First of all, an apology, I have not been doing my homework lately! Trying to figure out what is going on with politics in Honduras has been confusing lately, to say the least…
Today, May first, when most of the world celebrates labor day, it is also a holiday in Honduras, and President Lobo is making a couple of moves in his cabinet. With less than 9 months left in office, a change in the cabinet is quite unlikely. What can he expect to achieve in 9 months that he hasn’t been able to in over 3 years?
The move which was officially announced a couple of weeks ago calls for the minister of foreign affairs, Arturo Corrales to take over the ministry of Security. As a matter of fact, he is being given super powers and will also head the security and defense commission, which means that he is ultimately the defense Ministers boss. I bet Minister Marlon Pascua is thrilled about this! Not to be missed is the fact that the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mireya Aguero, is the wife of Corrales! This means that Corrales actually has control of 3 different cabinet positions! (You could of course include the Ministry of Employment, the Minister, Felicito Avila, is a militant of that party and was a contender in the last presidential elections when Lobo won by a large margin)
Corrales has always been a savvy politician. He has personally bankrolled the Christian Democratic Party of Honduras, and this has given him some personal clout to protect his personal interests and be a player in the government. He is widely known for his conciliatory abilities. As a business man, he owns the largest and most reliable polling firm in Honduras, Ingenieria Gerencial, which of course gives him access to what the people in Honduras think and what they like and dislike. This firm merges perfectly with another enterprise he owns, SEMEH who is in charge of reading the electricity power meters in every home in Honduras. This gives him the most complete demographic map in the country, allowing him to understand who has buying power and where they live.
Much doubt is in the air regarding the naming of Corrales, who is by the way the third Minister of Security during the Lobo regime. Many believe the ousting of chief of the national police, Juan Carlos “el Tigre” Bonilla is imminent, others expect a quick truce with the gangs that have been running parts of the larger cities under their own rules. Although each and every Honduran has his hopes up with this change in Ministry of Security, it is highly unlikely that anything significant will result with such little time left during the Lobo regime.
On the other hand, the National Party of Honduras has to do something to turn the general discontent of the Honduran people towards this political institution and insure that they can again be voted into office. There is no doubt that Lobo and Hernandez have something up their sleeve. Time will tell us if it works or not. In the meantime, there are less than 7 months for the elections to take place, so we can expect any kind of political maneuver and populist speeches. Are you ready?
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