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Xiomara Zelaya: Honduras Needs a Structural Vision and Social Pact

Of all the remarks made in all the speeches and interviews given by the presidential candidates in Honduras, perhaps none have zeroed in better on what -- broadly-speaking at least -- needs to be done for the country to begin digging its way out of its deep hole of massive poverty, extreme inequality, and widespread injustice than those recently made by Libre Party candidate Xiomara Castro de Zelaya.

Mrs. Zelaya said, "We have to change Honduras using a structural vision." She added, "The only path we have for there to be justice, freedom, peace, and solidarity in our country is byway of a social pact among all Hondurans." She's completely right. Unless there are fundamental, institutional changes in the way Honduras is structured, the country's problems will probably never be resolved and it is unlikely that the issues that divide the Honduran people will be thoughtfully, openly, and fairly debated.

While all the other candidates are talking about dealing with "symptomatic" problems and issues such as corruption, crime, and poverty, Mrs. Zelaya recognizes that the foundation on which Honduran society is built is rotten, and if you don't overhaul or replace it, it will continue to crumble until it finally collapses.

All the so-called solutions offered by the other candidates such as picking honest and intelligent people to run the government or posting a soldier at every street corner or fixing the tax collection system or spending more on social programs or creating "model cities" are really little more than window dressing, because they don't get to the heart of what ails Honduras -- severe inequality in power, wealth, education, and control over the natural resources of the country.

Mrs. Zelaya's answer for moving forward with her structural vision and social pact is the establishment of a National Constituent Assembly. The problem is that the mere mention of la Constituyente in-and-of-itself presents a problem because so many people in Honduras are still unclear how it would work and just how far it would go to change the status quo. Would the process of setting up a National Constituent Assembly be hijacked, manipulated, and end up replacing one corrupt elite class with another one... like in Nicaragua, in Venezuela, or in Cuba?

While somewhere between one-quarter to half of Hondurans feel la Constituyente is their only hope, the other one-quarter to half of Hondurans fear it either a little or a lot. Therein lies the dilemma for Mrs. Zelaya; a large portion of Hondurans (quite possibly a majority) simply do not trust her methodology or those who would be entrusted to carry it out.