Honduras … Left behind?
I’ve speculated before on the role Christian Dominionists play in the Honduran (and Central American in general) reactionary politics. “The Family” or Washington “C Street” group — led by Dominionist pastor Doug Coe — has ties to reactionary figures in Central America, but BoRev.net hit on the first solid evidence of a tie between Dominionists and the Honduran coup leadership that I’ve seen.
Among the goals of Christian Dominionist theology is a state in which:
All religious organizations, congregations etc. other than strictly Fundamentalist Christianity would be suppressed. Nonconforming Evangelical, main line and liberal Christian religious institutions would no longer be allowed to hold services, organize, proselytize, etc. Society would revert to the laws and punishments of the Hebrew Scriptures. Any person who advocated or practiced other religious beliefs outside of their home would be tried for idolatry and executed. Blasphemy, adultery and homosexual behavior would be criminalized; those found guilty would also be executed.
BoRev.net found an on-line ad for “The Kingdom Government” conference in Miami, featuring General Romero Vasquez Valesquez (whose firing was the excuse for the military rousting of President Zelaya and “constitutional” replacement of the sitting president in Honduras) speaking at a workshop this Saturday. Leading to the question of how the General received a visa to enter the United States, and what the General’s connection is with “Prophet” Jaime Chavez.
I found a short clip of the “Profeta”, speaking about the Kingdom of God in Central America, and — in the accompaning explanatory text on the “youtube” posting — learning that the General was also at another “Kingdom Government” conference (this one in Paris) in 2008.
I keep wanting to spell “Prophet” as “Profit”… and maybe for good reason. Setting up the Kingdom Government costs money. Profeta Chavez’ group… MIGA Partners seeks “partners” willing to pony up a thousand to five thousand U.S. Dollars in return for which Profeta Chavez will bless your region, nation or economic zone… or something like that.
Outside the Kingdom are the Garifuna, the afro-indigenous people of Honduras. If you’ll remember, the “rationale” still being used to justify the coup was to prevent a referendum on a constitutional convention that might (not would) lead to a new consitution, that would probably have incorporated new trends in Latin American political theory that don’t bode well for the old power elite … who apparently, being already blessed on this earth, are the logical heirs to the Kingdom.
Although removing term limits (something adopted from the Mexican Consitutiton) has been the most talked about possible change a proposed new Honduran Constitution would have made, the changes proposed seemed to reflect the same trends seen in other recent Latin American constitutions.
The single presidential term came from the 1917 Mexican Constitution, which was the model for most Latin American consitutions. In Mexico, where the Madero Revolution of 1910 (which started off the wider social revolution) originally was a reaction against Porfirio Diaz’ continual re-elections to the Presidency, it has been criticized both on the right (as in Mario Vargas Llosa’s critique of the Mexican political system as a “perfect dictatorship”) and left. Rightist countries like Colombia, as well as left-wing governments like Venezuela have recently changed their constitutions to allow for re-election.
Mexico added an indigenous rights clause to its constitution in 1994, which is controversial in some respects, but the concept of enshrining communal rights in a Constitution is well established in Latin American legal theory.
As is, proportional representation in the Legislature, as a means to opening representation to traditionally under-served groups. In Mexico, proportional representation has been used mostly to maintain political parties rather than communities, but in theory opened the legislature to any group that could at least obtain a small number of votes. A few parties have tried (and have managed to obtain a voice in the Chamber) by openly appealing to under-served minorities. The parties themselves generally have internal rules regarding “affirmative action” for legistlative seats (requiring a percentage of candidates to be indigenous or female), but the concept — setting proportional seats for under-represented groups like minority language or ethnic groups — is also fairly well established in Latin American political thinking. Bolivia and Ecuador both have new constitutions that seek to open the system to under-represented groups.
But, then a Kingdom Government is not a democracy.