Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"They ask for the constituyente": Lobo Sosa

Porfirio Lobo Sosa, interviewed at length in Proceso Digital, manages to combine exasperation with the resistance-- which reports having obtained half a million signatures in favor of the constitutional assembly-- with a somewhat misleading appearance of reasonableness that echoes ironically with the history of June 28, 2009:
"OK! what has to be done is consult the people, and if the people are in accord, the constituyente will be convened..."

Pardon those of us who have not lost our short-term memory for wondering why this would be OK now, when it cost José Manuel Zelaya Rosales his position and his country?

Here's a translation of the (long) passage on this topic; notice that I am translating "consulta" simply as "consultation", even though it is one of the series of words that former president Zelaya used for the vote he proposed on June 28, 2009, and thus could have been translated as "poll". What is shaded in this passage, with its evasion of power ("I cannot impose anything"), is the responsibility that a leader of the nation should have in bringing about change demanded by the people. It is not clear exactly who would be consulted, and how, if the unnamed others made a consulta happen without Lobo Sosa "imposing" it.
"They say 'constituyente' to me, OK, What's the problem? Today I see that it is a theme that interests many, I hear the resistance that is with the constituyente, I hear the businessmen that also shout constituyente. OK! What has to be done is consult the people, and if the people are in accord, the constituyente will be convened, the representatives to the constitutional assembly will be elected and it has to be in an atmosphere that would permit the will of the people to be reflected", said Lobo.

"What I am not able to do is from here, from this Casa de Gobierno, to impose anything. I am for consultation, it fascinates me, what the people might decide, what I cannot do is impose criteria. And so, on this theme of refounding, I am going to say, there are things that are clear: the State itself that ordains and rules in all economic activity and political-social activity, as has been seen is not a system that functions", he added.

In 1989-- Lobo continued-- the Berlin wall fell, in 1991 the Soviet Union fell, or that is, statism as a system is losing, and on the other side, pure or savage capitalism as we might call it, says that the market regulates itself, but it also has shown that it cannot give a response; so, pardon me but there only remains one road, which is the one that God has marked out, that is the fact that there should be an economy in which he who invests will have a guarantee of his investment, but that he should understand that he has to have social responsibility, or that is, that which today we denominate a social market economy, which takes advantage of the real efficiency of the market to generate wealth and development, but with social justice. There has to be economic growth, but there has to be seen on the part of the investors in it an understanding, certainly, that we all want to be rich.

If the businessmen speak of the Constituyente, does that signify that the country is on the route toward that process? I ask this as the Honduran president, who does not wish to refer to periods of time, but was emphatic to point out that 'I am going to speak with the sectors to see what it is that they want; as they wish, from here we are not going to impose anything. But if a consultation is done, the people have to decide Yes or No; if the people decide Yes, well the date in which it is going to be convened will have to be decided and then how the representatives to the constituyente are going to be elected will have to be said...'here is the route', pointed out.

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