Fantasy Politics – Phase 2
Political Analysis in Honduras
It is only fair to start this post by paying my respects to O Ma R, my predecessor who put together the original Fantasy Politics in Honduras.com. His first article on this theme is still in Honduras.com and can be read at http://www.honduras.com/fantasy-politics-history-of-former-freely-elected-honduras-presidents-potential-wannabes-and-winner-prediction/. In any case, I would like to insist on the fact that the rules that O Ma R put down in writing then are still valid and will be in effect throughout our journey examining today’s politics and the main stakeholders and power brokers in Honduras.
Since my predecessor does a great job by giving a short profile on the elected presidents in Honduras since the return to democracy in 1980, I will leave his profile of the first 5 democratically elected presidents that he has listed in the above link, and continue with the profile of those in power after the term of Carlos Roberto Flores Facusse.
Ricardo Maduro. National party. My predecessor correctly predicted that he would become president of Honduras! Ricardo Maduro’s regime was specially distinguished by the following accomplishments: An effective war on organized crime that reduced kidnappings and the expansion of gangs in Honduras; the condoning of 75% of Honduras foreign debt thanks the credibility that his government had due to its financial handling of the economy. Never in modern times had Honduras managed to have as much credibility as during Ricardo Maduro’s regime. Ricardo Maduro is still an important and respected political leader in his party. It must also be stated that he was the first president in Honduras to truly make an effort to boost the tourism industry in the country. During his regime the lempira, the local currency stopped its traditional slide against the US Dollar.
Jose Manuel (Mel) Zelaya. Liberal Party. Son of a legendary Liberal Party leader who was tried and convicted for the murder of several workers at his hacienda in Los Horcones, Olancho, Zelaya was a shrewd leader who worked as the Minister of the FHIS under the Flores Facusse Regime, (Fondo Hondureño de Inversion Social) in English, Honduran Fund for Social Investment, a government ministry that does improvements in public schools, municipal or community water or sewage projects, and the like, aiming at improving the quality of life of the community members. Zelaya was elected on a liberal ticket with the support of the private enterprise, but soon in his term became enthralled with the idea of staying in power. (Remember that Honduras only has a 4 year term presidency with no options for re-election.) He soon turned his back on the United States, the traditional ally for Honduras and became friendly with Hugo Chavez from Venezuela, who instructed him on how to change a constitution to allow re-election. This attitude made him collide head on with Congress, the Supreme Court, the attorney General and the National Electoral Tribunal. The end result was his early ousting from the presidency 7 months before his term ended. He was substituted by Roberto Michelleti Bain, also of the Liberal Party, who was president of Congress at the time and also a contender for the presidency of Honduras. By having assumed the presidency, he disqualified himself from ever being elected president of Honduras.
Jose Porfirio (Pepe) Lobo Sosa. National Party. President Lobo assumed the presidency at times of great hardship for Honduras. The country had been ousted from the OAS, when he took office there were only a handful of countries that had diplomatic relations with Honduras and all of the multilateral financial institutions had pulled their support, which meant that Honduras had no access to credit. His cabinet was formed by including members from all of the political parties in Honduras, Including his own national party as well as from the Liberal Party and the three smaller emerging parties, the PINU, the Christian Democrats and the UD. His main achievement was to put Honduras back in the community of nations and having re-established diplomatic relations with all countries in the Americas except for Ecuador. He has also established relationships with all of the countries in Europe and other traditional allies of Honduras. His regime has been plagued with violence, unrest and strikes from the teacher and medical unions and the resumed devaluation of the Lempira, that had been stable since the Maduro regime.