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After Claims Of Electoral Fraud, Hondurans Are Fighting Their Government For A More Transparent Vote Recount

Violence has gripped the nation of Honduras as the Honduran Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has refused to announce a winner in the presidential election held last week. Hondurans are demanding their government hold a new election, claiming that results from the recent vote are fraudulent. The race for the presidency came down to U.S.-backed incumbent, Juan Orlando Hernández, and challenger, TV star Salvador Nasralla.

One person, 19-year-old Kimberly Dayana Fonseca, was shot and killed in the nation’s capital of Tegucigalpa on Dec. 2 when police opened fire into a crowd of unarmed protesters. According to The Guardian, Fonseca was killed after the Honduran government issued a 10-day nationwide curfew. The curfew forces Honduran citizens to stay in their homes from 6 pm. to 6 a.m.

Here’s what we know so far about the crisis gripping the Central American country.

Salvador Nasralla’s supporters claim that the presidential election is being rigged to make Juan Orlando Hernández the winner.

Nasralla was leading in the polls when the results first started rolling in from the TSE. NPR writes that TSE reporting stalled when 57 percent of the votes were counted. At that time, Nasralla had a substantial lead over Hernández, one the TSE called irreversible. Yet, when the TSE was back online the next day the gap between both the candidates was closing. TSE then reported that electrical issues brought the servers down again before coming back online. Within that timeframe that servers were down, TSE claims Hernández took the lead.

Hondurans are calling on the government to have a transparent recount of the votes.

“If Juan Orlando wins, we’re ready to accept that, but we know that wasn’t the case,” Marlon Ochoa, the campaign manager of Nasralla’s alliance, told Reuters. “We know that Salvador won and that’s why they’re refusing the transparency demands.”

The unrest has led to fires being set across the country and thousands injured in clashes with police forces.

People are being arrested for being outside during the curfew and hundreds have been arrested for looting. Many are comparing the current crisis to the coup that overthrew the government in 2009. Back then, President Manuel Zelaya, who was closely aligned with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, wanted to rewrite the country’s constitution and lift presidential term limits. The result was months of protests and infighting before the military rushed the presidential palace in Tegucigalpa and exiled the president to Costa Rica while he was still in his pajamas.

As a result of the ongoing unrest, the TSE recounted 1,000 votes. However, protesters are demanding more.

Nasralla’s alliance is calling for the TSE to recount the votes in three of Honduras’ 18 voting regions. The candidate has been vocal about having a completely transparent redo of the presidential election to calm the unrest that has shaken the country.

One Salvadoran journalist has called into question the actions of the TSE.

“There are only two possibilities: The TSE is either as incompetent as the Olympic committee or they are committing fraud,” wrote Carlos Dada, the founder of El Faro.

Despite the ongoing turmoil, forced curfew and reports of physical violence against peaceful protesters, the U.S. State Department claims that Honduras has fought against corruption and supported human rights.

As a result, the Honduran government stands to receive $644 million in assistance, according to Reuters. The decision came just two days after the election crisis began.


READ: The Trump Administration Starts Rolling Back TPS Protection For Nicaraguans And Hondurans

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Rep. Henry Cuellar Defeats Progressive Challenger Jessica Cisneros In Texas

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Rep. Henry Cuellar Defeats Progressive Challenger Jessica Cisneros In Texas

repcuellar / jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

Jessica Cisneros conceded the race for Texas’s 28th Congressional District to incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar. The young progressive was once an intern for Rep. Cuellar in Washington and wanted to unseat him to bring progressive ideas to Congress.

Update: Progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros conceded her congressional race to her primary opponent Rep. Henry Cuellar.

Despite the defeat, Cisneros is claiming a victorious because of the power the grassroots campaign had in southern Texas. In her concession speech, Cisneros praised her supporters and staff for making a difference in Texas politics through her campaign.

“I think one thing is clear, that our movement was victorious tonight,” Cisneros told supporters. “That’s because this fight has always been about an opportunity to prove how one of us, a brown girl from our community, with her whole community behind her, could take on an entire machine.”

Rep. Cuellar secured 51.8 percent of the vote which translates to 38,720 votes. Cisneros received 35,964 votes.

Jessica Cisneros is running for Congress to unseat Rep. Henry Cuellar.

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

The 26-year-old immigration and human rights attorney is fighting to unseat a politician she once worked for. Cisneros worked for Rep. Cuellar in Washington as an intern answering calls and dealing with constituents’ requests. Now, the young Latina from Laredo, Texas is going to be on the ballot Tuesday trying to unseat him.

“It took me having to go to Washington to figure out how conservative he was,” Cisneros told BuzzFeed News. “I think about that experience a lot, because I get it when we go up to people’s doors and all of a sudden we, you know, hit them with the facts and what the congressman’s been up to, [and] many, many people don’t know.”

Cisneros is one of the many new faces recruited and promoted by Justice Democrats.

Justice Democrats is an organization that is working to elect more people to Congress to fight for working-class issues. According to the website, Justice Democrats is committed to recruiting, training, and election candidate who will fight for issues like “skyrocketing inequality, catastrophic climate change, deepening structural racism as the country becomes more diverse, and the corporate takeover of our democracy.”

Justice Democrats is the same organization the helped get Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez elected in 2018.

Credit: justicedemocrats / Instagram

Cisneros represents the generational change in ideology that can be seen across the political spectrum in the Latino community. Cisneros is in favor of Medicare For All and the Green New Deal, two things that are popular with younger voters.

Rep. Henry Cuellar’s campaign is being dismissive of Cisneros as a viable candidate to unseat the incumbent.

Credit: repcuellar / Instagram

According to the Buzzfeed News article, Rep. Cuellar’s team canceled a scheduled phone interview after insisting that they will not answer any questions that were in response to Cisneros.

“We’re not allowing a 26-year-old young lady who’s never done anything question the character of a dedicated public servant,” Colin Strother, a spokesperson for the campaign, told BuzzFeed News.

Rep. Cuellar is considered “Trump’s favorite Democrat” because of his voting record during Trump’s first two years in office.

Credit: repcuellar / Instagram

According to FiveThirtyEight, Rep. Cuellar voted with President Trump 75 percent of the time. FiveThirtyEight is known for their polling science and, according to them, Rep. Cuellar should only be voting with President Trump 10 percent of the time based on the needs and demands of his constituents. Despite this information, Rep. Cuellar tried to argue that it isn’t that simple.

“If you look at my record here since I started here back in 2005, I’ve always been a centrist. If you want to use voting with the Democratic Party as a measure, you and I are going to be off completely because I was not sent to Washington to vote with the Democratic Party. I am a Democrat, but I don’t see my job as to vote with the Democratic Party. And I think any Democrat or Republican that votes their party, then I think they’re doing a disservice to their constituents,” Rep. Cuellar told FiveThirtyEight in a 2017 interview. “My district is about +7 Democratic, but it’s still a diverse district in many ways. I do better than most Democrats here even though I’m a moderate conservative Blue Dog and I still do very well here. My hometown of Laredo, the border area, I’ll get 90, 95, 98 percent of the vote, so I must be doing something right here.”

The real test will happen during Super Tuesday to see if Texas’s 28th Congressional District will continue with Rep. Cuellar or usher in a new progressive voice in Cisneros.

Credit: jcisnerostx_ / Instagram

Make sure you vote to make your voice heard this election.

READ: Jessica Cisneros Is 26 Years Old And Has Some Big Plans To Rep Her District If Elected To Congress

A Quick Explanation About What Is Happening In The Dominican Republic

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A Quick Explanation About What Is Happening In The Dominican Republic

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Dominicans across the world are protesting in unison to demand transparency in the recent elections in the Dominican Republic. The protests stem from a recent municipal election that many are calling into question. Faulty voting machines and a lack of transparency have set off a warning call within the global Dominican community fearing election tampering and a power grab. Here’s what we know so far.

Dominicans are demanding answers about irregularities in the latest election on the island.

Four hours into the voting process, the Dominican government reported irregularities with the voting machines. According to officials, 60 percent of the voting machines were experiencing the same issue of showing voters incomplete ballots. Many showed just one party on the ballot. That’s when the government, in an unprecedented move, suspended the Feb. 16 elections.

People across the island have joined in taking to the streets to protest against the government’s decision to suspend the elections.

Tensions are flaring on the island about election tampering and voting after one party has ruled the presidency for 24 years. It is also three months until the general elections and Dominicans don’t trust the process after the latest snafu.

“The electronic vote failed us that morning,” Electoral Board Presiden Julio César Castaños Guzmán, said at a press conference.

Yet, Casatños Guzmán admitted that the Dominican government was warned that they knew of the issue before the elections began but were under the impression that they could be fixed when the machines were installed. The elections proved that the issue was not corrected.

Concerned Dominicans are desperately trying to shine a full light on what they consider an imminent dictatorship.

“The Dominican people are under a dictatorship disguised as democracy,” Alejandro Contreras, a protester in New York told NBC News. “We will be demanding the resignation of all the members of the electoral board, as well as a formal public explanation on the impunity and corruption within the government, among other issues.”

The protests and election fears come the same week as the Dominican Republic’s independence day.

On Feb. 27, 1844, the Dominican Independence War led to the imperial independence of the Dominican Republic from Haiti. The number of casualties from the war are unknown but Haiti is estimated to have lost three times more soldiers than the Dominican Republic.

The fears of a dictatorship are real on the island who was under a dictatorship for 31 years in the 20th century. Rafael Trujillo ruled the island with a brutal fist from February 1930 until his assassination in May 1961. He was president of the island for two terms covering 18 years from 1930 to 1938 and again from 1942 to 1952. After the last term, he ruled as an unelected military man keeping the island in fear.

All eyes are on the Dominican Republic and their government as Dominicans across the world fight to preserve its democracy.

Credit: @sixtalee / Twitter

Sigue luchando. El pueblo unido, jamas sera vencido. Viva la democracia.

READ: After A Year Of Bad Press, The Dominican Republic Launches Campaign To Bring Tourists Back