Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jose COBRA Benavides Runs For Congress!

As you know by now, Jose is running for Congress! I am as proud as I can be of him. Here is a little about the Presidential Candidate that he is running with.

Below is an interview done about Miguel Nolasco, the Presidential Candidate on the ticket with Jose. This was in the Honduras English Newspaper Honduras This Week.

Miguel Nolasco: A different kind of presidential candidate

Alvaro Morales Molina Honduras This Week

“In Honduras, the first kind of poverty is psychological; the second one is psychological and guess what? The third one is mental, too,” says Miguel Nolasco, deep-voiced, tall, with an abundant, bushy moustache. With a big smile and even bigger aspirations, he considers himself a novice politician and has decided to run for the next president of Honduras.

“Hello, this is Miguel Nolasco, and I want to be the next president of Honduras,” greets Nolasco’s phone callers. Nolasco, a former high-level government advisor for the strategic food reserve in the Natural Resources Ministry (SERNA), has a degree in economics and a master’s degree in economic planning.

A devout Christian, Nolasco once asked God if it was the time for him to become the offi­cial Partido Liberal Candidate for the upcoming elections (apparently, God said ‘yes’). Currently, the Partido Liberal is the party in power, headed by President Manuel Zelaya. At least nine other party members, both men and women, have the resources to face the long, exhaustive and expensive process of a presidential campaign.

Though party insiders think Nolasco, a political rookie, is crazy to consider a presidential run, he is hoping that the people of Honduras view him as the ‘non-candidate,’ who has operated outside traditional political circles. He sees the nation in desperate need of change, and thinks of himself as someone desperate people might listen to.

“Corruption, corruption corruption - that is what affects most Hondurans,” says Miguel as he sips a piping-hot cup of Honduran organic coffee. “I have decided to run for president to establish a fair government, based on institu­tionalism and citizen participation, focusing on the creation of incentives in industry, education and values,” continues Miguel.

According to his political move­ment, “Justicia Nuestra” (Our Justice), the president should be in office to carry out the people’s mandate, to serve the people, not simply to bark out orders. Nolasco proposes a return to ‘good, old-fashioned values.’ “One of my country’s main weaknesses is a lack of justice,” he admits sadly and adds that a delicate balance exists between duties and rights. He believes Hondurans should never rely on its government to make things right. The people share a responsibility to make Honduras a better country.

When asked about what made him consider the huge undertaking of running for president, Miguel answers enthusiastically, “We all have the right to participate” and adds “we all should be part of the State.” He urges better transpar­ency within the government, so that those who are corrupt will either get caught or think twice before engaging in suspect behavior.

His web page ( further details his platform, which is based upon four basic cornerstones: 1) family, which he considers the future and base of a nation. According to Nolasco, development comes from the family structure and the ideal government should provide the family with employment, education, recreation, health and a decent retirement; 2) respect for the laws, establishing and responding to a legal system with which Hondurans can feel safe and secure; 3) “Real Participative Democracy,” or an open-frame of participation where the person is more important than money and 4) a legal restriction on public employees using government funds for their own political campaigns. Incidentally, Nolasco himself resigned from his governmental position to start his campaign.

Miguel is not new to politics as he was elected as Congressman in 1985 and then as a Conventional on property for the city of Tegucigalpa, in the company of Carlos Roberto Reina and Carlos Flores, both former presidents. Miguel saw that as yet another sign for him to consider a candidacy.

“At this historic time, Honduras needs capable leadership,” he affirms and says, “I believe I have the training, skills and courage to take the risks a president must take.”

Miguel is 50, but looks younger. During the course of this interview many people come up and greet him; he kindly offers a sincere smile and returns the greeting. He certainly looks and acts the part of a charismatic candidate, though he readily admits he is at both a mate­rial and logistical disadvantage to other candidates. He cites the fact that he does not have access to a helicopter makes it difficult to keep up with other candidates who easily cover major geographical ground with one. Nor does he own a tele­vision channel, a valuable tool in reaching a large demographic. He faces these disadvantages with enthusiasm and optimism.
“We have the potential, capability and strength, it’s our time, time for a new kind of politician,” he confidently asserts. “I see more opportunities than challenges,” and he recalls John F. Kennedy’s infa­mous words: “Ask not what you’re country can do for you, ask yourself what you can do for your country.” Nolasco firmly believes Hondurans need to stop seeing their government as some sort of paternal figure.

He sees his role as president as a servant to the people. As he finishes his coffee, Miguel Nolasco, with a strong handshake and a smile, gives his best blessings and leaves the cafeteria in an old Toyota Four Runner, the vehicle he hopes will take him down the difficult road to becoming the next president of Honduras.

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