“Tacka Micheletti!”, skrek folket då Lobo svors in

Idag svors Pope Lobo in som ny president i Honduras. Då han i talet tackade president Oscar Arias från Costa Rica buade folket så det hördes ända till Miami (via webTV då). Likaså då han nämnde president Fernandez från Dominikanska Republiken, vilken förhandlade fram ett avtal enligt vilket Zelaya kan lämna Honduras och få politisk amnesti. Och återigen då han nämnde USAs ambassadör Hugo Llorens, och OAS, Organisationen för Amerikanska Stater. Då han däremot nämnde Hillary Clinton så var det en mera blandad reaktion, och slutligen då turen kom till Panamas president Martinelli så applåderade folket och han ställde sig upp för att ta emot hyllningarna.

Men sedan hände det mest anmärkningsvärda. Någon ropade “Tacka Micheletti!” och folket började skandera “Tacka Micheletti, tacka Micheletti!”. Men det gjorde inte Pepe. Inte en enda gång nämnde han med namn den man som genom sin heroiska men otacksamma uppgift räddade demokratin i Honduras, och såg till att valet vilket Pepe vann över huvud taget kunde hållas.

Sverige fanns på plats med en diplomatisk representation.

Manuel Zelaya flyger ikväll till Dominikanska Republiken, trots att han inte sökt eller fått politisk asyl. Han har fått politisk amnesti i Honduras genom ett belut i kongressen imorse, som undertecknades av presidenten direkt då han svurits in (redan i stadion!), men han är fortfarande efterlyst för bland annat korruption och förskingring av 1,5 miljoner dollar. Hur denna fria lejd hänger ihop med lagar och folkrätt har ännu inte rapporterats i Honduras. Högsta domstolens ordförande har antytt att saken kan komma inför honom om någon väcker talan, varför han inte vill gå in på juridiken.

Som en honduran skrev i en tidnings kommentarsutrymme: “Leve Zelaya – men så långt som möjligt från Honduras!”

Media: SvD, GP, AB, och en blogg av en anställd på USAs ambassad i Tegucigalpa som har lite ytterligare skvaller – t.ex. att då amerikanerna kom så fanns det inga stolar till dem. Hon bekräftar att uppåt hälften av folket gick därifrån i protest då Lobo tackade Insulza, Aries, Llorens med flera.

Pepe Lobo faces challenges and opportunities

When Porfirio Lobo Sosa is sworn in as president of Honduras right now, he is facing a huge challenge as regards the economy. On the flip side, he may have a more politically engaged populace than in a long time, and one that is prepared to rise to the challenge of transforming the nation into a modern welfare state of Western European style.

Let’s take a step back and look at the whole picture. The previously elected president, Manuel Zelaya, was elected on a platform that included the introduction of “institutions of direct democracy.” What did he mean with that term? If he really was thinking of an institution with a charter and elected officials, then it is an oxymoron to call it “direct democracy.” And he if was thinking of a self-selected group of people doing things together on the street level, he would be well advised to study up on history. It is getting uncomfortably close to the mob rule of the Nazi or Soviet systems, due to the lack of protection of the rule of law.

Nevertheless, Zelaya pushed ahead with this plan. He determined that in order for this to become reality a change to the constitution was required. According to him, the Congress could not pass that change, why a Constitutional Assembly had to be called. Unfortunately for Zelaya, the Supreme Court of Justice disagreed. They ruled that nobody else than Congress can change the constitution. Zelaya disobeyed the court, they issued an arrest order for him, and Congress replaced him. End of the procedural story.

Now that Honduras has a new president, let us look back again at Zelaya’s end game, and leave the procedural issue behind. This kind of direct democracy is what Hugo Chávez also promotes, calling it democratic socialism, but I still have not found any implementation of it. Until we see a bill, a text in a law, we can’t really know what the rhetoric means in practice. It seems increasingly probable that it is just a euphemisms for mob rule. The street-level support that tyrants need.

That is not what the Hondurans voted for, is it? Of course not.

There are real social issues to be solved in Honduras. It is now clear that Zelaya was a false prophet. His end game was not the right one, and his way of implementing it was unconstitutional. He probably meant well, so say even his detractors, but he lacked the capacity to select the right route and set the right course.

The good thing is that the events of the last half year when Micheletti took the helm, has proven to Hondurans that they can, that they have a choice, that it is not futile to strive for a better life in their republic. This profound change of attitude, of dignity, of determination, is the best resource that Honduras new president can get.

God bless.

Meida: A Honduran blogger.

Micheletti receives a hero’s farewell

His last hour in office, president Micheletti is attending a mass in the Suyapa Basilica together with his cabinet, co-workers, and the Union Civica Democratica (UCD). He went there to thank God for helping him save Honduras democracy through the constitutional crisis created by president Zelaya.

When Micheletti arrived he was greeted with a 2 minute standing ovation.

Roberto Micheletti in the Suyapa Basilica in Tegucigalpa this morning.
Roberto Micheletti in the Suyapa Basilica in Tegucigalpa this morning.

Meanwhile, Hondurans are gathering at the stadium in Tegucigalpa for the swearing in of the next popularly elected president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa. Guests of honor include foreign presidents and dignitaries from a large number of countries (including Sweden).

Also meanwhile, the sickening distortions in foreign press continue. Such as the lie that Zelaya came to Costa Rica in pajamas. Could it have something to do with the fact that there were over 130 members of the press in Honduras on that date, with hotel room and rental cars paid for by Zelaya? Could there be hypocrisy in media, can reporters be bribed? Nah, that can’t be possible, they are the bulwark of truth, right?

Zelaya is granted amnesty for political crimes

Honduras congress voted last night to give amnesty to politicians, for the political crimes committed in connection with then president Zelaya’s attempt at overthrowing the form of government. He openly ignored and even ridiculed the other branches of government, until the Supreme Court of Justice issued an arrest order for him, and Congress deposed him on charges of treason, among others. It is for those political crimes that he is now being given amnesty. The charges of corruption still stand.

The Congress has to vote twice for the amnesty to take effect. The second vote will take place at 6 in the morning today, i.e., in about half an hour.

The Nationalists, the president elect’s party (he will be sworn in at 9 AM today), voted in favor, while the Liberal party, to which Zelaya and the interim president Micheletti belong, mostly abstained (just one in favor and one against).

The amnesty does not affect the supporters of Zelaya who in riots have caused property damage. Nor does it affect the police and military who had to confront those riots.

The amnesty was pressed on Honduras by the U.S., apparently against the will of the majority of its people. However, by explicitly not including the corruption charges, drug trafficking, and other non-political offenses, the politicians have tried to thread the needle. The amnesty only covers the political crimes of members of the Zelaya administration, according to La Prensa: terrorism, sedition, treason, and crimes against the form of government. Also common crimes in connection with the political ones are covered by the amnesty: usurpation of functions, violations of the rights of functionaries, disobedience, and abuse of authority.

Congressman Ascencio said in the debate that the purpose is to bring real peace to the country, but the amnesty will not do that, why he voted against it.

Congressman Saavedra from the Liberal party, who was president of the congress for the last 7 months, said that they abstained from voting because the bill had not been open for public comments, and because the Truth Commission should be formed first so that it becomes clear who exactly it is who will benefit from the amnesty, since until today nobody considers themselves in need of any amnesty.

The small parties UD and PINU voted against the amnesty, UD because they believe the purpose of the amnesty is to favor those who deposed Zelaya, not Zelaya. UD got less than 2% of the votes in the last election.

In my modest opinion, this amnesty is very bad for the country. It will be used abroad, by news agencies like AFP (Agence Faux Propagande?) as proof that there was a coup d’état, even though this has been proven wrong in the supreme court. Furthermore, it does not cover those poor souls who, believing the international media’s assertion that it was a coup, went out in resistance to the alleged coup and violated the laws. They are left facing justice for their crimes. They, the small people on the streets, are left responsible for the mistakes and/or deliberate lies of international media! Shame on the liars, shame on those who pressed this disgraceful amnesty bill on Honduras.

There appears to be no limits. Many international media have never told the truth about the events around June 25 to 28, 2009. Some foreign media, e.g. Chinese Xinhua, even go so far as to bold-faced lies, such as to claim that the amnesty applies also to the military. If there is anything everyone should learn from this, it is that you cannot trust media, you have to investigate for yourself.

Anecdotally, foreign investors were looking favorably on investing in Honduras as this year started, but they put the plans on hold when Lobo signed the deal with the Dominican president, giving Zelaya free passage away from Honduras and justice. Now, even worse, I would think. What are the chances of getting him to stand trial for the extraordinarily large corruption in his government? Pepe Lobo has – already before he took office – squandered most of the capital of trust that Micheletti had built up in the population for the government.

If what the international community wanted was to make sure that Honduras remains a third world recipient of aid and producer of cheap goods, then they have probably succeeded. Unless, that is, the Hondurans stand arm in arm, push back, and demand accountability. I hope the UCD, Union Civica Democratica, continues to hold the president’s feet to the fire.

Footnote: On his last day in office, president Micheletti yesterday signed a bill into law that makes Honduras leave ALBA, the Chavez-led group of countries that also includes Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc.

Recommended: Como se salvó la democracia en Honduras (La Prensa), Mel Zelaya was not wearing pajamas (La Gringa’s Blogicito).