Tag Archives: Channel 8

Why is TV Channel 8 so important in Honduras?

The situation in Honduras has not normalized. The new president, Porfirio Lobo, or “Pepe”, is continuing a policy of his elected predecessor Manuel Zelaya to ignore Supreme Court rulings. A couple of years ago the highest judicial authority in Honduras ruled that TV channel 8 was to be controlled by Mr Afiusa. However, president Zelaya refused to accept that verdict, wanting the frequency instead for a government channel. When Zelaya was deposed last year, for violating another Supreme Court ruling, interim president Micheletti started paying rent for channel 8 to Mr. Afiusa, and declared that the state channel started by Zelaya to propagate his plans for overthrowing the constitution was operated illegally, and should be shut down.

Manuel Zelaya in Costa Rica, with pajama over street clothes, June 28, 2009.
Manuel Zelaya in Costa Rica, with pajama over street clothes, June 28, 2009.

However, Pepe refuses to abide by the court decision, and sent the matter to Congress. Yesterday the Congress passed a motion declaring that channel 8 belongs to the state. A minority vehemently opposed the move, saying that it violates the Constitution and the separation of powers.

But why on earth is it so important for the government to have channel 8, as opposed to another channel, like 20 for instance, which it already has the right to?

About this one can only speculate. Is it a mere coincidence that their southern neighbor, the ALBA-country Nicaragua, earlier this year bought the private TV-channel 8? This temporarily forced off the air a debate program led by Carlos Fernando Chamorro (son of former president Violeta Chamorro), a strong critic of the present president and former revolutionary Daniel Ortega.

Or is it a mere coincidence that the state TV-network In Venezuela sends on channel 8 in all the country? Chavez’s Sunday TV show “Alo Presidente” is seen on Venezolana de Television (VTV) every Sunday, and so are the “news” broadcasts from TeleSur, the international satellite TV channel that staged “news” in Honduras last year.

Is it, furthermore, a mere coincidence that the vote in the parliament was accompanied by street violence targeting news media and the human rights ombudsman, and led by Zelaya’s local henchmen, people like Rasel Tomé, Rafael Alegría, and Juan Barahona? Tomé was intimately connected to the illegally run channel 8 during the Zelaya administration, and Alegría has been denounced as leading street violence with mobs paid by Chávez.

The eery feeling in Honduras under Lobo is of a “dejá vu all over again”. Lobo misunderstood the lesson from June 28 last year. Instead of learning that nobody is above the law not even the president, he understood that a president is an elected modern-day king. Why did he get it wrong? Simple. The international community reacted as if the president is a modern-day elected king, and that’s the lesson he learned.

The international community reacted all wrong, but not by chance. The news cycle was dominated by a Chávez channel, TeleSur. The UN General Assembly was controlled by a Sandinista revolutionary. The OAS was controlled by an Allende-friend. The deck of cards was stacked against the rule of law, and the majority of countries were sleep-walking, believing that someone else was in charge on the bridge, controlling the helm.

Let us hope and pray that there won’t be a next time, but above all, let’s work to avoid a repetition by spreading the news a bit better. Shall we?

Read more at La Gringa’s Blogicito – and check the comments too for more info.