Every now and then I like to dip into Honduran politics, probably the dirtiest of the sort, and that’s saying something, especially looking at Latin American politics as a whole. My last piece, JOH, you can read here.
In the last week or so, the Congress has been voting on their representatives. As ever, it has turned into a mess with people being probably rightly accused of selling their votes which has left the Congress with a kind of disproportionate amount of Nacionalistas and Liberales, (the Honduran establishment in not so many words) and not a soul from PAC (Partido Anti-Corrupcion headed by sports journalist Salvador Nasralla, a Honduran mix between Graham Norton and Mark Lawrenson) and Libre (who some say won the last presidential election but many votes were left unaccounted – that is what Libre claim, and I am not saying this is true), while the victorious President Juan Orlando Hernandez allegedly used IHSS funds (the Honduran equivalent of the NHS) to fund his election campaign. Whether this has been paid back yet, I don’t know, but it did cause Juan Orlando to crap himself every Friday afternoon/evening when hundreds of thousands of people turned out in the marches, and came knocking at his door. It also left millions of poor Hondurans who rely on the IHSS without treatment, many of whom died, like my former Dowal School colleague, Julio Cesar Anariba.
If I had that blood on my hands, I would have resigned. But no, the undoubtedly smart President Juan Orlando is letting the world know how shamelessly powerful and as “hard as nails” he is, and making Maggie Thatcher look more like a piñata than the Iron Lady. He simply doesn’t care enough. Yet the gringos (Democrats, too) back him.
Some people say that he has doing a good job since. I just don’t know. He shouldn’t be still standing anyway. He should be held accountable. He’s made it so he isn’t. Smells very dictator’ish to me, but it also smells very similar to other so called “honest politicians” around the world. Maybe that’s just what democracy is now. As the saying goes, “shit and cream always floats to the top” – except this lot are more the former than the latter.
For more accurate information, I would like to point you in the direction of this New York Times article. It’s painful reading for Nacionalistas, and even more so for Juan Orlando himself.
Hardcore Nacionalistas probably accuse me of bias by not launching scathing attacks on other party politicians. Honestly, I am not. I think they’re all a farce. I hate impunity to corruption, which has ravaged this country, and filters through society. Unfortunately, it seems more connected to Nacionalistas than any other party right now (Mel Zelaya wasn’t any better, I know). Some people have tried to nudge me in the direction of a certain party, and I end up laughing because they seem so blinded by the usually red or blue colour that represent their party. As far I care, they stand for power, not people. They would choose a bank over a person any day of the week. It’s like having a favourite clown at a circus: they smile and frown, fake emotions, have nasty tricks up their sleeves, some of which they share, some of which they don’t, they squirt you with water, run off and then at some stage fall over and everyone laughs and points their fingers. Does anything happen after? No. They then load themselves into a cannon and blast themselves off, in Honduras’s case Miami, with a bank full of public funds. I don’t want to cause a revolution, but we should go one step further and blast them off, along with a few narcos (politicians and narcos; not the first time those two words have been used in the same sentence in Latin America), maybe include David Cameron and his cronies as well, to a desert island. Leave them nothing but a tube of Pringles and watch how the dogs try to con each other out. Great TV. In the meantime, Hondurans can start all over again with Pam’s dog Miller, a French poodle, as head of the state. He’s a nipper but he will cause less havoc than there is now.