 as Belize. Here's Central America today:
From its independence in 1838 to 1981, Honduras was plagued by over 300 internal rebellions, civil wars, and violent changes of government. Cartoonishly corrupt and dominated by banana conglomerates like United Fruit, the place became the original "Banana Republic" - so named by famous writer O. Henry (William Sydney Porter, 1862-1910) in his book Cabbages and Kings after his stay in Honduras 1896-7.
One coup and military dictator followed another for much of the 20th century. The economy's deterioration was made worse by hordes of illegal immigrants from over-populated El Salvador. By 1969 there 300,000 such Salvadoran illegals in Honduras, with such hatred between the two countries that when riots broke out between fans of their national soccer teams, both countries declared war.
The Soccer War was vicious, brutal, and short, lasting seven days, July 14-20, 1969. The invading Salvadoran Army was repelled along with 130,000 Salvadoran illegals. Hondurans found they had a new sense of national pride and patriotism. Then there was another military coup, and another, and another.
But when the dictator in neighboring Nicaragua, Anastasio Somoza, was overthrown in 1979 by Communist guerrillas calling themselves Sandinistas and sponsored by Cuba and the Soviet Union, Hondurans decided it was time get politically mature.
This was accelerated when, in 1980, the Sandinistas and Cubans sponsored a Communist guerrilla movement to try and take over in El Salvador. The Hondurans were alone, with no hope or help from Jimmy Carter's America. They formed a truly democratic government with a new constitution and a professional army under civilian control.
In November, 1981, a medical doctor, Robert Suazo, was elected president. The first phone call of congratulations he got was from the new American president, Ronald Reagan. US aid began pouring in, economic and military.
A savage terrorist group sponsored by the Sandinistas was crushed. Suazo eagerly allowed military supplies to flow through across his border to the growing Contra liberation movement fighting the Communist Sandinistas in Nicaragua - as did his freely-elected successor Jose Azcona.
Since then, the two main political parties, Liberal and National, have traded power in free elections, while democratic institutions such as the Supreme Court have been strengthened. The Hondurans were justly proud of what they had achieved -- and had no suspicion that their success would be threatened when the son of a wealthy businessman, Manuel "Mel" Zelaya was elected president in November 2005.
He turned out to be an incompetent megalomaniac. As crime, corruption, and poverty rose, Zelaya increasingly blamed America for all his country's and the world's problems, while forging deepening friendships with Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.
When the Communist Sandinista Daniel Ortega was elected president of Nicaragua - thanks to Ollie North (see Kafka in Managua: Ollie North Is Helping a Communist Win in Nicaragua 11/06) - he quickly became one of Mel's best buds.
When Hugo Chavez formed a "Bolivarian" alliance (ALBA) of rabidly anti-American pro-Communist rulers - Castro, Ortega, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Ecuador's Rafael Correa, and himself - Zelaya announced he wanted to join. That was the last straw. His popularity totally tanked, even among the elected members of the National Congress from his own party.
He responded with a plethora of attempts at police state control - such as monitoring of all cell phone conversations. Journalists who criticized him in the press were murdered or fled the country due to murder threats. With millions of dollars from Hugo Chavez, he paid hordes of young people to protest for him and beat up opponents.
The Honduran Constitution contains eight articles that cannot be amended, one of them being term-limiting the presidency. Article 239 states:No citizen who has already served as head of the Executive Branch can be President or Vice-President.
Whoever violates this law or proposes its reform, as well as those who support such violation directly or indirectly, will immediately cease in their functions and will be unable to hold any public office for a period of 10 years.Yet Zelaya began insisting earlier this year on holding a National Referendum to overturn this un-overturnable constitutional prohibition. The entire country saw this as a blatantly illegal attempt to become president-for-life, exactly as Hugo Chavez has done in Venezuela.
The ballots for the referendum were printed in and shipped from Venezuela. The Supreme Court declared the referendum constitutionally illegal and ordered the ballots destroyed. Zelaya led a mob of his Chavez-paid followers to physically seize the ballots, at which point the Supreme Court ordered Zelaya's arrest and removal from office as article 239 specifies.
The army followed the Supreme Court's order, but instead of jailing Zelaya, he was put on a plane to Costa Rica - in hindsight a big mistake. The National Congress voted to have its Speaker, Roberto Micheletti, to replace Zelaya as the constitution specifies as next in presidential succession.
Instead of being applauded for adhering to its democratic laws and avoiding their demise, much of the so-called Free World - the UN, the EU, and the US via the White House - joined with the Communist World led by Chavez and Castro to hysterically denounce Honduras instead.
This, folks, is a terrifying wake-up call as to the extent the forces of darkness are gaining strength, and the forces of freedom are cowering in retreat. All of sudden out of nowhere, little Honduras catalyzes this process and becomes a pivot point in the struggle between good and evil on earth.
Let's take a look at those who lead the forces of darkness arrayed against Honduras.
On June 30, two days after Zelaya's removal, the UN General Assembly passed by acclamation a resolution that condemned the removal of Mr. Zelaya as a "coup" and demanded his "immediate and unconditional restoration" as president.
The President of the UN General Assembly is a Sandinista Communist, Miguel D'Escoto, who was Danny Ortega's Foreign Minister in the 80s and won the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union in 1985. Under his leadership, the UN has become even more virulently suffused with a hatred of America.
On July 5, the Organization of American States (OAS) suspended Honduras from its membership, denounced the government of Roberto Micheletti, and demanded Zelaya be reinstated.
Since 2005, the president of the OAS is a left-wing Chilean politician, Jose Miguel Insulza. He has been bribed by Chavez to publicly denounce the Micheletti government as a "dictatorship" and endlessly threaten Honduras with "sanctions." Prior to this, Chavez was bribing him to crusade for the OAS to accept Cuba as a fully democratic member.
A radical Marxist Chilean academic, Arturo Valenzuela, is President Zero's nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere. Valenzuela has a long history of defending corrupt Latin American regimes such as Mexico and Argentina, and of groveling support for Hugo Chavez.
After Valenzuela denounced Zelaya's removal as an "illegal coup" in his Senate testimony this week (7/20), then refused to discuss the Honduran situation in detail, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) placed a hold on his confirmation.
"Why is Washington on the same side as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro in the Honduran crisis?" asked DeMint. Valenzuela had no answer.
The Zero White House is so deep in bed with Chavez and Castro that it had Hillary Clinton interrupt her visit to India and telephone Honduran President Micheletti (7/20). In her official capacity as Secretary of State, she was rude, insulting, and abusive, threatening Micheletti with "serious consequences" if he didn't turn power back to Zelaya.
Micheletti stood his ground. "Under no circumstances will we accept these pressures," he informed Mrs. Clinton. "Under no circumstances will Mr. Zelaya be returned to power.
"The World Bank has suspended aid to Honduras, as has the EU. Zero has cut off military aid. Oscar Arias of Costa Rica is playing his role of gutless neutrality to the hilt, trying every conman ploy in the book to get Zelaya back in power. Ortega is sending hordes of Nicaraguan agents across the border to foment violent protest (while at the same time trying to get himself elected president-for-life straight out of the Chavez-Zelaya playbook).
All of this is an astounding demonstration of how pro-Communist and anti-freedom much of the world has become. It's not just Zero.
It's also a demonstration of how intimidated anti-Communist leaders have become. You would think that Colombia's Alvaro Uribe, Panama's Ricardo Martinelli, and Peru's Alan Garcia would be standing shoulder to shoulder with Roberto Micheletti in Tegucigalpa's Morazan Square.
Joining them in support would be all members of the Supreme Court, virtually all members of the National Congress, all major Honduran business leaders, and vast numbers of Hondurans who want freedom not Chavez-style dictatorship.
It would be an ideal moment to announce the formation of an anti-ALBA alliance of pro-freedom Latin countries between these leaders and invite Honduras to join.
But no. These three guys remain silent and sequestered in their presidential palaces in Bogota, Panama City, and Lima. The best even Uribe can muster - the guy who is defeating the FARC narco-communist guerrillas - is to secretly (or "informally" as he put it) meet with Honduran Foreign Minister Carlos Lopez in Bogota (7/20).
No diplomatic recognition, no flying to Tegucigalpa, just a whispered hint he, Uribe, might be "sympathetic" to Micheletti.Honduras is alone against the forces of darkness. That the President of the United States is one of those forces is more than acutely embarrassing - it is acutely dangerous to us, to freedom in the world, and to a brave little country that should be an inspiration to all.
As of this morning (7/23), Honduras is still standing firm, having rejected yet again Arias' latest "final offer."
(As a demonstration of what an utter idiot the Nobel Laureate is, Arias claimed Honduras has become the "North Korea or Albania" of Central America, showing his ignorance of all three. To compare Albania, a free democracy, with the Norks is obscenely stupid, and the Norks with Honduras simply immoral.)
You can pray for Honduras. You can call or email the office of Senator DeMint to thank him for supporting a Free Honduras. You can encourage your Congressman to do the same. And if you really, really want to demonstrate your own support, you might consider doing it in person.
Remember that island, Guanaja, discovered by Columbus? It's one of the Bay Islands where you'll find some of the best snorkeling and scuba-diving in the world.
There are the stunning ruins of CopÃ¡n, cloud forests, nice hotels, and friendly people who will overwhelm you with gratitude for coming to them in their hour of peril. Getting there is a short flight and not pricey. Something to consider.
Honduras is at this moment in history the bravest country in the world. It deserves the support of all advocates of liberty.
by Dr. Jack Wheeler