Confederación Unitaria de Trabajadores de Honduras CUTH
Comayagüela, MDC Honduras
Honduras workers mobilize protest against the imposition of new president
The United Confederation of Workers of Honduras (CUTH) is calling on all its members to join the demonstration this Monday, January 27th, 2014, to picket the inauguration ceremony in protest of the continuity of the National Party dictatorship. On Monday, Juan Orlando Hernandez will be sworn in as president despite a near-complete lack of investigation of all the claims of fraud in the November 2013 elections.
Since 2009 when military forces illegally removed president Manuel Zelaya, the people of Honduras have been fighting for democracy. Members of the resistance and the political opposition have faced violence at the hands of the government, which enjoys total impunity for its actions. In November 2013, after four years of a process of non-violent resistance made possible through the coordinated effort of workers’ unions, campesino and indigenous rights organizations, student and feminist movements and many other groups, opponents of the coup and the regime participated in elections with the Libre Party.
On election day there was obvious manipulation intended to prevent LIBRE candidate Xiomara Castro from winning the presidency. The National Party used mass media to claim falsely that the winner was Juan Hernández. LIBRE provided proof of extensive fraud including vote buying, credential buying, voter intimidation and vote-changing through on-site and remote technological means. To date there has been no investigation to follow up on the evidence provided to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.
Following elections, during its lame-duck session, the pro-coup Honduran Congress illegally approved 119 new laws and gave 87 new contracts to private companies. The Congress gave away the resources and rights of Hondurans. Congressmembers approved a new food tax; now 66% of Hondurans will be unable to afford the basic food needs of their families. In three weeks the Congress approved more laws than in all of 2013. They did this because even despite the electoral fraud, they were unable to win a supermajority in the new Congress, which has a total of 128 seats. The Libre party won 37 seats, and new Congressmembers from other parties bring the total number in the Congressional opposition to 50—meaning that in the new Congress it would be impossible to pass laws so harmful to Honduran workers and citizens.
This year there have been three Congressional Sessions in which the head of Congress prevented opposition Congressmembers from speaking. This led up to a militarization of Congress, and threats against Libre representatives and many other political leaders. For these reasons the current regime as consolidated by Juan Orlando Hernández through violent and illegal means can be considered a dictatorship, and this is why we are protesting on the streets.
As workers we ask for international solidarity in our struggle against the onslaught of anti-worker attacks and legislation. In the over four years since the 2009 coup, more than 200 leaders have been killed without any investigation in Honduras. This dictatorship has taken Honduras to new depths, with 20 people killed violently each day and more than five million people (of a population of 8 million) suffering from hunger on a daily basis.
The workers of Honduras have an obligation to raise our voice and fight to change this critical situation. We thank you for your solidarity.
Honduras, Sunday January 26th.