Hundreds of thousands of Hondurans have taken to the streets to protest the blatant irregularities in the results of the November 26th Presidential election provided by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal as well as evidence of voter fraud. The resistance of the people of Honduras has been met with murderous repression from state security forces and a national curfew. The Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras has documented the killing of 14 people, with 51 people injured and 844 people detained thus far in the ongoing protests.
This attempted stealing of an election must be seen within the long history of US and Canadian imperialism’s attacks on democracy in Honduras and throughout Central America. In 2009, the Canadian government supported a coup against the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya by opposing the reinstatement of Zelaya and lobbying for Honduras’ reentry into the Organization of American States.
The coup against Zelaya came after his progressive government was attempting to re-write the constitution which Honduras inherited from the military dictatorship of the 1980s. The government was also raising wages and had placed a moratorium on new mining concessions. Canadian corporations have large mining and sweat-shop interests in Honduras. In 2011, Prime Minister Harper and Canadian business leaders went to Honduras to begin talks that resulted in a free trade deal with Honduras, making Canada the first country to send its head of state to Honduras after the 2009 coup. Canada was also directly involved in reforms to Honduras’ new mining law which was brought into force in 2014 by a pro-military coup legislature.
After the 2009 coup, violence and repression escalated and has continued until today, with hundreds of campesino, Indigenous, environmental, and anti-mining activists killed in recent years. This includes Berta Caceres who was murdered in 2016 after defending Indigenous and environmental rights. The CPC demands an end to the impunity of Canadian corporations operating in Honduras and we demand justice for Berta and the other victims of military, state and para-military repression.
The ongoing attempt at a “soft-coup” in the Honduran elections are part of a pattern of increased interference and intervention in Latin America on behalf of US imperialism, which the current government in Ottawa is complicit in. Recent examples of this aggression can be seen in the soft-coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil and the economic war and sanctions against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
A week after the Honduran election, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland released a statement noting concern for violence in Honduras and calling for “participatory, transparent and credible electoral processes” in the election. This mild tone was far different from the statement released by Foreign Affairs after Venezuela’s regional election in October. While there was no verifiable evidence of fraud in that election, Canada condemned the “Venezuelan regime” as well as the National Electoral Council, denounced “many irregularities” and said there was “credible concerns regarding the validity of the results”. There continues to be no evidence of electoral fraud influencing the final results in that election where United Socialist Party of Venezuela won a majority of state governorships seats. This shows that the Liberal government of Trudeau and Freeland continues to pursue a hypocritical foreign policy in our hemisphere that primarily targets progressive governments fighting for sovereignty.
The Communist Party of Canada extends its solidarity to all those fighting imperialism and fights for a foreign policy of peace, disarmament, mutually beneficial trade and sovereignty.
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada