Forthcoming from COHA: Ramón Villeda Morales, Honduran President and Latin American Hero

Tomorrow, COHA will publish Research Associate, Mylene Bruneau’s analysis of the accomplishments which made former Honduran President Ramón Villeda Morales a revered figure in his native country. Bruneau will look into Villeda Morales’ attempts to liberalize Honduran society from 1957-1963, in a process which is still known today as villedismoi, having inherited a country which was seriously politically and socially impaired.

Bruneau will examine the legacy that Villeda Morales left the Honduran people with his exemplary devotion to public service. As the first Honduran president willing to enact desperately needed reforms, Morales introduced pro-labor legislation, land reforms, and social security programs, as well as improved the country’s democratic institutions. In doing so, he left an indelible mark on Honduran history, and deserves to be held up as a true hero of Latin American politics.

One thought on “Forthcoming from COHA: Ramón Villeda Morales, Honduran President and Latin American Hero

  • May 7, 2009 at 12:05 pm
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    You compel me to ‘make memory’ which is good because it makes us use our ‘little grey cells’, as M. Poirot used to say. I remember Villeda Morales as one of the first Latin American diplomats I interviewed when I arrived in Washington to join the United Press bureau at the National Press Building–in 1950. I recall that he not only was one of the rare ‘democrats’ at the time but also one with the title of doctor of medicine. That was even more impressive. But ‘impressive’ was hardly the adjective to describe this completely mdoest, unassuming man who stood out, particularly in contrast to the sempeterno Edecan–Sevilla Sacasa.
    I remember visting Honduras as part of the trip I made covering VP Richard M. Nixon’s 1055 tour of Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. Honduras, as my friend and colleague, the hilariously acerbic Pete Lisagor of the Chicago Daily News, shall forever remain in our memory “for the ramshakle hotel without air conditioning, ill-functioning fans and a pestilent smell from outside our window coming from the garbage dump that emitted the most horrible odours emitted from discarded fish remains……….

    But I also remember two young, and very intelligent, beauties (mother and daughter) in the swimming pool who alerted me that Villeda Morales’s days might be numbered given the regional subrosa alliances among the military–with the complicity of the Pentagon. But that was at the next stop because the two Honduran had already left their coutnry. Must have been Nicaragua or Panama.

    Henry Raymont–UP’s correspondent on the 1955 Nixon trip–who fortunately missed out on the far more eventful 1958 one though I caught up with Nixon when he fled from Caracas to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to become Munoz Marin’s overnight guest at La Fortaleza and where, he heard Casals admonish: “the problem is you always embraced dictators. You should only embrace the demodrats and dismiss dictators with a polite, but cool handshake. Nixon actually repeated this when he returned at the La Guardia airport. But never used it again. I forgot how he described the even in his Six Crises.

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