Lessons We Can Learn From a Honduran Blogger [Updated Blogger's Open Letter to Obama]
I ran across a blog by a Honduran that is titled What We Hondurans Want. I encourage you to read the entire article, and Digg it if you deem it worthy. While it is very helpful in getting an understanding about life in Honduras, I believe there are lessons from this article for also understanding life in the USA.
[Update]The blogger, rschenkel, has written an open letter to President Obama. It is written in Spanish, and if anyone finds an error in my summary translation, I will appreciate the corrections. He compares what transpired in Honduras to the medical procedure of removing cancer tumors from a brain. He then compares the international community to a doctor scolding them for performing the operation. It reminded me of the moment when John Dean talked about the cancer in the Nixon White House.
Our doctor (the international community), on having seen this, gives us an enormous scolding, and isolates us and says the following thing to us: “What happens to him (Honduras)? Insert this tumor again in his head! Surgical procedures exist to do that”. But doctor? If it does not hurt me already. It was difficult, but I managed to do it. “It does not matter for me” – says the doctor – “The medical conventions like that dictate it”
In the closing of this open letter the blogger adds to a recent comment by President Obama.
I want to close completing a thought that the president Barack Obama showed today: “We cannot return to the dark years of the past”, and I complement: “WE DO NOT WANT TO LIVE IN the DARK YEARS IN THE FUTURE”.
Mr. Zelaya was elected because he opposed death penalty, and he promised to continue his party’s work on improving the situation on our country’s education, health and social situation, while promoting democracy and swearing to protect our Constitution. He also promoted a so called “Citizen’s power”, which was supposed to be a channel for the people to express their thoughts to the government.
Apparently the promises and oath he took to protect the Constitution, much like promises Obama made, had an expiration date.
The blogger lists four crimes committed by Mr. Zelaya against the Republic of Honduras.
Zelaya starts also to take a populist stance, first approving a huge increase in government workers’ wage, then approving a general increase to the minimum wage to levels where small and medium business were not able to cope with. He uses his “Citizen’s power” initiative to promise the poor areas of Honduras a thousand and one benefits with the integration to the ALBA. This all seems good, but in the background, he is asphyxiating our country’s air-thin budget with these initiatives, and forgoing such responsibilities such as the fight of crime, drug trafficking, diseases, the World’s economical crisis, and many other social matters. With this strategy, Zelaya “purchased” the support of some in-country blocks, such as peasant and indigenous organizations.
Am I the only one seeing a similar strategy being employed by the O?
His purpose was of gathering support for his new project: to dispose of the current Constitution, over which he was sworn in, and create a new one, similar to ones crafted by Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, with which he would be allowed to be re-elected.
In trying to create a legal and “democratic” facade for his project, Zelaya used one of the statutes of his “Citizen’s power” initiative, which is the “Law of Citizens’ participation”, in which the people can put request to the government to conduct surveys about the peoples opinion. The problem is that no one to be asked about their will to change the constitution. This was fabricated by Zelaya, by threatening public employees to fire them, if they do not bring in a quota of “voluntarily” signed requested for this inquiry. So public employees, trying to safeguard their jobs, started forcing people to sign this if they wanted to be treated at hospitals, sold needed medicines, and even have a phone line repaired.
Does the phrase “conduct surveys about the peoples’ opinions” bother only me?
After gathering a certain number of “requests”, he started moving for the installation of a popular inquiry, in which he would ask if the people wanted a new constitution, and which was going to take place today. The issue here is that this “popular inquiry” was not sanctioned by any independent and legal body, such as the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and, furthermore, was declared illegal by the Supreme Court of Justice, on the grounds that our Constitution forbids anyone on changing the basic, or petrous, articles of it, which state the form of government and the impossibility of re-election.
I do believe some things were done incorrectly, such as the extraction of the president to Costa Rica. He should have been placed under arrest here at Honduras, for him to face proper trail and sentencing for his crimes. But I believe he was taken out of the country due to imminent threat of Hugo Chavez. Chavez has vowed to reinstate Zelaya, “no matter what it takes”.
I finalize this long report, by stating that I voted for Zelaya on November 2005, and after talking to several of friends and family that voted for him, we agree that we profoundly regret that, and feel we have been betrayed us. This is also shown in numerous polls taken along the last two years.
The answer to the title of his blog
We ask the international community to take a closer look of our situation, and not allow other states such as Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Ecuador, to interfere with what we have chosen. We, the people of Honduras, have chosen: that is Democracy.
We The People of the United States of America should not allow other countries to provide an example of a policy for the US to adopt. Are there lessons here that we can learn from a Honduran blogger?
Cross-posted at The Minority Report