The following is an article that I drafted by hand back in early June one day when we didn't have electricity. I never posted it, having the feeling (at that time) that most people were not really interested in the political problems in Honduras. I recently ran across it again and decided that it is pertinent to the current situation.
Articles like this one below from La Prensa give me hope that Hondurans will stand up to government officials and will see through the propaganda and false promises.
Basically, President Mel Zelaya is pushing for the nomination of a constitutional committee to change to the constitution. Though he promotes this as somehow making the constitution "more democratic", he has not indicated any specifics about how the constitution should be changed or what this committee would propose to change or whether the citizens will have the opportunity to approve or reject any changes. There is much speculation that it is a ploy to allow Zeyala to remain in office beyond his term which ends in January 2009, a la his amigo Hugo Chávez of Venezuela.
President Zelaya proposes to get around the constitutional prohibition by providing la cuarta urna (the fourth ballot box) and making it a decision of the people rather than from him. He has been promoting this issue for months. Hundreds of millions of lempiras have been spent on campaigning and now his cabinet members are being employed to help in the push to convince the public.
All of this promotion is working. Some Hondurans are convinced that they are being consulted on the constitution when in fact all they are being asked to do is to write a blank check to give up the right to decide how it should be changed.
This article demonstrates that some people are not so easily fooled. Translated from the original La Prensa article.
Moncada Rixi leaves the south humiliated
There is general opposition for the fourth ballot box
29.05.09 Tegucigalpa, Honduras
The manager of the ENEE (government run electric company), Rixi Moncada left "electrocuted" in the south after receiving rejection by the general population of the survey to promote the adoption of the fourth ballot box.
The functionary complied with the presidential order to abandon her labors to convince the society to support the public poll which would ask the people if they want to convene a National Constitutional Assembly and to take a swipe at the constitution.
She arrive proud at Choluteca and left humiliated before the barrage of criticism she received, said the mayor of that city, Quentin Soriano.
According to the mayor, the people demanded to know why she was working on other things and not solving the problems faced by people in the north and south, "who are in darkness." (from lack of electricity)
According to Soriano, Moncada attacked the last three National Congress administrations because she assured that they had been enemies of democracy.
But the mayor showed Moncada that she has a glass house and can not speak against the Legislature because her husband was a congressman on three occasions and that it would make him responsible for the supposed reverse course in democracy. Then I asked her: "Your husband, Enrique Arias, was there 12 years in three terms?," and she (Rixi Moncada) did not know what to say.
The mayor confirmed that the government puts pressure on public employees to support the fourth ballot box.
Shortly after this article was printed, Mayor Soriano received notice that La ENEE was going to cut electricity to the municipality building.
At the time of the ouster of Mel Zelaya, Rixi Moncada was again in Choluteca. She fled the country but left behind some L.260,000 in cash and a couple of guns in her hotel room. Speculation was that the cash was to be used for payments for votes. What else could explain the head of the electric company camped out in a hotel room with that amount of cash on the morning of the election?
Afterward, it also came out that operating and international aid funds for Choluteca had been illegally withheld by Zelaya as retribution for Mayor Soriano's refusal to campaign for the cuarta urna. The same had been done to the mayors of Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, and many others.
Choluteca, though a small town, has impressed the country with their huge turnouts for the pro-democracy and anti-Chávez marches.
The Choluteca mayor has long and loudly complained about funds and government efforts being wasted on the cuarta urna when the priorities of the people, such as clean water and electricity have been ignored. In this video, from June 24 before Zelaya was ousted, Mayor Soriano and Mayor Arias of Copán Ruinas speak directly to Mel Zelaya about the fraudulent election plans, the lack of transparency about the cuarta urna, and many other things.
Congratulations to Mayor Quintín Soriano and the people of Choluteca.