The danger of “Twentieth Century Socialism” threatened Honduras in 2006, when José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, a close friend of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, became President. Now, that same threat has returned in force in the form of the newest candidate from the left: Salvador Nasralla.
After political disputes with his Anti-Corruption Party, Nasralla opted to join the so-called Alianza de Oposición, formed by leftist organizations that want to dethrone the National Party, which intends to remain in power for a third consecutive term and re-elect current President Juan Orlando Hernández.
Nasralla, a TV broadcaster of Lebanese origin who had no political experience until 2011, has joined the socialist movement under the leadership of Zelaya Rosales. In May of this year, Nasralla created international controversy with comments about the massive protests in Venezuela, calling them an “invention of the media.”
“The media around the world tries to plant false ideas in people’s minds about Nicolás Maduro being an ogre,” he said.
Nasralla’s “political godfather,” Zelaya Rosales, wasted more than US $2.4 billion during his adminsitration between 2006 and 2009 — amassing a national debt that his predecessor Ricardo Maduro Joest managed to eliminate. The internal debt tripled during Rosales’ presidency.
Nasralla said that, if he comes to power, he will once again implement the policy of popular bonds that Zelaya used at the time: “The people who need the 10 thousand bonus and the people who need the solidarity fund will continue to get it,” he said.
Meanwhile, former US diplomat Otto Reich said that during the last two months, 145 delegates from the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela have become involved in the campaign.
Retired General Romeo Vásquez Velasquez, who was Chief of the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces during the Zelaya administration, said that these people are in Honduran territory to “advise” the Opposition Alliance and install a dictatorship “like that of Venezuela” in Honduras.
Nasralla said he did not know anything about the subject and suggested to the media that they consult Zelaya Rosales himself.
President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez has spoken out against Venezuelan presence as well as the representatives of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution from Mexico who have said that they have “consulted” candidates without presenting the proper contracts and documentation.
“It is regrettable that from Caracas, in the name of the failed project “Socialism of the 21st Century,” the will of the Honduran people is being twisted after having overcome many obstacles, especially after having overcome the unconstitutional intent of then-President Manuel Zelaya to remain in power perpetually in 2009. (Honduras) should build its destiny in freedom and democracy,” the Arcadia Foundation said of the topic.
The Arcadia Foundation also said it has gone to the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) to denounce Venezuelan interference in the internal affairs of Honduras, which could affect its upcoming election as well as the stability of the entire region.
Honduras will go to the polls next Sunday, November 26. The polls and forecasts do not favor a victory for Nasralla, meaning that Honduras will most likely say “no” for a third time to Twentieth Century Socialism.