Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the roger noriega interview (continued)

Part 2 of El Heraldo's very revealing recent interview with Roger Noriega (a former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States). Part 1 here.

EH: It's said, "there is no free lunch." How will Hugo Chavez get payback for the favor? 
RN: Yes. Well, I think the same as what the others who are part of the Chavez network have done. [Honduran President Porfirio Lobo] will have to sacrifice some sovereignty, he has to align his foreign policy with Chavez and his group of countries, this implies a decision, in some cases, to work against U.S. interests, which is Chavez's main enemy, [and] receive the Iranians and others who are part of the Chavez network. 

Highlighting something you just said: the presence of Iranians, is that going to happen in Honduras? 
I do not know, I'm telling you what has happened in other countries. 

Will we see Honduras taking positions against the United States? 
I think the best answer is to observe what happens in the coming years. 

What role can the political and military leadership take against Chavez's intentions for Honduras? 
You have to see what they will say, nobody has said anything, but they are probably considering their next steps, and how they will respond. If it is the will of Honduras to change policy in such a profound way, so be it, but if you follow the model of Chavez, what has happened in other countries is corruption, corruption of political institutions, and the destruction of democratic institutions. That is what happened in Venezuela, Bolivia, each day more and more in Ecuador, there are not much [independent democratic institutions left] in Nicaragua. It would be a shame, in my opinion, if Honduras continues on this path. 

The former U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Charles Ford, said Zelaya had some dubious connections. What do you think? 
I do not know what Ford was talking about and I do not I have more information about it. What I heard about the links between drug traffickers and Zelaya (and Zelaya's family and the drug traffickers), has been from my Honduran friends more than anything, rather than U.S. sources. 

Has Chavez requested that Lobo directly help entrench drug trafficking further into the country or is that something that will simply be a result of the pressure that Chavez is placing on Lobo? 
Not to Lobo, I have not heard that [Chavez] has requested something in terms of the presence of drug traffickers. I have heard of the efforts of Chavez directly with Zelaya for licensing Venezuelan airline pilots suspected of having links with drug trafficking. 

In the short term, what is the next step in Chavez's interference in Honduras plan? 
What we will see, in my opinion, is two important things:  one is the destruction of the balance, of the balance of powers, concentration of power in the hands of the President and all that. But if he does it in a transparent way President Lobo could have "the will" of the Honduran people, because the reality is that he (Chavez) uses money to organize the society to implement his plans. 

Does Chavez want to sponsor a presidential candidate? 
Probably yes, he'll probably want to sponsor the National Front for Popular Resistance as a formal actor in politics. 

If Chavez sponsors the front, will it be to support Zelaya? 
Not necessarily because according to our sources in Venezuela, they have lost faith in Zelaya. 

Is there reduced contact between Venezuela and Zelaya? 
Not necessarily, but they do not perceive Zelaya as a reliable man. 

Zelaya does not instill confidence in the Venezuelans? 
According to our sources there are some in the Venezuelan government who believe that they must seek another protagonist in Honduras, because they have the impression Zelaya is a clown, at least that is their impression. 

Zelaya knew of the intentions of Chavez to increase the strength of drug trafficking in Honduras? 
I will not draw conclusions, but when Chavez requested support in the case of the aviation licenses (licensing Venezuelan aviation aircraft personnel), Zelaya delivered, I do not know why, but Zelaya delivered.

Translated from and photo courtesy of El Heraldo.

I think any patriotic Honduran with two brain cells to rub together would agree with Mr. Noriega's alarming assessment of Chavez's intentions. I know that 95% of Hondurans do not want the economic destruction, social chaos, and democratic disruption that would occur if Chavez gets control of our country. If there is a time we Hondurans need strong allies to help us protect our democracy from this maniac, it's NOW. Please help spread the word.

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