Bloque de Oposición Ciudadana Honduras

New Citizen Opposition Coalition Calls on Hondurans to March

New Citizen Opposition Coalition Calls on Hondurans to March

The political opposition in Honduras has united to form a coalition, Bloque de Oposición Ciudadana, (Citizen Opposition Bloc) a significant development that took place in a meeting last Wednesday attended by representatives from opposition political forces including the National Party, the Liberal Party, and the Patriotic Alliance, among others.

 

New Citizen Opposition Coalition Calls on Hondurans to March
Bloque de Oposición Ciudadana calls on Hondurans to Peacefully March. Image Credit: Tommy Zambrano, Twitter.

 

Citing a decline in public investment, an increase in job losses, closures of maquilas and a rise in migration, the coalition invited Hondurans to take to the streets this Saturday and march in a peaceful protest.

Salvador Nasralla, the vice president of Honduras, stated that this alliance is unprecedented and brings together a broad spectrum of individuals.

 

 

During the August 17 broadcast of “Frente a Frente,” three political leaders were hosted to discuss the formation of the opposition coalition formed last Wednesday. Ahead of introducing the three guests, the program showed a short video that described the coalition’s primary goal.

“It is not centered around electoral interests. Instead, it aims to address the pressing challenges that Honduras is currently facing and propose specific actions to steer the country in a different direction,” stated the video.

 

 

Pedro Barquero, a representative of the Salvador Party in Honduras invited to the Frente a Frente segment, shared his perspective on the significance of a political opposition group to hold the administration accountable:

“Our primary focus is to listen to the needs of the Honduran people, respond to their requests, and concentrate on resolving their issues. Unfortunately, after a year of the current government, we observe that we are headed in the wrong direction. The people of Honduras expect effective governance. This is why we have come together as a coalition with diverse political forces and civil society actors. We work horizontally, without a designated leader seeking power. We are a collaborative team dedicated to the well-being of Honduras and its people.”

 

 

Barquero went on to present data about Honduras’ current state: “Firstly, we’ve seen a nearly 40% decrease in investment within the country. This decline has led to job losses and a lack of new job opportunities, contributing to increased Honduran migration.”

He cited official figures from Mexico’s COMAR agency: “The monthly average of Hondurans seeking refuge in Mexico has risen by 24% compared to last year. We had 24% fewer people seeking shelter in Mexico last year.”

 

 

Barquero noted that Honduras is grappling with increased job losses and business closures, particularly in the northern region where around 30,000 jobs have been lost in the maquila industry. Additionally, the execution of the public investment budget is below 30%. Barquero added that these factors have led to a decline in President Castro’s popularity from over 66% a year ago to 36% today, based on a Latinobarometro survey. Barquero emphasized, “The Honduran people are demanding corrective actions in response to these situations.”

 

 

He further explained the reasons behind the formation of a political opposition coalition: “Hondurans don’t want to continue migrating as they currently are. They want job opportunities within the country.”

Barquero acknowledged positive advancements by the current administration, like the agreement with the International Monetary Fund, but noted that these gains have yet to translate into tangible benefits for the population.

 

 

Aside from economic challenges, Honduras faces a politically divisive environment. Barquero delved into the broader Latin American political landscape, discussing a rise in left-leaning presidential administrations. He highlighted concerns about radical elements within this movement, emphasizing that certain left-wing leaders engage in deceit, theft, and illicit activities, leading to authoritarian governments that suppress freedoms.

“We must prevent the extremism seen in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela from taking root in our country,” Barquero stated after showing clips illustrating these concerns.

 

 

“We currently face two challenges: the economic situation driving Honduran migration and the political situation. This is why Salvador Nasralla, [the vice president of Honduras], is calling on all democratic political forces to unite. We’re committed to preserving our nation, democracy, and the separation of powers while striving for the social development we’ve lacked within a democratic framework. The formation of this coalition reflects our dedication to facing these challenges together,” Barquero concluded.

Barquero added that the purpose of the bloc is to help the current government by presenting proposals to redirect it. “We are going to work on the design of public policies to formally deliver them to the national congress of the republic and that in this way we want to collaborate for the common good. We want to be a constructive opposition. That’s why we’re creating this bloc. To generate ideas. To propose them and exert pressure, so that we are heard.”

David Chavez, president of the central committee of the National Party, shared his reasons for joining the coalition:

“They were going to repeal the security tax, but they have not done so. They said they were going to remove the toll. Did they do it? No. They said they were going to have the cheapest fuel prices in Central America. Did they do it? No. They said they were going to sell the presidential plane. Have they sold it? No. They said they were going to end the sky-high salaries, did they? No. They said they were going to lower prices to the canasta basica. Did they lower it? No. They said they were going to sell the luxury cars. Today, we have triple or quadruple number of armored cars compared to the previous government. Did they sell luxury cars? No. Those are the arguments for which the National Party can speak; not through insults or disqualifications, not through dividing the Honduran family. It is true that we have been adversaries with the Salvador Party of Honduras, we have had diversity of thoughts. Today, we have to breathe for Honduras. Because of that wave of violence that the country experiences day by day. How is it possible that day by day extortion is growing? What we have to confront together are the clear violations that occur every day.”

Responding to Frente a Frente’s host, Chavez offered his interpretation to the role of the opposition: “What is the opposition’s role, Renato? It is not to insult or disqualify. The job of the opposition is to tell the government when they are making a mistake. Currently, Honduras’ rule of law is being lost. It is not possible for a family to be making decisions for a nation.”

Chavez continued, “We are going to elect a fiscal candidate in the next few days, the decision should be made by 86 votes. We have increased insecurity, hunger, misery. The Libre party cannot only govern for the Libre Party. They do not understand that Libre is a political force and not the majority in this country.”

Jose Luis Moncada Liberal Party leader had this to say:

“In the face of a crisis of an 18-month government the opposition has to react. That is why it is called a citizen opposition bloc and it is open, respectful of the law, respectful of the constitution and positive, peaceful and with a clear objective that is Honduras.”

At the end of the segment, Frente a Frente received calls from two leaders who disagreed with the perspectives offered by the guests.

Calling in from Partido Libre, Rafael Sarmiento, Libre leader of the national congress bench said: “You cannot support those who destroyed democracy for so long.”

For his part, Armando de Jesus Hernadez, Manager of Injupemp dismissed the bloc pointing to the dark histories of the coalition parties:

“Yesterday, there was a meeting [referring to Wednesday’s founding of the bloc] between ultra-right coup politicians and the partners of the Sinaloa cartel. This is the bloc of citizen opposition. They looted social security….were involved in corruption scandals. From what Pedro raised regarding communism, Honduras is far from that reality. We must recover democracy. We have come out of 11 years of dictatorship.”

 

 

Concluding the program, the host of Frente a Frente had this to say: “There is a public perception that this opposition bloc has a further objective behind what is conforming or constituting a political alliance. The political parties that are building this coalition argue that what they want is from a trench, such as the citizen opposition bloc, to press the Party in government to make the rectifications.”

Pedro Barquero validated the questions,

“It is legitimate to question what motivates us. Due to the mistakes of everyone’s past, the Honduran people have mistrust. Thank you for the hard questions because they are the ones that the Honduran people have and here (in the program) is where we can show our faces and answer those hard questions.”

Watch the Frente a Frente Interview in Spanish.

 


Soledad Quartucci | CEO/Founder, Latina Republic

At Latina Republic our mission is to foster regional understanding through stories, articles, interviews and reports that resonate from the heart of the Americas. Our primary objective is to encourage peaceful dialogue by shedding light on local perspectives often overlooked by mainstream media. We aspire to empower all stakeholders in resolving regional challenges by disseminating this valuable knowledge. We strive to capture the triumphs and struggles of everyday life in Latin America. Our stories track the evolution of social movements, amplifying the voices of those pioneering change.