On December 2, I wrote about 1,000 Honduran teachers not being paid. At that time, the Minister of Education said that they "would be ready to pay" on Tuesday, December 5. They may have been ready, but they didn't pay the teachers on Tuesday, or the next Tuesday, and still haven't to date.
This is what the Minister of Education (long time politician who has run for president several times) had to say. Translated from a December 16, 2006, La Prensa, Honduras, article:
The minister Rafael Pineda Ponce told the teachers who complain about the late payment of salaries to ask for loans to pay for their Christmas season expenses.My mouth fell open reading the blatant arrogance of this politician. My very first thought was of Marie Antoinette saying "Let them eat cake." Let's hope this man gets his head cut off, too!
He gave this advice after asking the educators for understanding and patience. He said the teachers are going to jail for debts they had incurred prior to the late salary payments.
"When there is no money in the pocket and one has good character, he gets a loan. The tamales bought in this manner have the same flavor as those acquired when one has money," expressed this minister who aspires to be President of the Republic.
Leaders of the teacher groups have denounced that some 1,000 teachers have not received payment of their salaries for several months, a product of deficiencies in the Education Department and its Human Resources Division.
"The interest that they would pay on a loan are details, but those who feel that they can't pay interest shouldn't get a loan. When one doesn't have anything to eat, he drinks water," said Pineda Ponce.
The phrases pronounced by the minister fell like a bucket of cold water on the educators.
By the way, look at his picture and then look at the caricature of the corrupto in this cartoon. It's the same person, isn't it?!