The Daily Bell (http://www.thedailybell.com) included a mention of remarks by the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, at the top of their list of signs of moves toward more legalization of cannabis worldwide. His remarks were more along the lines of condemnation of the drug wars demanded by Washington and the very curious way the US was denying them some of that air-borne technology to run down the “bad guys”.
I commented there, as follows:
I am so glad you led this off with the remarks from Juan Orlando Hernandez, who also in Spanish-language interviews has complained that although the US pressures Central American countries to fight the illegal drug trade, it refused his requests to actually help with some of their air cover.
Consider that for awhile. The US refusing to help them effectively stop the drug traffickers. And he is saying this loudly. While saying it is a States problem because of the massive demand.
From what my (Honduran) wife tells me, his administration is doing in Honduras itself looks like a gigantic effort to stamp out violent crime as best as possible. Since he has taken office he has arrested scores, maybe hundreds of policemen, at least 35 mayors (and he says he is still investigating the rest of them). He arrested the niece of former president Callejas, who is still influential and a member of his own party. He has instituted a 911 system “just like in the States”, says my stepson who is there studying. He has said anybody taking a bribe is getting fired. People believe this, including the government workers.
I think that this is part of what national and (libertarian-leaning) international advisers told him would be necessary for people to invest in Honduras. The Congress recently passed legislation to create special economic zones (ZEDE-Zonas Especiales de Dessarollo y Empleo) with rules that will let business flourish. The Congress studied models of economic success like South Korea (vs. North), Hong Kong, Dubai, Chile, and invited business and government leaders from such areas to present and consult in Honduras, and they got libertarian economists to help design the plans.
Some of the Congressmen protested that the zones would draw businesses away from their towns. (The first ones would be in areas with small populations.) No problem, any town can hold a referendum and convert their area if they see merit in it.
If this plan is protected from political meddling, and some potential investors are saying it is, and it implements as promised, it will create pockets of prosperity. My hope is that Honduras sees that the left-fascists want them poor.
We shall see. The reason.com video three-part series on this project says they are just a few months from announcing the first zone designation.