China spreads fake “news” about Honduras

In an article published a few minutes ago, a Chinese outlet is spreading a completely false and misleading story about Honduras (repeated here). The text claims that the Honduran Congress voted to grant amnesty. In fact it did the exact opposite; it tabled the bill until the next session of Congress.

On January 25th, those elected in the November elections will take over in the legislative body. They were elected after the change of president, which happened June 28 last year. In other words, the question of amnesty will be settled by parliamentarians who were elected after the event in question. That assures that the will of the people got heard.

However, interim president Micheletti has proposed a still more direct participation of the people in the decision, namely by holding a referendum.

Some bloggers – including this – have proposed that IF an amnesty is to be considered, it should be conferred only on condition of the person first confessing the crimes. This could be either in writing, or in a testimony, such as before that Truth Commission that is to be formed the next few months as part of the Tegucigalpa/San José Accord. In fact, the question of amnesty could be combined with the Truth Commission, and, if Congress so decides, it could be left for the people to decide in a referendum if an honest testimony should be rewarded by granting amnesty for the confessed crimes. I’m sure South Africa can help with sharing some experience.

But as for the fake news stories, that is just pathetic.

Hugo Chávez: Jag är marxist

I sitt årliga tal till nationen sa idag Hugo Chávez, Venezuelas president, att han är marxist, enligt El Nacional. Han har av många anklagats för neo-kommunism, men har hittills alltid själv försäkrat att han är demokratisk socialist (ej att förväxla med socialdemokrat, vilket är något helt annat).

Chávez ideologi kallas av sympatisörerna “socialism i XXI:a århundradet”, och projektet “den Bolivarianska revolutionen” efter en gammal Latinamerikansk hjälte, som dock knappast var socialist. Hans motståndare kallar ideologin för chavism, i vilket de även lägger att hålla sig kvar vid makten genom skumma val och tvivelaktiga förändringar av grundlagen.

Media: DN.

Honduras’ Enemies Ignore Facts

As the last session of Congress, interim president Micheletti was given the honorary title of Congressman for Life. This purely symbolic act to honor a man who has served almost 30 years in the top legislative body, but who now will retire after a short stint as interim president for 7 months, has been construed in the most devious ways by Honduras’ enemies in South America.

The worst case is probably Bolivias president Evo Morales, who has called Micheletti a “second Pinochet”. But there is little comparison. Pinochet murdered the president in a military coup, Micheletti came to power after a constitutional succession by legitimate democratic institutions. Pinochet declared himself Senator for Life, with a vote and immunity. For Micheletti it was a surprise to be given the title Congressman for Life, and it does not come with any vote or immunity. In fact, it was Micheletti himself who some 8 years ago made sure that congressmen do not have immunity.

Last night a string of misinformed articles made their way through South America, prompting the presidency of Honduras to put out a clarification. Here is the full Spanish text from the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa, which is using unusually strong language to condemn these misinterpretations.

Blog links: Professor Edney Silva Mesquita, Los Repúblicos.

Below is the official press release from Honduras presidency.


Presidencia de la República

Honduras, C.A

COMUNICADO

La Secretaria de Prensa del Gobierno de la República aclara a la opinión pública nacional e internacional, que la decisión del Congreso Nacional de Honduras de declarar Diputado Vitalicio al Presidente de la Republica, Roberto Micheletti Bain, no implica que con este tipo de condecoración se busque darle inmunidad alguna al mandatario de los hondureños.

La aclaración por parte del Gobierno de la Republica, se hace porque algunos medios internacionales, de manera tendenciosa, han informado que este tipo de reconocimiento sirve para que el Presidente Micheletti obtenga inmunidad, lo cual es totalmente falso, ya que la Constitución de la Republica, abolió en años anteriores, la inmunidad para todos los miembros de la Cámara Legislativa.

Por tal razón, a la opinión publica se le aclara que no se dejen sorprender por este tipo de información manipulada, que es elabora desde el exterior por parte de personas que desconocen las leyes hondureñas, con el fin de dañar la imagen del Presidente de la Republica, Roberto Micheletti y de los Poderes del Estado, como lo son el Ejecutivo y el Legislativo.

Asimismo, por medio del presente comunicado el Presidente Constitucional de la Republica reitera su agradecimiento a los diputados al Congreso Nacional, por haberle honrado con tan alto galardón, como también agradece el apoyo de toda la población hondureña durante su gestión, y en especial por sus muestras de cariño mostradas en los últimos días.

Tegucigalpa, Honduras. 14 de Enero de 2010