August 8, 2009

14 differences by Ramón Villeda Bermúdez

Translated from the original in Spanish at La Tribuna

Fourteen differences

For those who have preconceived ideas of what is − and what is not − a coup d'etat, and are not ready to make a thoughtful effort, it will be difficult to change their mindset. And it will be more difficult or impossible to achieve in those who, rather than to come to true conclusions, are interested in defending or attacking what happened in Honduras in the days surrounding June 28, 2009. Prejudices are as difficult to remove as tattoos. However, people who have 'no candle at the funeral' may feel obliged to discern and experience the satisfaction of finding the truth.

For some people, what happened on the last Sunday in June was a coup d'etat, but for others − who are the majority − it was not, and this responsible approach begins to gather strength within and outside our borders. Already there are more responsible and prudent statements in the world, after receiving more information. In many countries of Europe and America, for example, they are proceeding with more care.

New definitions are used when speaking of Honduras, and, even those who started talking about a coup d'etat have agreed that in the suspension of the president of the Republic that we had, there are over fourteen significant facts that mark a big difference from the traditional coup d'etat. These differences are noted as follows:

1. The military did not seize power in Honduras, they do not hold any office of government, except those which by law always have been assigned by the Constitution of the Republic.

2. All laws continue to apply. The country is not ruled by decree, as happens in coups d'état. Administrative procedures are more efficient, as evidenced by the approval of the budget of the Republic, which was deliberately tabled for nine months.

3. The three branches of government act with complete independence and without any subordination, as ordered by the Constitution of the Republic. Decisions are made in accordance with the laws.

4. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal has not changed or suspended the convening of the general elections to be held next November 29, so that the people at the polls will decide who will be the authorities for the next four years, beginning with President of the Republic and those designated [in the primary elections] to this office, the congressmen of all the states to the National Congress, and the mayors and aldermen of all municipalities in the country.

5. The next president of the Republic will take office on January 27, 2010, and in accordance with our Electoral Law, congressmen and mayors will take office just a few days before.

6. The Supreme Court and the courts continue to function normally, with responsibility and independence, despite the pressures from abroad.

7. The National Congress of Honduras holds its sessions regularly; the congressmen submit bills using the right of initiative; the laws are known, discussed, approved, and published as set out in the parliamentary procedures and the laws existing for many decades.

8. The Comptroller organisms of the State comply with their duties without interruption and without reprehensible interventions, adhering to the law.

9. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal is preparing, in accordance with existing procedures, the next general elections, not allowing the foreign "recommendations" to contaminate the popular consultation.

10. Human rights of all people and peaceful demonstrations have been respected. There even has been plenty of patience with individuals who provoke disorder and come to lead criminal acts with appalling effects, trying to produce casualties to use as a banner of struggle.

11. Order is maintained and has been surprisingly successful in reducing drug trafficking, with much greater success than during the past years.

12. The technicians continue in their positions, as well as employees who act within the law, and even the senior officials who have a democratic commitment to Honduras.

13. The curfew, which was needed initially to maintain order and safety and to prevent violence, has only been maintained in places, particularly in the border, where there could be conflict.

14. The right to free expression of thought is respected, although some individuals use it to confuse, lie, insult and defame.

Still with the number fourteen, are the sectors that support the actions of the current government. Nine are part of the organization of the State; to those are added the Bar Association, the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Commissioner of Human Rights, the four largest political parties, the Catholic and Protestant Churches, the Honduran Council of Free Enterprise, the National Association of Manufacturers, and numerous organizations of civil society.

How is it possible, then, that the ideological contamination moves its pawns to isolate our country and does not disclose the fourteen differences that exist between a coup d'etat and what happened in Honduras?

−Ramón Villeda Bermúdez

This translation is mine. If you use it, please give me credit and link to my blog.
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