Sunday, August 23, 2009

OAS HR Commission Ends Honduras Mission

Since I have a busy work week ahead, don’t despair if a few days go by with nothing new appearing on this blog. Please keep your replies and questions coming. I will get back to you as soon as possible

There’s a report out of Kenya regarding the development of a solar-powered mobile phone. The diffusion of that technology throughout the developing world will mean another boost for the communications revolution. Already in Honduras, cell phones have spread wherever towers exist, but charging them is a problem where there’s no electricity. I mentioned earlier in these pages that patients attending our medical brigade would bring their cell phones to charge at outlets in the solar-powered classrooms where we were doing consults. Even Honduran subsistence farmers will go to great lengths to have cell phones, which save them arduous treks to deliver messages in person. I also reported that a call from the mother of Sandra, a girl operated on for a recurrent leg tumor, was cut off in mid-sentence, perhaps due to lack of battery power. Using solar power to charge cell phone batteries is revolutionary, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. Solar energy needs to be tapped for other applications.

According to Saturday’s (August 22, 2009) El Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald’s Spanish-language version, neither side is happy with the OAS Human Rights Commission preliminary report on its visit to Honduras. The interim government complained that the mission was headed up by a Venezuelan and that the action against Zelaya was erroneously referred to as a “coup” and the Micheletti administration, as the “de facto” government. That four people were reported killed in demonstrations was declared by an interim government official to be unsurprising, given the need to maintain public order. For its part, the Zelaya faction considered the visit too short and regretted that no mention was made about returning Zelaya to power.

In the same issue, the Honduran supreme court announced its intent to process Zelaya, should he return. Also, the Brazilian senate went on record opposing the effort of Venezuela to join the South American Mercosur trading partnership (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay), citing its anti-democratic actions, and the Paraguayan senate is reportedly considering following suit.

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