CISPES Solidarity Statement on the Honduras Elections
While the Honduran people and the international community anxiously await the results of the Honduran presidential elections that took place last Sunday, November 24, CISPES wishes to express our solidarity with the Honduran people in this important and tense moment. We publicly stand with the courageous members of the movements for peace, justice, and democracy in Honduras and the Honduran voters who came out in force on Sunday, seeking reprieve from the violence, impunity and repression they've endured since the 2009 military coup by exercising their democratic right to vote for their president. As we await the official election results – as well as the response in Honduras and the US – several credible sources, including Honduran social movement organizations, the progressive LIBRE (Freedom) party and international election observers on the ground in Honduras, have issued concerning reports. The irregularities named in these reports have included vote buying, voter intimidation, and intimidation of official election observers. Much hangs in the balance of these elections. For the hundreds of Hondurans who have been assassinated and for the tens of thousands who have survived and resisted the state repression unleashed since 2009 by the illegitimate post-coup governments of Micheletti and Lobo, these elections very plainly come down to life or death. We fear that the Honduras of today is becoming the El Salvador of the 1960s and 1970s, when dictatorships backed by the US attempted to silence social movements simply for demanding that their government respond to the majority poor and working-class sectors of the country. Though there has yet to be declared a victor, the worst case scenario is starkly clear: if LIBRE party candidate Xiomara Castro was indeed elected by the Honduran people and prevented from taking office by the Honduran political right-wing, military, and oligarchy, with the seal of approval from the US government and in full view of the international community, it will be more than the Honduran people who suffer - though they will bear the greatest burden. The right-wing parties and oligarchies around the hemisphere will be emboldened to act more flagrantly to maintain or regain political power from the progressive and leftist parties in their countries, and by any means necessary. This is especially relevant in the case of El Salvador, whose own presidential elections are scarcely 2 months away. Those of us in the United States must be vigilant to ensure that the US government does not give the green light to fascism in Honduras, El Salvador or anywhere in the Americas. We recognize that the delicate and dangerous situation in Honduras can go in a number of directions. In this tense moment: We call on the international community to keep ourselves informed of the situation in Honduras. There are many Latin American solidarity organizations currently monitoring the situation. Click here to read a preliminary report by international elections observers, which also includes links to English and Spanish-language news coverage of the ongoing situation. Click here for photos of a November 29th action with Salvadoran and other international elections observers outside the Honduran Embassy in San Salvador. CISPES awaits calls from the organized Honduran social movements on how to best support them in the aftermath of the presidential elections.