<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Open Letter from President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales in Relation to the Jewish Community in Honduras

“I reject all anti-Semitic postures and attacks and I urge all Hondurans do the same”


By Manuel Zelaya
Constitutional President of the Republic of Honduras

October 5, 2009

With respect to some distortions of information, put out by some communications media, referring to my position as President with respect to the Jewish community, I communicate the following:

It would be worthwhile to consult the Government Secretaries of my cabinet about the accusations that I have anti-Semitic positions. When the Honduran people elected me President, I received criticism from some anti-Semites, because I named, among other religions, some very talented and qualified Hondurans who practice Judaism, as members of the Government Cabinet.

I named as Government Secretary in the Offices of the Presidency, the one who would be my right hand in the government, Yani Benjamin Rosenthal; who gave me strong support in managing the Economic sector, this close collaborator invited me to the Bat Mitzvah ceremony of his daughter. I also named Mr. Leo Starkman as Minister of Foreign Investment and on another occasion, Minister of Energy. I also named Engineer Moises Starkman as Minister in charge of Bio-Fuels. He reminded me on one occasion of the suffering of the Jewish people in the Nazi concentration camps. This close collaborator also informed me of the significance of the expression Shabat Shalom, a greeting used by Jews to honor their sacred day of the week. Also in my government I named Mr. Jacobo Regalado Weitzembluth General Manager of the telecommunications company.

I believe that we should give respect to people who practice religions different from our own. I as a Catholic Christian receive much inspiration for the work that I have as President from the doctrines of the religion that I practice. I profoundly respect people who practice other religions; not only Jews but also evangelicals. It is worth mentioning that the Muslim sacred month of Ramadan has just concluded and Jewish people just finished celebrating the most sacred day of their faith, Yom Kippur. We are all equally Hondurans.

In society many people make the mistake, including some of my opponents and some who support me, of falling victim to anti-Semitism. I reject all anti-Semitic postures and attacks and I urge all Hondurans do the same. Jews, Arabs, Asians, Indigenous People, Garifunas, Afro-Hondurans, and Miskitos, all are Hondurans who have helped to build this nation, and if turns out as hoped, will continue to forever.

Honduras is divided along political lines, but never will we be divided on the issue of freedom of religion. We are all Hondurans and our country is only able to exist with the equal participation of all.

As a human being and as President, I make a call to all Hondurans to abstain from making anti-Semitic comments or any other type of statement that implies discrimination. Today, when obtaining my peaceful return for the Restitution of Democracy Against the Coup d’état, I make a call for dialogue to all sectors. The Honduran People have the support of the international community until we are able to restore democracy.

September 29, 2009

José Manuel Zelaya Rosales

Constitutional President of the Republic of Honduras

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America