Immigrants Sound Off on Honduras

Immigrants Sound Off on Honduras

Honduran immigrants in New York City discuss their view of recent events that removed President Manuel Zelaya from office.


This past weekend a few hundred men, women and children gathered for an
afternoon of non-stop soccer games, fresh cooked plates of grilled
steak, rice and beans, and lounging by the banks of Westchester Creek on
the rim of Ferry Point Park in the Bronx. Over the last few years this
out of the way park has become a gathering place for some of the
estimated 40,000 Honduran immigrants in New York City–and more recently
it has become the setting for heated discussion about the
constitutionality of the recent coup d’etat in Honduras that removed
President Manuel Zelaya from office, and replaced him with Roberto
Micheletti, a thrice failed presidential candidate.

“It’s a step back, a step back for Honduras and for Central America,
there’s no other way to describe it,” says a gentleman who preferred not
to give his name. Like a number of others at the park, he has family
back in Honduras and was reticent about appearing in the press. Still
other Honduran immigrants, like a former member of the Honduran
military, were supportive of the coup (and some denied that Zelaya’s
removal constituted a coup at all). Others were more skeptical about the
real differences between the warring political leaders in one of the
poorest countries in the hemisphere, where the lion’s share of its
wealth controlled by a dozen or so families.

“Here there are a lot of people who come to argue and get angry,” a
gentleman named Elvis told us. “But in the long-term, next spring Mr.
Michelletti and Mr. Zelaya are going to be sitting around eating steaks
together, and the country will still be as poor as ever.”

For more perspective, read Greg Grandin’s story from Honduras, “Waiting
For Zelaya

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