<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Introducing Micheletti, Man of God

Honduran Populace Meets its De Facto President After Almost Two Months

By Belén Fernández
Special to The Narco News Bulletin

August 19, 2009

AUGUST 19, 2009, TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS: Pages 2 and 3 of yesterday’s La Prensa are devoted to an interview with Honduran coup president Roberto Micheletti entitled “Nada me ha quitado el sueño”—roughly “Nothing keeps me up at night.” The first paragraph informs us that this interview constitutes the first time Micheletti has spoken openly with the national media, which calls into question what Micheletti was hiding when he announced at a July 1 press conference in Tegucigalpa that time was on the side of the coup regime when it came to the return of ousted President Mel Zelaya. Also called into question is why the de facto president has jeopardized La Prensa’s scoop by also giving interviews to Channel 5 TV and to the McClatchy newspaper chain in the last 48 hours.

As for why the coup has not interrupted Micheletti’s sleeping patterns—which are presumably easier to maintain when time is on one’s side—he assures us that his conscience is not burdened by the military interruption of the sleeping patterns of Zelaya, who was removed from his home in his pajamas on June 28. La Prensa asks whether he is not kept up at night by threats from the international community and Zelaya himself; Micheletti responds with a request for Hondurans to vote on November 29 in defiance of international threats not to recognize a government elected via illegitimate elections. US ambassador to Honduras Hugo Llorens may have further eased Micheletti’s conscience last week by explaining at a meeting with an American human rights delegation that “you don’t boycott,” which for the moment served as the US stance on such elections.

Micheletti explains that his lack of insomnia is closely linked with his faith in God and that he consistently prays for peace and tranquility in the country, where military actions against Zelaya were justified by the constitution. The Honduran military had meanwhile also stressed its spiritual connections in its own recent debut in the national media, which had occurred despite the fact that its leaders had already had a great deal of contact with said media and suggested a media fondness for repeatedly introducing relevant characters to its audience.

Halfway through his latest media introduction, Micheletti responds to a question regarding the origins of the current political crisis by declaring that he is not going to discuss political issues at the moment because he is totally focused on working towards a better Honduras. A possible implication of such attitudes on the part of leading politicians is that the better Honduras will be achieved not politically but rather through prayer, which Honduran cardinal Oscar Rodríguez had presumably understood when aligning himself with the coup.

The constitutional basis for overthrowing Zelaya is meanwhile cast into doubt when Micheletti announces that he had respected Zelaya as president but that, “when we saw his political turn toward the left, which we did not agree with, we made the appropriate decisions.” The failure of La Prensa to explore the constitutional oversight may be out of respect for Micheletti’s declaration that he does not want to talk about politics.

Religion resurfaces when Micheletti asks God to help Hugo Chávez, who is “crazy, crazy” and in need of divine enlightenment. Chávez’ religious education had thus far consisted of declaring a UN pulpit to stink of sulfur following a visit by George W. Bush; Micheletti meanwhile continues the day’s demonstration of magnanimity by stressing that he wishes peace and prosperity on everyone, even those who insist on spraying graffiti on the “walls of private and state-owned establishments and the walls of churches, which is a great sin.” This lesson comes as an afterthought to a claim that he was actually fond of the nickname “Goriletti.”

Micheletti finds the nickname “golpista” less endearing, and an inaccurate description of a government resulting not from a coup but rather from a “sucesión presidencial.” La Prensa provides its own set of euphemisms in a question about why the international community had so drastically opposed the “separation” of Zelaya, which Micheletti explains is merely a result of the global media advantage enjoyed by unenlightened presidents of Venezuela. He does not address how this advantage accounts for fixations in the global media with the alleged Venezuelan lack of freedom of the press.

When asked whether Zelaya will return to the presidency, Micheletti asserts that he would like for him to return but in compliance with Honduran law, which in Micheletti’s interpretation would require him to be tried for 18 different crimes. He then explains that no one understands the Zelaya camp, which first demonstrated opposition to the San José Accord mediated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and then changed its mind, while the coup regime on the other hand maintained a firm position on the accord. Micheletti neglects to outline what the firm position is, although it had recently been that he himself was open to negotiations based on the accord but that others in his camp were not, which may have been one of the factors contributing to Zelaya’s opposition.

Yesterday’s La Prensa interview includes Micheletti’s appeal to God to protect the country from bloodbaths, the responsibility for which Micheletti explains would ultimately lie with him “since the [Honduran] army and the police only receive instructions from the president of the republic.” Not explained by Micheletti’s logic is why the appeal to God is necessary if God is not instructing the armed forces.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America