I’m going to talk about my definition of patriotism. Because it relates to how I feel about Honduras.
My definition of patriotism, is a love of a nation that is high enough that someone acknowledges when the government is wrong. It isn’t always easy to do, but it is an important task to be critical of the government when the party in power is actually actively committing injustices. This is important in Honduras, because of accusations of corruption by many different groups as it relates to the government in Honduras. And this may or may not relate to all parties, or to only a specific few depending on the exact case.
The PMOP is an excellent example of injustice committed by the National Party. Juan Orlando and his political schemes must be directly and vocally opposed. The opposition parties banded together enough to prevent the act which would have made the Policia Militar de Orden Publico a more or less permanent part of Honduran society, but Juan Orlando decided to persist in his shameless ambitions to strengthen the Executive Branch of the government, and decided to go to a plebiscite in order to get the Public to go over the heads of the Honduran government. But the reality is more insidious than his ambition. What Juan Orlando seeks is the power to enforce martial law, whenever and wherever he or his successor feels like, by creating a subtle addition to the PMOP law, he attached to the plebiscite. He wants to make it easier to commit Human Rights Abuses throughout Honduras, by getting the people to create a dictatorship of their own “choosing”. Only some have spoken out about this clearly unjust act, and it is time to mobilize more individuals to speak out against this disregard of justice and of the legal process by which a law is created.
The continued violence leveled at the Garifuna and the Lenca people for their land is another disregard of patriotism people chose to ignore. In Trujillo, a Canadian investor has stolen the land of the Afro-Indigenous people who lived there for the sake of tourism and more wealth in his pocket. In Intibuca the Lenca people face high levels of violence, and live in fear because they want to continue to live on their lands, and to maintain control of a region that has effectively been their’s for many generations. These two groups should not have to face violence, and threats, for wanting to have land to call their own. And Honduran politicians should not remain silent, they should be vocal and denounce these abuses of human rights and blatant disregard for actual progress, and for autonomy.
These are but two examples of everything wrong with a bland Honduran Patriotism wherein Hondurans and Honduran politicians claim to love their country but do not act in a manner which reflects a hopeful or informed attitude towards it. Honduran Patriotism (in my own mind) is best expressed when it is acted upon and causes individuals to inform themselves, and to participate in the system. Acts of violence within Honduras do affect Hondurans across the board. Acts of violence ordered by Juan Orlando (or ones in which he is silent) should infuriate true patriots. True patriots should be out there fighting for change. Demanding better treatment for Indigenous Hondurans. Demanding payments and apologies to victims of violence caused at the hands of the PMOP. It is time that true Honduran patriots rise up, and voice their anger, let it be known!