DALLAS -- Dr. Luther Castillo, Communications Secretary for the Committee to Oppose the Coup d'etat in Honduras, spoke recently at a meeting held in the Honduran immigrant community in Plano, Texas, on October 17. Castillo responded to a call from the Dallas Committee for the Restoration of Democracy in Honduras.
Dr. Castillo was already internationally famous before the June 28 coup, because he established a medical clinic for the desperately poor Garifuna peoples of Central America. Pastors for Peace and other North American organizations attempted to help with this humanitarian effort.
After the oligarchy kidnapped president Manuel Zelaya Rosales, Castillo was in danger because of his close ties to the progressive aspects of the Honduran government. He came to the United States and began organizing support for democracy. In September, he was well received at the AFL-CIO convention, which then strengthened its position in favor of the democratic forces.
Following the Plano meeting Dr. Castillo visited religious, civil rights, and union groups to make personal appeals for support. He asks that U.S. citizens put more pressure on the government here to restore democracy in Honduras. Even though President Obama has denounced the coup d'etat, certain Republican Congressmen have been promoting the illegal Honduran government and trying to legitimize the elections that the illegal government expects to hold in November. The U.S. could add additional economic sanctions against the illegal government, too, says Castillo.
At a local union meeting, Castillo said that 16 of the 40 protestors killed in the streets of Honduras so far were union leaders. The president of the agricultural workers' union had been murdered the previous day, Castillo said. He expressed his great appreciation for the AFL-CIO and the many unions that were passing resolutions in favor of Honduran democracy.