Students in 12th grade received a current events assignment to pretend they were the president of Honduras. They were asked what actions, if any, they would take toward Syria on behalf of Honduras, and if they would pursue actions unilaterally or as part of a multi-national team.
Here are a few of their responses:
By Karen Perdomo
The conflict in Syria has gone too far. Three years of civil war have killed thousands of people, and the worst thing is that the lives of innocent people have been taken. As part of the world, we are one big family. It is not acceptable to not do something when one has the power to do it. If I were the president of Honduras, and I had the power to do something, I would surely take some actions.
I know it wouldn’t be an easy thing to do, but I would have to take action. First of all, I would break all ties with Syria. Knowing that the government is responsible for most of all the atrocities, I would help the rebels. I would give them strategies and weapons, if necessary, so they could overthrow the government. However, I would recruit some allies in order to be stronger. I wouldn’t act by myself. I would hold meetings with other powerful nations, because a strong force could not be easily defeated. I would do all this, but before taking action, I would pursue other nations to help me have a meeting with Syria’s president to warn him about the kind of consequences he would have to face if he didn’t stop using chemical weapons or murdering his people.
I would act in a multi-national team, because if Syria’s government saw how strong we were, they would retreat and if not, he would be defeated. I would take these actions because it is evident that Syria’s president doesn’t want to give up and doesn’t care for his people. He doesn’t want to lose his power, even knowing all the suffering he has caused. This would be a hard thing to do. However, it would be worth it. People can’t continue dying at the hands of their government, especially innocent people can’t die.
By Kevin Membreño Castellanos
The current conflict in Syria is outrageous. Thousands of people die each day, and we, as a country who cares for innocent people’s lives, need to take action on this issue. We are not a world power, but we have to do our best to help those in need.
As the president of Honduras, I say we should join forces with the other Central American nations to take doctors and medicines to those who are struggling. Honduras cannot do this alone, but if we form an alliance with our neighbor countries, we will have more power and the world will notice what we are doing and will want to help as well.
Our country has many needs as well, so we cannot do this alone. I chose to send medicines and doctors, and also food, because our country wants to stop the killing, not to make it worse. Those people out there need relief, and we can send them that relief.
I will also approve a special guard team of soldiers for our doctors. They will protect their lives, that way we can ensure the doctors’ survival. Doctors will be taken voluntarily from all over Honduras, that way they will help in the best way possible.
As a nation, we would like to do more, but we cannot leave our people aside. Our nation is a country with many problems as well, and that is why we are acting in this particular way.
By Lucely Elizabeth Reyes Alvarenga
In order to maintain world peace, there should be unity and cooperation among all the countries. A leader should care not only about his own people, but also about other leaders. If I were the president of Honduras, I would be worried about what is happening in Syria today, but I would think twice whether to do something about it.
Honduras is not in complete peace and development right now. Because right now Honduras is not directly affected by the civil war in Syria, and because I would also need to do something to help my own country, it would be very difficult to make a decision. However, I think that in the end, I would still try to help Syria, because I know that by helping, I can prevent bigger genocides.
As a Christian, I know that I should not allow genocides to happen. With their chemical weapons, Assad’s government killed many innocent people. In order to prevent more deaths, and having Honduras as a member of the United Nations, I would try to convince other countries that have closer relationships with Syria to put some sanctions on Syria. I could probably convince the other countries to cut trade or help with Syria until the government gets rid of all of their chemical weapons and until they stop mistreating the civilians. The countries should keep their sanctions until Syria comes to a peaceful agreement between the government and the rebels.
I would not really take a greater unilateral action because Honduras is not in the position to have conflicts with other countries. But as a member of the United Nations, I would agree with its decisions to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons, and I would give my opinion in that it is necessary to do something to stop other internal problems in Syria. I would keep pushing the United Nations and convincing other countries to do something about Syria’s civil war.
I think that we should all cooperate to prevent bigger problems in Syria. We need to do it before it’s too late and we start regretting not having acted.
By Nelson Josué Barahona
The world has undergone a lot of wars, battles and conflicts both with groups of people inside a country as well as between countries. In some of those occasions, countries around the world have united to help solve some conflicts. In others, however, the world has simply taken a policy of not interfering in a country’s internal conflict. The world has simply remained silent and has let many atrocities happen in those countries. Although I know that we are in this world to help each other, I, in the condition of being president of Honduras, and considering our current status as a country, would decide not to help Syria solve its conflict. I would take a laissez-faire approach concerning the Syrian conflict.
Currently, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the world. If we, as a country, decided to help Syria, far from doing any good to our people, we would bring more calamities to them. Helping Syria would mean, 1) investing the money we don’t have in preparing our troops to fight a war that we may not win; 2) risking our people’s lives to any kind of suffering without even winning something along the way; 3) risking our country’s future if the conflict in Syria grows and a possible world war breaks out. Other than letting the people in Syria know that we are their friends and that we are willing to help them, taking an action on solving their conflict would bring no good to our country, our people and our international relations.
I would join a multi-national team that shares the same opinions as mine. Instead of being part of worsening the problem in Syria by trying to solve it, I would give possible solutions without physically interfering in Syria’s matters. I would suggest that sanctions be applied to Syria and that the countries that are financially solvent help solve the conflict.
If Honduras were a powerful country, I would be more than willing to help solve the Syrian conflict. However, with the current conditions of Honduras, being involved in this kind of conflict would only lead us to a worse economic and social status.