Nicaragua seems troubled over the situation in Honduras

After spending a night at Danli near the Honduras-Nicaraguan border, we woke up early in the morning and headed towards Nicaragua, away from all the political and social mess in Honduras.
We arrived at the border pretty fast, and cleared the Honduran side in less than 10 minutes (and an exit fee we’re not sure we were supposed to pay, but it’s not like we’re in any position to argue..). There was a really really long line of trucks, and we wiggled our way through it. Soon enough we’d find out why they’re all waiting in line..

Yippee, we thought; we’ll be in quiet and peaceful Nicaragua in no time! We thought wrong – a pro-Zelaya (the ousted Honduran president) demonstration on the Nicaraguan side of the border blocked all traffic, and we were stranded on the Honduran side…

We waited almost two hours at the border, in practically no-man’s land (having “left” Honduras but not yet entered Nicaragua). It wasn’t a violent or even a very lively demonstration, but there was no way of passing through. An official on the Honduran side mumbled to us that we can’t pass “because of them Sandinistas”. Most Hondurans, it seems to us, don’t want Zelaya to continue as president and consider him to have been rightfully “excused” from office; the meddling of other Central and Latin American regimes in this matter is unacceptable to them.

So “them Sandinistas” were demonstrating for about two hours, with some music and songs, and someone rambling on a speaker and some people encouraging the crowd to acknowledge with “viva Honduras, viva Nicaragua! viva Zelaya!” (maybe they like him in Nicaragua cause they had a president by that name back in 1910 which the US forced out of office.. hehehe). We were sitting in the car, snacking and waiting for it all to pass. Eventually, a Nicaraguan official Itai had spoken to earlier took the speaker and announced that they will be opening the border for vehicles to pass through. Besides the trucks waiting in line, we were the only “vehicles” and we quickly made it to the Nicaraguan side.

Itai went with the passports and all the papers to deal with immigration while I waited in the car. I saw all the people who came to the demonstration and it suddenly became obvious that it was an officially organized demonstration. None of them seemed too interested in Honduras or Zelaya; they were brought in with buses and were waiting around after the demonstration to get their little lunch – yes, the organizers had sandwiches for everyone! They probably even handed out the signs they were all holding…

Ok, so the demonstration was over but it still took us another hour. They bugged Itai so much with the papers, it was exhausting.. Even without considering the demonstration-delay, this was the longest border crossing, even longer than Belize! On the other hand, this was the only country we’ve been to that doesn’t charge a temporary vehicle importation fee. In any event, we made it, and now we are in Nicaragua.

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