Friday, October 09, 2009

Seeking truth

In Honduras, President Micheletti speaks to the OAS:

“First, I wish to express unending thanks for the good will that you are showing . . . but we must speak out about something: the truth. You do not know the whole truth and, at times it appears that you do not want to hear it. Why don’t we begin to investigate what happened before the 28th of June? We are being asked to reconsider certain things and we are willing, but I believe we have a right that the truth be heard. . . .
“I made a comment to some friends that we are not afraid of the United States, its State Department, of Brazil, of Mexico, but we are afraid of Mel Zelaya. Very afraid of his return. Because another thing I like to mention is how other countries point at small countries such as ours and say: corruption, corruption, corruption. . . . But now that we stop acts of corruption, we are singled out by you. Today we show the world what kind of government we had under Zelaya and you are angry at us.
“Today we have the evidence. This is not just talk. Where Mr. Zelaya was feeding his horses with government money, where he paid the man who kept it with the State’s funds; twenty-seven thousand lempiras per month for the keeper and 20 thousand for the horses’ feed. Jewels purchased with government money, charged to the treasury of the Republic. But no one wants to see any of that. I would like you to investigate what has happened with the Treasury of Honduras in the past three months since we have been in charge.
“We were accused and sentenced in the 20 minutes that the OAS meeting lasted, where it was presumed we had staged a coup d’état. Unfortunately, in this country, some people read our constitution and say it’s a monstrosity; but that monstrosity has kept order, quiet and peace in this country for 29 years under a democratic regime in which nobody had attempted to breach the constitutional order in our country by trying to set up a Constitutional convention.
“This is the way I am: I express myself in strong terms, but without the slightest desire to hurt your feelings. If I do, please, accept my apologies. What I have is the greatest desire that you understand that we, in Honduras, with that constitution, have tried to keep order, peace and tranquility. It took a group of citizens two years – myself included, because I was a member of the convention – to make it how it is, to protect it from an extraordinary man with foreign influences inside his head who tried to change it.
“We only want the truth to be known. I have said it before and I repeat it today . . . if I am an obstacle, I will step aside, but I demand that this man who has caused the worst disasters to the economy and the morale of the country to step aside, as well.
“. . . . There will be elections on November 29, unless we are invaded, that is the only way to stop them. Not because of a personal whim, but because they were already scheduled. Primary elections were held and candidates chosen in 2008 and they have been campaigning. I ask myself: If Zelaya had no intentions to stay in power [beyond his term of office] why didn’t he fund the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which is in charge of running elections in our country? They are not carried out by the President or the National Congress. It is the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which was elected one and a half years ago. Why hadn’t he given it one single penny to begin organizing the programs on the corresponding dates, as required by law? A week after we took office we provided the Tribunal with the necessary funds.
“This was the only country in the world where the government was being conducted without a budget. For the last nine months we had no budget and the current Minister of Finances tells us that there are 5.6 billion lempiras that no one knows where they went or how they were spent because there are no supporting documents.
“. . . . I did not fight for this job. I was President of the National Congress and am here by virtue of the rules of succession. I will never again be able to run for the Presidency of Honduras because the laws forbid it. But I entreat you from the bottom of my heart . . . not to leave our country without the possibility that the elections be recognized, without the possibility of an opening so you will understand that ours is a good country, a noble country, of people who want to move forward and who deserve a better future.
“Our Constitution may be the ugliest in the world, but it is anchored in the thinking of men and women who sought to sustain democracy. We would like any dialogue to be based on our Constitution, our statutes and the rule of law.”

from: Honduras President Roberto Micheletti blasted OAS in new round of crisis talks

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