The following interview was conducted by delegation member Rick Sterling outside a Tegucigalpa polling station on November 18, 2012. The photo shows the interviewee, a 79 year old retired accountant and Honduran patriot.
WHAT IS THE SITUATION IN HONDURAS?
There is a hope with the LIBRE Party. There is an awakening of the people because of how much they have suffered. Honduras is a country where there is almost no respect for human rights. It is a country where there is very little employment. Due to this lack of work a lot of young people resort to stealing, assaulting. Food is scarce and expensive. Our small farmers including those in the Aguan have no land of their own. They have to work on other people's lands and are paid very little. Others have nothing to do.
CAN YOU COMMENT ON THE PREVIOUS DECADES LEADING UP TO THIS POINT?
In 1963 we were governed by Dr Ramon Villeda Morales. He was in office for six years. At the end of his term he made an agreement with the armed forces, effectively resulting in a self-coup. Because of the agreement between Morales and the armed forces, the Liberal Party candidate Modesto Rodolpho Alvarado who was an intellectual and my teacher could not ascend to the presidency
And then there was Ramon Ernesto Cruz who was in power for just 14 months in 1972 before he was overthrown in a military coup. For most of two decades we had military governments. Since then the power has alternated between the Liberal and National Parties. But the people have been denied any real change or improvement.
WHAT ARE HOPES FOR PERIOD BETWEEN NOW AND THE ELECTION IN ONE YEAR?
The government of Pepe Lobo will continue and the economic and human rights situation in the country will continue in the same way as the past two and a half years. The hope is that things will change when the LIBRE Party comes to power in one year. In that case there will be a new constitution. Then there will be more consideration what the Honduran people really need: work, security, respect for life, respect for human rights. Then the children and youth will be able to study and get a good education.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF MODIFYING THE CONSTITUTION?
The country is held back because there are some constitutional articles which cannot be changed. We call
them "articles of stone". Anyone who tried to change these was branded a traitor and could even be imprisoned. With a new constitution, people who want to govern the country well can rise to power and begin to make real changes. That is our hope.