Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dangerous Political Developments in Honduras

The political situation in neighboring Honduras is volatile and unstable right now. For more details see the following four article snippets:

Congress Has Late Night Session

The Honduran Congress passed a new law on Tuesday, after an unusual late-night legislative session. The measure, called the Ley Especial que Regula el Referéndum y el Plebiscito, establishes specific restrictions on the power of the executive to call for national referendums by prohibiting plebiscites and referendums 180 days before or after a national election.

Prior to Tuesday’s development, President Zelaya had scheduled a vote for June 28 on whether to convene a constituent assembly to re-write the Honduran Constitution. Plans for the referendum provoked widespread criticism throughout Honduras, and were declared illegal by the Supreme Court, the Attorney General and the Human Rights Ombudsman, but President Zelaya vowed to press forward with the vote.

Central America, Be On Guard

For a long time now, Hondurans who have been worried about their democracy and also worried about the way in which their President Manuel Zelaya is governing, see with mistrust and, more than this, with rejection, a projected constitutional reform, under this name or another, to allow the reelection of the president. Logically, not much political cunning, is needed to realize that the president, who is fully identified with the totalitarian tyranny of Fidel Castro and with arbitrary rulers in the region, led by Hugo Chávez, is trying to subvert the State’s juridical order under a democratic guise. However, this is subversion with anti-democratic orientation.

Honduran VP Talks to the UN

Vice President of Honduras, Aristides Mejia Carranza, spoke today at the United Nations General Assembly, the first day of a three-day conference on the world’s economic crisis, in which 140 countries are participating.

Carranza stated that this year, a decline in remittances, exports, and tourism have meant a reduction of economic growth for Honduras. It is at a mere two percent. Although that is better than the global average, it does little to help the Honduran economy, and may hinder the progress Honduras has made in reducing poverty during the past few years.

OAS Asked to Withdraw from Election Observations

The Organization of American States planned to send three election observers to oversee the voting on a referendum for constitutional reform, called for by President Zelaya. The Honduran Congress, however, voted unanimously to ask that they do not send observers, as their presence would indicate that the vote is actually legitimate, rather than illegal.

Congressional President Roberto Micheletti, of the Liberal Party, stated “We express to the secretary-general of the Organization of American States our profound indignation over the deployment of this mission to the country.”