I sense that President Juan Orlando Hernández has overplayed his hand and pushed his luck just too far. There’s all that underhanded stuff he did (like stacking the Supreme Court with his chosen lackeys) years back to stage it so that he could run for reelection. Trampling on the Constitution, that’s bad enough. But now, this? Rigging the election? Come on man, you can only push but so much before it all starts crumbling down.
I belong to a Facebook page called Política en Honduras, and, normally, the exchanges tend to be relatively balanced between those who identify more with the conservative National Party, the moderate independents, the progressive Liberal Party, and the socialist Libre Party. On the matter of the recent presidential election, however, I’ve noticed little, if any, balance.
The independents, progressives and socialists, and even some conservatives, have expressed everything from anger and outrage to disbelief and disappointment about what is believed or perceived to be electoral fraud orchestrated by Mr. Hernández. I have seen very few people even mildly come to the President’s defense. Where are you people? It’s like you’ve fallen off the face of the Earth. Is it fear? Confusion? Inarticulation, shame?
The FB group consists of nearly 63,000 members, so it may well be an accurate gauge of the mood of the Honduran people at this moment. If so, I don’t see how, despite his being declared the winner by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal and recognized as such by the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other important nations… I don’t see how Hernández is going to pull this one off.
There are simply too many Hondurans against Hernández. Many of them may not be enthusiastic about the aggrieved opposition candidate, Salvador Nasralla, but they know what they don’t like. They know theft when they see it.
Plus, I don’t view Mr. Nasralla as a guy who goes away when he feels he’s had something stolen from him and has the evidence to prove it. If anything, he seems like someone who gets revved up by this and gets pleasure from the challenge of setting things straight. This struggle is going to be long, messy, unpleasant, and perhaps even violent. But it is inevitable, probably necessary and, hopefully, good.