Last Sunday, "elections" were held in Honduras by a military coup regime that is internationally recognized as illegitimate, responsible for massive human rights violations and in an environment of terror and persecution.
Over 300 Honduran candidates dropped out in protest. The OAS, UN, European Union and Carter Center did not send observers in a strong international statement of non-recognition. The massive, historic, non-violent resistance movement in Honduras which has courageously resisted the coup for over five months, called for a boycott and stayed home.
The Quixote Center Delegation of 20 accompanied the people of Honduras in eight towns and cities during the "electoral event." During a one week stay, the delegation received testimony and witnessed systematic repression against the general population and selective targeting of leaders of the National Resistance movement. Repression was coupled with attempts to coerce people to vote through threats as well as offers of monetary and material bribes.
In barrios and communities in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Tocoa and Santa Rosa de Copan, delegates witnessed extremely low voter turnout, with more police, military and poll monitors than voters.
However, the coup regime is busy jockeying the numbers on the vote count, closing the counting for a full 24 hours to do so. And, the United States is busy twisting the arms highly dependent Central American countries to assemble a "coalition of the willing" that will join the Obama Administration in recognizing the electoral farce in Honduras.
This U.S. led process of legitimatizing the regions first successful military coup of the 21st century sends a chilling and unmistakable message to all of Latin America. This is not the change we wanted to see.
It is time for us to tell the Obama Administration that "No We Can’t."
This morning as our delegation left the country, a leader of the Resistance movement told us, "Now things will be very dangerous for us. We are more vulnerable now. Without you, it would be even worse. You are our lifeline now."
We need your help to be that life line. Please call Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 202-647-5291 the White House comment line 202-456-1111 and your members of Congress now and say that:
- The U.S. cannot recognize the illegal elections that took place in Honduras on Sunday, November 29, 2009.
- The U.S. must insist on the restitution of President Zelaya and the rescheduling of free and fair elections at a future date after Constitutional order has been restored.
To find your member of Congress: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt