Millions of Hondurans dispute election fraud

Dec. 11 — Tens if not hundreds of thousands of people, especially youth, have poured into the streets of Honduras, a country of only 9 million, to protest election fraud.

“They have stolen the votes from us,” Salvador Nasralla Salum said at a march on Dec. 10 in Tegucigalpa, the capital, that ended in a three-hour demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy. “This country will be ungovernable starting now.”

In national elections on Nov. 26, Nasralla was the presidential candidate of the Alliance (Alianza), made up of his own Anti-Corruption Party and the Libre Party, led by former President Manuel Zelaya, who was overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup in 2009. Xiomara Zelaya, the former president’s spouse, was Alianza’s vice presidential candidate in the current election.

The Alianza was clearly winning the election when the regime stopped the count and then after three days announced the incumbents had won. Nasralla accuses the United States, the European Union and the Organization of American States of being “accomplices to fraud.”

The EU and OAS have hesitated to endorse the election, given the massive number of Hondurans who have come out to protest the fraud. U.S. President Donald Trump, however, praised incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández for winning the election.

On Dec. 10, two weeks after the elections took place, tens of thousands of Hondurans supporting the Alianza demonstrated in Tegucigalpa and other cities throughout the country.

A week earlier, when the government tried to impose a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on the population, Nasralla called on members of the armed forces and police to refuse this order. The National Police announced on Dec. 5 that they would no longer repress the population. Others described scenes of police and the people dancing together in the streets after this refusal to be servants of the rich.

Any indication that the police and army — the core elements of the repressive state that has killed 14 people in the days following the election — might even be thinking of refusing to play that repressive role strikes terror into the hearts of the Honduran oligarchy and their imperialist masters.

In the five days after Dec. 5, there has been very little movement by the incumbent regime and its Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). According to The Economist of Dec. 7, the government increased the pay for the police and they went back on duty.

Nasralla has asked the TSE to either recount all the ballots in a way transparent to the people or rerun the entire election. In a letter issued on Dec. 9, former President Zelaya said the OAS was trying to split the opposition, but that he would support Nasralla’s decisions. For now, both call on the Honduran people to stay in the streets.

Zelaya blames U.S. for crisis and 2009 coup

In an interview with Democracy Now! on Dec. 8, Zelaya explained why he and millions of other Hondurans don’t believe the regime and the TSE. He placed the blame for the current crisis in Honduras squarely on Washington and for the 2009 coup backed by the U.S.

“On the day of the election, the tribunal said … that we had a 5 percent lead, with 71 percent of the votes counted. It was a 5 percent lead and growing. Then, the system went down for three days. They say that the server was overloaded. That’s like putting three needles into a room. How is a server going to be overloaded with so little data. …

“And we were told that they had reset, when we asked for the backup, and it was all lost. And then it was resumed, and we’re told, with 29 percent of the vote left to be counted, that we were losing” — by 1.6 percent.

“Since the coup d’état [of 2009], the United States has done what it wants with this country. They changed all the laws. This is a military state, with laws like Plan Colombia, like the laws in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is what’s happening in Honduras. … We are calling for people to defend themselves in the streets, so that what we won at the polls, we defend in the streets. …

“The coup d’état against me was planned in Miami at the Southern Command. [The U.S.] finance the main churches, evangelical churches, as well — not all of them, but most of them. They run the large owners of the media corporations. They feed them a line, day after day. And the military obey them, because they were trained by them at the School of the Americas. It now has another name, but the graduates are throughout Latin America. …

“That’s how the history of this country has been. They run the transnationals, private sector, the churches, the major media — not just here, around the world. The major media conglomerates answer to the U.S. line. …

“There’s less hypocrisy with Trump. He’s more direct about what he’s going to do, and he does it. Under the previous administration, there was a lack of sincerity in the words. And so, in a way, we like this. But Trump is very repressive. He’s very cold and harsh. He only sees the world from the standpoint of business.”

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