“The Honduran elections were a fraud, the U.S. publicly supported them. Elections haven’t even happened in Venezuela and they are already being condemned”, says former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya in a tweet.
Zelaya’s comments were in reaction to Colombian president Manuel Santos who told the press that “no one”, including 11 other Latin American countries, will recognize the Venezuelan presidential elections set to take place at the end of April. Incumbent Nicolas Maduro is a strong frontrunner for head of state.
“My position is the same as the Lima Group - to deny this election. … I don’t think anyone will recognize the electoral results in Venezuela,” added Santos.
Zelaya, and several national and international organizations maintain that the Honduran presidential elections, which took place in November of last year, were fraught with “irregularities.” The former Honduran president and the Opposition Alliance candidate, Salvador Nasralla, say incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez rigged the elections in his favor. Hernandez was sworn in for a second term last Saturday.
Thousands of Hondurans have been protesting the alleged electoral fraud for two months. Around 33 demonstrators have been killed so far mainly by Honduran military and police forces, supplied and supported by the U.S. government.
Over 50 U.S. citizens who are longtime residents of Honduras spoke out against the U.S. government intervention in the Honduras military and its subsequent violence against Honduran protesters of the presidential elections.
The U.S. citizens, who are religious and non-government organization leaders, stood in front of the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa today to insist that the U.S. immediately stop supporting the Honduran police and military that is militarizing the region.
“The U.S. help to the (Honduran) military and police and its training of the country’s forces is escalating the Honduran crisis. It’s encouraging human rights violations in the country and in the region”, read Kathleen McTigue, a religious leader.
Honduran security forces have sent an estimated 250 people to the hospital and 1,085 people have suffered "cruel, inhumane and degrading" punishment while protesting at the hands of militarized security forces.
Members of the Opposition Alliance were also a part of today’s demonstration.
McTigue added that the Honduran elections were fraudulent as confirmed by European Union and Organization of American States (OAS) observers.
The group of 50 called for the demilitarization of the police, to undo the electoral fraud, and promoted dialogue among government and elected officials.