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The Honduran Elections and the Zelaya Dilemma .pdf

The Honduran Elections and the Zelaya Dilemma .pdf

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National Elections and the Zelaya Dilemma in Honduras
National Elections and the Zelaya Dilemma in Honduras

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Published by: Jerry E. Brewer, Sr. on Oct 29, 2013
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06/25/2014

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Home|Columns|Media Watch|Reports|Links|About Us|Contact  Column 102813 Brewer Monday, October 28, 2013
National Elections and theZelaya Dilemma inHonduras
 
By Jerry Brewer
 
On November 24 of this year,Hondurans will go to the polls ingeneral elections to select a new president to replace outgoingPresident Porfirio Lobo Sosa. Thenew president will take office onJanuary 27, 2014 to serve a four year term.This election may be one of themost important presidentialelections in decades within thishemisphere.Honduras is suffering, and it has amurder rate nearly ten times abovethe world average. As well, thecivilian National Police agency isstruggling with a massiveundertaking as authorities attemptto clean and rid the ranks of abusive and corrupt officers. A possible major complication forthe healing process of theHonduran nation comes in the formof one man and his wife, the formerpresident of Honduras, JoséManuel Zelaya Rosales (61), and his wife Xiomara Castro de Zelaya (54).Xiomara Zelaya, who has neverheld elected office, is a presidential
 
candidate in this year's election.The controversial Manuel Zelayaserved as president from January 27, 2006 until June 28, 2009.Much of Manuel Zelaya's woes stemfrom his history - from what has been described as a centrist to one who morphed into a radical leftist.Elected as a conservative, Zelayashifted to the political left duringhis presidency, forging an alliance with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas( ALBA )led by the late President Hugo Chavez, of  Venezuela. ALBA was launched in2004 with two member states, Venezuela and Cuba.Zelaya was an ardent supporter of his mentor Hugo Chavez, whoprobably inflicted more lastingstructural damage on Venezuela'spolitical institutions, economy andpeople than any other president inthe history of Venezuela. Too,Zelaya embraced Chavez's closeleftist alliances with Bolivia'sPresident Evo Morales, Ecuador'sPresident Rafael Correa, andNicaragua's President DanielOrtega.Manuel Zelaya was removed fromoffice on June 28, 2009. Zelaya,strongly supported by Chavez, hadplanned a referendum to changethe Honduran Constitution, anaction that capped months of tensions over Zelaya's efforts to liftpresidential term limits, a move viewed by many in Honduras asunconstitutional. Zelaya wasfollowing his mentor Chavez's lead,insofar as the latter, in winning a2009 Venezuelan referendum to
 
eliminate term limits, had paved his way to rule well into the 21stcentury.The Honduran Supreme Courtremoved Zelaya from office todefend the law against "those whohad publicly spoken out and actedagainst the Constitution'sprovisions." And then Zelaya wasquickly put on a plane to Costa Ricaand flown into exile.Chavez and leftist President DanielOrtega of Nicaragua were quick tocry foul. Ortega went so far as toposition troops on the Honduran border, while Chavez made hisusual threats of attack if any  Venezuelan or his embassy wereassaulted or harmed. Furthermore,Chavez claimed that "the coup had been orchestrated by the UnitedStates."The crisis eventually drew to a close with the inauguration of the newly elected president, Porfirio Lobo, onJanuary 27, 2010. And Zelayasubsequently went into exile in theDominican Republic.Hugo Chavez then rewarded Zelaya with a curious appointment in theDominican Republic. Zelaya wasnamed head of a "Political Council"of a Venezuelan energy consortium,Petrocaribe,which allowedCaribbean and Central Americannations to buy oil at a discount from Venezuela.On May 22, 2011 HonduranPresident Lobo met with Zelaya inCartagena, Colombia and signed anagreement that allowed Zelaya to

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