Friday, July 31, 2009
So I would like for all readers of this blog to submit suggestions in the comment section for concocting the perfect 'Honduras Libre' drink. My suggestion is that it should be rum based, since rum already seems to be the unofficial drink of Central America and the Caribbean. Also, since Honduras is rich in fruits, maybe some native type of fruit would be an essential compliment.
I look forward to your suggestions (and to trying out the various concoctions!!)
Journalists could face up to four years in prison for publishing material deemed to harm state stability."
Just a look into my 'crystal ball' regarding Honduras' future if Chavez and Comandante Cowboy have their way...
I hope others of similiar views to my own will join with me and no longer buy or shop at their stores or buy any of their brands.
I want to stress that other companies with manufacturing operations in Honduras have not taken a political stance and have not aligned themselves with Zelaya. These companies include Gilden, Hanes, and Russell Athletic.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
But what does this say about America, it's government, and it's policies? Given that Article 239 of the Honduran constitution states that any president who so much as proposes the permissibility of reelection "shall cease forthwith" in his duties, the US position seems to show contempt for constitutionality and the rule of law. In this case, the US seeks to impose a president on Honduras who is forbidden by Honduras' constitution from serving in that capacity.
Why such a disregard for Honduras' constitution? Is it because the US has an air of arrogance and considers it a 'third world' document not worthy of the paper it is printed on? Has Chavez somehow cast a 'spell' on Obama and Hillary? Are they willing to sacrifice Honduras to appease Chavez? Since the US can't push Iran around, does it want to prove something to itself by bullying poor, helpless Honduras?
Questions to ponder...
Monday, July 27, 2009
So, maybe it's time for you to reinvent yourself... and I think I have the perfect role for you (unless it 20 years behind bars as a wife to a 'salvatrucha 18' gang member)...
I'm old enough to remember the commercials for the Marlboro Man, so I was thinking that since you love the limelight, maybe you could become the 'Belmont Man'. I can see it now... You on a donkey, slowly descending a mountainside in Nicaragua, with a Belmont dangling from your mouth. You could be in every glossy in Central America!! The girls would adore you!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Is it because of his comical 'quirks', shutting down main streets in the capital so he can ride his Harley? (Just what the traffic congested capital always needed on a busy day). Maybe it's because of his equestrian skills, riding donkeys and horses into small villages? (I guess the campesinos had a good laugh). Is it because of his cosmopolitan style, travelling all over the world when he was president of a small, poor country with a large entourage of family and friends? (That was always a good use of scarce public resources).
Is it because of his frugal nature, spending $80,000.00 in five days on his government credit card? Could it be because of his no-nonsense approach to public corruption, appointing the most corrupt people he could find to the highest positions possible? Or maybe it's his 'socialists' credentials, earned after imitating Chavez's rhetoric...(but then everyone knows he's not 'truly' a socialist, he's merely an opportunist and charlatan). Is it because he's a cute, cuddly wannabe 'caudillo', cut down to size, and they feel sorry and pity for him? Is it because of his ever increasing desperation so evident in his daily tirades? No, I just don't think these things are it...
Oh, I think I finally figured it out...It's because of his 'Stetson'? So stupid of me not to have known all along... The media must somehow find it heartwarming to see a confirmed anti-gringo adopting this so very American symbol as his own. There you have it...an anti-cowboy cowboy!! How cute indeed!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
2- Given Mel's anti-American rhetoric and policies, why did his wife and son seek refuge at the American embassy and later at the American ambassador's home? Wouldn't the Venezuelan or Ecuadorian embassy have been a better sanctuary? Wouldn't they have felt more secure and blissful there?
3- If the negotiations in Costa Rica lead to Mel's return to Honduras, will he come back with his 'feathers plucked'. By this, I mean will he come back strictly as a figurehead without any powers? If so, this might not necessarily be a bad thing as this would a humiliation for him. It would actually be nice to see him transform from a 'bull' to a 'steer'.
4- And, related to no. 3, what about the criminal charges that have been filed against Mel? Will he return to Honduras to face indictment? I don't think he would agree to that option. Will amnesty be granted? That would be an insult to the Honduran people that endured his corrupt rule for way too long. If Mel were granted amnesty, what about his family? His son has also been linked to corruption and the drug trade. Will Mel return only to see his son thrown into jail?
5- This leads me to thinking about corruption in general. The new government has already made strides against corruption (arresting Chimirri, etc.) This was way past due. But will it continue? Or was it strictly 'window dressing'? Has the new government begun a new paradigm in Honduran civil and political society that will endure? Or ironically, will the end result of the Costa Rican negotiations be a return to 'business as usual'?
6- I still have not heard any criticisms from the OAS nor any explanations for its failure to act regarding Mel's illegal behaviour towards Honduran Supreme Court rulings and Honduran Congressional acts? Why are they ignoring Mel's unconstitutional, power grabbing actions? I have the same question for the world media. Did it ever occur to them that the very reason the Honduran Constitution is inflexible in its limitation to one term only for a president is to prevent power hungry would-be despots (like Mel) from continuing in power?
7- I consider the unfortunate death of a demonstrator this past Sunday to be blood on Mel's hands. He knew and even encouraged mob behavior in order to stroke his inexhaustible ego. Against all advice, (including the Cardinal's warning of possible bloodshed), he insisted on his 'airshow'. This unfortunate death would have been avoided except for Mel's actions. At the very least, it's misfeasance on Mel's part.
8- The U.S. ambassador has already commented on the use of the word 'negrito', and an apology has been issued. But I'm still wondering whether Obama actually knew where Tegucigalpa was before June 28 or not? Do I hear silence on the part of the US government? Maybe this is reason enough to reinstate geography classes in elementary schools. Maybe free subscriptions to National Geographic should have been a part of the stimulus bill.
Monday, July 06, 2009
The Audacity Of HondurasRoger Noriega, 07.06.09, 03:11 PM EDT
As the OAS stumbles, give diplomacy a chance.
On Sunday, July 5, Honduran authorities rejected the ultimatum issued by the Organization of American States (OAS) to reinstate ousted president Manuel Zelaya. Shortly after, the defiant government was suspended from the regional body. This impasse does not reflect a failure of diplomacy, but exposes a lack of it.
In the past week, most objective observers conceded that Zelaya's aggression against Honduran Congress and Courts coupled with his willful violations of the Honduran constitution spawned this crisis. An international chorus questions the legality of Zelaya's ouster. Since I am unschooled in Honduran law, I am forced to rely on the unanimous decisions of the independent Supreme Court blessing Zelaya's replacement.
Common sense is useful here too: If a traffic cop roughs up a drunk driver at the scene of an injury accident, I doubt anyone would argue the importance of getting the drunk back behind the wheel as the best way to chastise the policeman.
The international community is so fixated on the car wreck that they have failed to notice that Hondurans have put their own legal house in order. Although the duty fell to the military to enforce a court order against Zelaya, no soldier ever held power. The duly constituted Congress--about half of whose members are from Zelaya's own Liberal Party--reviewed Zelaya's crimes and voted almost unanimously to remove him from office. Respecting the constitutional order of succession, the Congress elected its own president, Liberal Roberto Micheletti, as Zelaya's replacement. Micheletti has pledged to turn over power next January to a successor chosen in this November's regularly scheduled elections--a pledge that the democratic paragon Zelaya was unwilling to make.
While Honduran authorities have opened an inquiry into Zelaya's treatment, the Supreme Court has held its position that the military acted properly. Zelaya has been indicted on many crimes--including treason--and some of his associates with ties to corruption and drug trafficking are finally facing justice.
Hondurans are convinced that Chavez's puppetry at the OAS abetted Zelaya's illegal campaign for re-election and is now driving the rush to judgment and calls for Zelaya's return. Chavez's media outlets are whipping up internal mobs, and he has even threatened military action against Honduras to back up his demands. Astonishingly, neither the U.S. nor the OAS has called upon the Venezuelan bully to temper his rhetoric. In any case, his comments have merely served to stiffen Honduran resistance to Zelaya's return.
The credibility of the OAS and of its Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, is shot. The organization's refusal over the last few months to review Zelaya's provocative actions is a failure to use the graduated approach dictated by the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which was designed precisely to defuse crises. By contrast, its zealous rush to judgment after Zelaya's ouster bypassed the process of study and reflection called for under the Democratic Charter.
But Honduras is hardly an isolated example of the OAS's abject failure. For months, it has ignored Chavez's aggressive maneuvers to deny Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma the ability to assume the office he won last November; this weekend, Ledezma began a hunger strike in the OAS office in Venezuela to dramatize the group's hypocrisy. Insulza and the OAS have done nothing to confront the stealing of dozens of mayoral races in Nicaragua (including in the capital city of Managua) last fall. And the OAS has turned a blind eye to the aggressive measures deployed by Chavez himself as well as his allies in Bolivia and Ecuador running roughshod over government institutions, media critics and political opponents.
Insulza's unyielding defense of Zelaya and his lethargy where political rights are being trampled in a half a dozen other countries have only one thing in common: That's the way Chavez wants it.
With the OAS's leadership so thoroughly disgraced, individual governments must step forward to forge a diplomatic approach to protect the rights and freedoms of all Hondurans. A "Friends of Honduras" group could support a national dialogue or help accompany a review of Zelaya's alleged crimes and subsequent ouster. Presidential elections held in November or earlier could be monitored by the U.N. or by other independent observers. Individual nations must be counseled to cease their threats against Honduras and to stop meddling in its internal affairs.
Canada's foreign minister, Peter Kent, has been willing to speak good sense in this case, and his country is one of the few in the region that has the independence and heft to do what is right for Honduran democracy and not necessarily what Hugo Chavez dictates.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
The Independent, London, on the ousting of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya:
The ousting of the Honduran President Manuel Zelaya by the country's military at the weekend has been condemned by many members of the international community as an affront to democracy. But despite a natural distaste for any military coup, it is possible that the army might have actually done Honduran democracy a service.
President Zelaya was planning a referendum to give him power to alter the constitution. But the proposed alterations were perilously vague, with opponents accusing Mr. Zelaya of wanting to scrap the four-year presidential term limit. The country's courts and congress had called the vote illegal.
This is an increasingly familiar turn of events in emerging democracies: an elected leader, facing the end of his time in office, decides that the country cannot do without him and resorts to dubious measures to retain power. ...
Honduras underlines that free votes only count if accompanied by a confident parliament, an independent judiciary, an unfettered media and impartial electoral monitors. The true test of a democracy's health is not the holding of elections. It is the possibility of power peaceably changing hands.
Shouldn't some of the media be investigating corruption at Hondutel and Zelaya's connection to Mr. Chimirri, or corruption at state owned ENEE during the past few years (that is a nice new building they have in Tegucigalpa, and I understand the rent is way above market rates), or maybe Zelaya's alleged connection to the international drug trade and drug cartels (Trujillo anyone)? What about rumors of drug use among his high officials?
Hmmm, maybe these would turn out to be as Al Gore so aptly put it, 'inconvenient truths'...