How to put Zelaya in the Backburner?
As a year has passed since the deposition of former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, a balance has to be done on what he represents for Honduras.
So far, onlyÂ changes have been associated to his name, still, he has been mildly involvedÂ in what has been doneÂ to shape Honduran foreign policy, since many countries are asking for his full “amnesty” and who knows what else as conditions to “accept” tiny Honduras into the “Concert of Nations”.
Berta Lucia Isaza from El Colombiano got it right when she quotes German BriceÃ±o: http://www.ecbloguer.com/globalnewsroom/?p=8159
Meanwhile, Honduran political analyst GermÃ¡n BriceÃ±o said â€œwounds still havenâ€™t healed, we see a people divided with the majority wanting to pull throughâ€. â€œThe crisis scared away investors , which has paralized the country and forced unemployment rates to riseâ€.
For the Record, German BriceÃ±o is the political editor to El Heraldo newspaper.
On http://blog.heritage.org/2010/06/28/the-day-chavez-stubbed-his-toe-in-honduras/ Ray Walser wrote a very good paragraph:
For the Obama Administration, prone to wear ideological blinders when dealing with troubling issues abroad, June 28 is a reminder that silence and running with the Leftist, anti-American crowd will neither advance durable democracy nor protect key interests.
Does anyone believe it was sheer coincidence that Obama choose June/28 to accept the new Honduran Ambassador to Washington?
As conflicting as Tropical dictators come, Zelaya has spoken both in favor of the US and now, of their “participation” in the “coup” against him.Â Â But the question of his relevance or irrelevance still lingers. On June 28, 2010, a year after his deposition, very few people marched, both in favor or against Zelaya. His figure is in shadows at this current moment, butÂ the press still devote him time, heÂ holdÂ enough swayÂ as to get Â interviews at CNN and Telesur. And several sources have been leaking over the past days that Ambassador Hugo Llorens has been putting some pressure on Honduran Government Officials to offer a “De Facto” full amnesty to Zelaya.Â Â We live in the rarest ofÂ times, either Hugo Llorens work for Hugo Chavez, or Hugo Llorens work for Obama and Obama works for Chavez, who knows, but, by the appearence of it, he has been the most vocal supporter of Zelaya, even after Zelaya has accused SOUTHCOM of being behind his supposed coup, after Zelaya gave that declarations, Hugo Chavez er Llorens, could only muster a timid press release, calling Zelaya’s flippant comments, “ABSURD“. Bad pays the devil to those who serve him well.Â Â Hugo Llorens should have at least bitch-slapped the bastard, not absurd him into death.
Honduran Policy has been affectedÂ because ofÂ Zelaya, because the current government has made him his cause celebre, not because an inherent quality of the former president, but now, President Porfirio Lobo must concentrate on delivering his campaigns promises, even if he lied flat out and broke that promises with his first “paquetazo“. He should avoid the Zelaya problem as a whole, stop speaking about him and concentrate on the issues that matter most to Hondurans.
So, let’s do the same, turn the page and look forward.
Let’s first outline some good qualities Honduras has to move forward and forget about who shall not be named. The Heritage Foundation develop an annual research called the Index of Economic Freedom, where several “freedom of” variables are taken into account.
Because the overall picture is doomy and gloomy, let’s take a look at those variables for which we are down under first:
Property Rights (30%): Approximately 80 percent of the privately held land in the country is untitled. WOW
Freedom From Corruption (26%): Corruption is perceived as pervasive. Honduras ranks 126th out of 179 countries on the Transparency Index.
Labor Freedom (31.6%): Labor regulations are burdensome. The non-salary cost of employing a worker can be low, but dismissing an employee is costly. Regulations on work hours are not flexible.
Now the good ones:
Business Freedom (63%): The overall freedom to conduct a business remains limited by Hondurasâ€™s regulatory environment. Starting a business takes slightly more than half the world average of 35 days. The entry cost of launching a business is high, and closing a business is relatively costly. Nope, we are just near average, not good enough
Trade Freedom (83.7%): Ten points were deducted from Hondurasâ€™s trade freedom score to account for non-tariff barriers. Seems like those pesky burocrats reduced our chances of our first near 100% qualification, we shall work on them.
Fiscal Freedom (84.7%): Honduras has moderate tax rates. The top income and corporate tax rates are 25 percent.Â The poor writer obviously lives in a country with higher taxes than Honduras, i shall write him and explainÂ carefully that 25% is a high tax rate, maybe he didn’t look at how unsustainable our budget is at the current tax rate, they are bind to goÂ just one way,Â UP, UP, UP.
Monetary Freedom (70.2%): The government regulates the prices of petroleum products, steel, pharmaceuticals, and services from state-owned utilities and can impose price controls on other goods and services as desired. Ten points were deducted from Hondurasâ€™s monetary freedom score to adjust for measures that distort domestic prices. Dang, those pesky government controlled prices, but maybe the author doesn’t know that monopolistic abiding laws make this the only for of control, they should liberalize those markets and allow more competition to keep prices low.
So, what many Honduras ask ourselves, why we got a Plan of Nacion so complicated, that nobody can remember its objectives.
These are the 22 Objectives, check them
1.1: To erradicate extreme poverty.
1.2: To reduce at less that 15% the number of homes in poverty
1.3: Increase mean scolarity to 9 years
1.4: To reach 90% health coverage at all system levels
1.5: A universal pension plan for 90% of waged workers and 50% of independent workers
2.1: Seven democratical elections continuous and transparent since 2009
2.2: To reduce crime levels under the international means
2.3: To reduce Social Conflict index under 6.
2.4: To reduce at 5% the current index of illegal land owning
2.5 Improve border protection to disuade external factors and increase internal confidence
3.1: To reduce unemployment levels at 2% and under-employment at 5% of the population
3.2: Increase Exports as a component of GDP to a rate of 75%
3.3: Increase the production of renewable energy to 80% of the whole system
3.4: To reachÂ 400,000Â Ha of developed, irrigated land, and to be able to coverÂ 100% domestic food supply
3.5: Increase the hidro capacity and water resource usage up to 25
3.6: To reach 1,000,000 Ha of forestry lands completely restored with his potential being sold in the Carbon Bonds Market
3.7: To take the Climatic Risk Index to a level above 50
4.1: Improve Global Competitive Index for Honduras to position 50
4.2: To have reach a decentralization of public investment of 40% being done directly by the municipalities.
4.3: To have a 90% of civil servants under an stable civil service regime that awards competition, capability and performance.
4.4: Develop electronic means to provide service to citizen on all and each State Institutions.
4.5 Take Honduras at the 90th or 100th percentile of the Corruptibility Index of the World Bank
As for now, we got 22 Z Objectives, the President should start working on them, and soon.
A friend has a simpler Objective for Honduras, Let’s get Honduras in 40 years to a spot among the 40 most developed nations on Earth.