Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Why change your defense when it is working so well?

Tonight, the AP reports that Porfirio Lobo Sosa has made his decision about the leadership of the Armed Forces.

And surprise! he is keeping the 2009 team that was so successful in committing the coup d'etat, and then serving the de facto regime.

As Col. Ramiro Archaga told the press after a three hour meeting with Lobo Sosa,
The president told us he is no hurry to make changes to the military leadership, that he will do that when he thinks it's convenient...That means there will be no changes for now.

Coverage by the pro-coup La Prensa is more colorful than the AP story. It quotes the Armed Forces spokesman as saying Lobo Sosa met over lunch with the high command and Defense Minister
to reiterate to the Armed Forces his backing in the programs to combat criminality and in assistance to the communities of the country, principally those affected by the drought.

Lobo Sosa is quoted as asking that the Armed Forces "get close to the people". To help in that task, the Armed Forces are reportedly going to be given part of the goods seized from drug traffickers and other members of organized crime.

Not that Lobo Sosa's announcement was a ringing endorsement of General Vasquez Velasquez personally. Having previously given murky statements to the effect that there was precedent for removing a chief of the command, what Lobo Sosa is said to have indicated is
for the moment [Vasquez Velasquez] continues being the chief of the High Command... until the President names the substitute that he feels is convenient.

General Romeo, the spokesperson pointed out, was originally named to serve through the end of this year. So apparently he will have time to pack his things. And meanwhile, he and his comrades in arms are satisfied, they say, that Lobo Sosa is in the "best position to aid the Armed Forces so that [they] can move ahead".

And in case the message is not clear, recall that Lobo Sosa continues to have Adolfo Sevilla, appointed by Roberto Micheletti, as his Defense Minister. This has its awkward moments: the government of Spain, for example, refuses to let anyone who served in the coup regime government enter the country, explicitly including Sevilla, who bears direct responsibility for the actions of the Armed Forces in repressing dissent after the coup d'etat.

But Lobo Sosa can count on the same fine team that helped implement the defense policies of the Micheletti regime. And why would he not want that?

1 comment:

Tambopaxi said...

This is a mistake. These people should be changed; Honduras needs to move on.

On minor but separate point, I note that the Army is helping communities on drought-related activities, whatever they may be. I always felt that the Honduran Army should be dedicated to social work (e.g., protecting the national forests, etc.) since they didn't serve any other real purpose except to perpetuate themselves. Maybe they're making themselves useful here...