January 7, 2011

Guest Blog: The New Wikileak from Le Monde

US Ambassador Hugo Llorens
Photo: La Prensa, Honduras

The New Wikileak from Le Monde
—by Jorge Gallardo

According to the latest Wikileak released by the French daily "Le Monde", US Ambassador Llorens reports that 10 days before the ouster of President Manuel Zelaya, the High Command of the Honduran Armed Forces faced a dilemma. Let's give it its proper name: They faced a MORAL dilemma: Whether to blindly follow a rogue leader giving illegal orders or whether to follow their conscience, uphold the rule of law and protect the Constitution and the democratic institutions that conform it, that was the question.

Certainly, this is not a new dilemma. The German High Command faced a similar dilemma in Nazi Germany. They made the wrong choice and paid dearly with capital punishments and life imprisonments, when the Nuremburg Trials determined that they should have followed their conscience. Also, we cannot neglect the high price that the German people paid for this folly.

It is clear from Mr. Llorens's cable that he expected them to follow HIS lead: "They will not do anything without the support of the American Administration," he states. Indifferent to the consequences of Zelaya's actions to the Honduran people, Mr. Llorens naively believed that despite Zelaya's disruption of Honduran democracy in a Chavez style coup, he could still be drawn into the American's sphere of influence. "The fact that Zelaya obeys his personality rather than ideology means he can be manipulated by those seeking to establish a regime similar to [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez, but it can also be manipulated by us."

Despite Mr. Llorens' understanding that Zelaya's "erratic behavior" was creating a major constitutional confrontation due to his lack of respect for the separation of powers and his clear understanding that Zelaya was attempting to impose a Chavez style 21st Century Socialism model, Mr. Llorens continued to participate in Zelaya's calls for an unconstitutional and illegal assembly, believing that he could rally everyone else into "dialogues" that would peacefully allow the country to fall into a socialist state, but manipulated by the US. He shows no concern for the Honduran people who would have to endure 30 years of "erratic" rule by Zelaya, the Caudillo, who had shown little concern "to address the problems of Honduras (poverty, corruption and crime)."

Thus, his surprise and frustration are understandable, when instead of following blindly into the Chavez trap or following blindly the American Administration's lead, the Honduran High Military Command, the Honduran Supreme Court and the Honduran democratically-elected Congress followed their own conscience and defended democracy in Honduras. "They conspired," Mr. Llorens later wrote. Without any support, they knew that they would face incredibly difficult hardships, but felt it was their duty to protect the rule of law and that their conscience would be clean when they acted according to its dictates.

Conscience, what a bugger it is!

Perhaps the rest of the world doesn't understand, but to the majority of Hondurans these "coup" leaders are unsung heroes that time and history will honor.


Jorge Gallardo Rius is a Honduran citizen who was born in La Ceiba and currently lives in Tegucigalpa. He studied in Louisiana, Houston, and Romania and is currently an Information Systems Analyst. Jorge's mother was a US citizen so he grew up speaking both languages at home. For a time, he wrote a weekly column on Education and Technology for an English-language weekly newspaper. He offers English/Spanish and Spanish/English translations. Sr. Gallardo can be contacted at jgallardo515 at yahoo.com and we welcome your comments here as well.
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