U.S. Puppet Hernandez Accused of Election Fraud: Honduran People Erupt in Protest!

December 9, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


The Honduran government declared a 10-day state of siege Friday night, December 1, in response to the massive eruption of protests by hundreds of thousands of people, day and night, against what is widely seen to be blatant election fraud by the current U.S. puppet dictator, Juan Orlando Hernández, and his National Party. The people have been bravely defying the state of siege and the 6 pm to 6 am curfew since it was declared.

Salvador Nasralla, a radio personality and sports reporter representing the Oppositional Alliance Against Dictatorship, a coalition of different parties, had a five percent lead at the first count of ballots. Yet soon, supposed computer glitches and other election “mysteries” appeared, and Hernández suddenly took the lead. The results of the election have still not been announced, 12 days since the vote. Nasralla has refused to concede and is calling for either a runoff election or a full recount of the vote. This political turmoil has created an opening for the pent-up anger of the Honduran people to pour into the streets.

One observer reported from Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, on Democracy Now! (December 2): “[T]he first night of the toque de queda, or curfew, has been called the Black Night, because of the amount of death, because of the amount of blood that was shed. That next day, there was what’s called the cacerolazo, the banging of pots and pans. And when you stepped outside the doors in Tegucigalpa, it sounded like there wasn’t a single household in the whole city that wasn’t banging on pots and pans. It was a symphony of pots and pans, of joy, of yelling, of defiance. In many neighborhoods, people were flooding out of their homes in open defiance of extreme levels of militarization, and making very clear that the will of the Honduran people is not broken. And the day after that, there were over 100,000 in the streets....”

Hernández deployed U.S.-trained military police units, called TIGRES and Cobras, to carry out repression against protesters. Journalists have been detained and deported. Accurate reports of mass arrests, deaths, and injuries of protesters by the police and military are difficult to verify. As of December 5, there were reports of police teargassing whole neighborhoods, injuring hundreds who were flooding to local hospitals, and arresting several hundred. There are at least 16 dead, including 19-year-old Kimberly Fonseca, shot in the head by the military as she protested in the early hours Saturday, December 2.

On December 4, Honduran police, including the TIGRES and Cobras, announced that they would no longer enforce the curfew and crackdown against the protesters. A TIGRES spokesperson said: “We are tired. And our job is to give peace and security to the Honduran people, not repress them. We want all Hondurans to be safe.” This announcement was celebrated by the people. Yet, despite their honeyed words, the TIGRES includes graduates of the (now renamed) U.S. “School of the Americas” at Fort Benning, Georgia—a “school for mass murderers and torturers,” as an article in the revcom.us American Crime series described it. Whether this  stoppage is temporary or more extended, it cannot be forgotten that these forces are trained by the U.S. military and act in the interests of U.S. imperialism, which has no intention of losing control of Honduras.

Hernández was elected president in 2014. The Honduran constitution prohibited a president from being elected for a second term. But that didn’t stop Hernández; he led a move to fire four members of the Supreme Court and replace them with his cronies, and the court later changed the constitution to make it “legal” for him to run for reelection.

Hernández came to power through a 2009 coup that removed then-President Manuel Zelaya, carried out under the justification that Zelaya was violating the constitution by considering running again. Zelaya had become closely allied with Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, as well as with Bolivia and Cuba, all seen by the U.S. as obstacles to their domination of the region. Then-U.S. President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew days ahead of time that the Honduran coup was in the works, and Clinton played a crucial role in enabling the coup's success.

The 2009 coup brought to power a thoroughly pro-U.S. and more openly fascistic regime. This plunged the Honduran people even more deeply into the hell of U.S. domination, state-sponsored political assassinations and terrorism, and intensified violence, poverty, and oppression that continues today. Credible estimates are that 200 LGBT activists, 100 journalists, and a dozen environmental activists, including renowned Berta Cáceres, have been murdered by state forces, security guards, or hired assassins in recent years. A report earlier this year from the British group Global Witness exposed that more than 120 people have been murdered in Honduras since 2010 for “standing up to companies that grab land and trash the environment.”

The Trump/Pence regime has a great deal at stake in restoring order in Honduras—under their control—before the rebellion of the people deepens. Honduras has long been a staging area for the U.S. in directing campaigns of murder and mayhem in Central America, and has received large amounts of military and other aid. Donald Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, who, as head of the U.S. military’s Southern Command worked with Hernandez, recently called him “a good guy, and a great friend.” Hernández just made a trip to Washington, DC, returning to Honduras to announce the state of siege. And just two days after the contested election, Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, green-lighted millions more dollars for the training of the Honduran armed forces and police.

The U.S. imperialist military has closely directed the actions of the armed enforcers of reactionary violence in Honduras. Any further bloodshed at the hands of the U.S-backed regime there must be opposed, especially by people in the U.S. If the U.S. military intervenes more directly in Honduras, there need to be protests in the streets of this country and around the world.


Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.