The Honduran paper La Tribuna constitutes my first source of news in the morning here in Tegucigalpa, based on the fact that it is the paper that is delivered to the café that provides me with hot water for my yerba mate. I have found it simpler to stick to this café and its paper rather than to switch, for two reasons. The first is that all of the Honduran papers seem to feature the same quantity of pro-coup politics and pictures of murders; the second is that the employees at my café have already understood what yerba mate is and I thus do not have to spend any more time explaining to people that it is not a type of narcotic.
US President Barack Obama also appears to be trying to avoid anti-narcotic explanations, and, in a headline on page 54 of Saturday’s La Tribuna, affirms that the US does not have plans to establish a military base in Colombia. The writer of the article somehow misses the headline and explains that Washington and Bogotá are negotiating an agreement for the US to use seven Colombian bases; Obama nonetheless persists in his disinterest in Colombia, and declares that there are issues between Colombia and Ecuador that have little to do with his country. Aside from the closure of a US base in Ecuador and the opening of seven in Colombia, other examples of bilateral Colombian-Ecuadorian issues might include the March 2008 Colombian aerial and ground attack on Ecuador that killed FARC second-in-command Raúl Reyes, made possible by coordinates provided to Colombia by the US.
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa takes Obama’s argument one step further in another article on page 54 of La Tribuna, in which he is quoted as declaring that Ecuador will not be dragged into Colombia’s internal conflict, thus reducing regional strife to a unilateral Colombian issue. The isolation of countries boasting a US military presence continues in Honduras, where Obama has stated that he cannot push a button to reinstate the ousted president, suggesting that the US military is less adept at pushing buttons than the Colombian air force.