Zelaya was overthrown because of his policies that favored the poor

From http://www.nicanet.org/?p=728, by Katherine Hoyt:

If Zelaya was so bad, why are all those people out in the streets demanding his return? The reasons you never hear in our media

From the Nicaragua Network

Very few news sources have covered the real reason why Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown. Even while reporting their presence, they have not covered the reason why tens of thousands of ordinary Hondurans are in the streets demanding Zelaya’s return. The reason Zelaya was overthrown and the reason why his supporters are in the streets is that, during his three and one half years in office, he made fundamental changes in whom the government favored with its policies.

Zelaya abolished fees for primary education resulting in 400,000 more children attending elementary schools. One million children received a meal (breakfast or lunch) during the school day. Nearly US$1 billion was spent by the government on education in 2008, according to El Heraldo newspaper of January 29, 2008. Hospitals have more medicines in stock and the program of childhood immunizations has been expanded, including a vaccination against the rotavirus which is a major cause of diarrhea in small children. Beginning in February 2009, the government expected to vaccinate 180,000 children. Where will this program stand with a coup government that considers such social programs to be “communism?”

The government brought electricity to more homes in both urban and rural areas. The Zelaya government estimated that its programs had lowered the poverty level 9.8% from 46% of the population to 36% in 2008, based on a survey of 133,861 households, and created 313,000 new jobs nationally. According to Leticia Solomon, Zelaya angered the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise and the National Industrialists’ Association in January when he decreed a raise in the nation’s minimum wage.

In the area of agriculture, production of basic food grains under Zelaya increased from 650,000 tons per year to 950,000 tons and the strategic reserve of food grains was four times larger than in 2005. Secretary of Agriculture Hector Hernandez said in January that for 2009, the goal was to produce 1.3 million tons of basic grains from 1.3 million acres, noting that Honduras had the land and the capacity. Will the coup government continue to emphasize food production?

More than his association with Hugo Chavez, more than his pursuit of a constitutional convention that might have allowed for him to run for president again at some future time (but not in time for the next elections), the real reasons for Zelaya’s overthrow were his change from the centuries old policies favoring the rich elites to policies that improved the lot of the poor. And that’s also why the poor have mobilized in his support.