Where are the Liberals with support for our campaign to free Edwin Espinal?
Cheryl Hardcastle MP
By Janet Spring Springwater News September 21 2019
Since Edwin Espinal’s arrest, the Simcoe County Honduras Rights Monitor has received support from many different organizations and political parties.
We have taken a non-partisan approach in our campaign to free Edwin Espinal and other political prisoners in Honduras; every person and organization we have approached in our community and beyond has offered assistance. We are amazed at the incredible solidarity.
Politically we have received support from Springwater Township, the Conservative, New Democratic, and Green Parties of Canada. These political parties and many Canadian organizations line up to take strong positions in defense of the human rights defenders in Honduras. Each have sent multiple correspondences to the Honduran Government, the Ambassador to Canada from Honduras – Sofia Cerrato Rodriguez – Global Affairs Canada, yet we still await support from Minister Freeland and PM Justin Trudeau.
My question to the Liberal Party of Canada is, that in the past year and now in an election year, why no response?
The SCHRM has been received by representatives from Freeland’s office, Trevor Harrison – Policy Advisor Global Affairs, MP Omar Alghabra – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, MP Anandasangaree, MP Levitt.
But Minister Freeland, who is well aware of Edwin’s case and the illegalities behind it, has not spoken directly to us, nor corresponded via written emails or letters.
PM Trudeau is silent.
More attention has been given to the crisis in Venezuela as the Canadian government works toward inciting a coup there. Freeland warns against the Maduro government’s human rights abuses, yet is silent on those infractions against the people of Honduras by the government of Juan Orlando Hernandez that has incarcerated our Canadian family member – Edwin Espinal.
From local council, the support has been overwhelming. On March 6, 2019, Springwater Township Council passed a second resolution (notice of motion 11.1) to advocate for Edwin’s release.
We have received ongoing solidarity and actions toward Edwin’s cause from the PC Party of Canada. On February 21, 2019, MP O’Toole, PC Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister sent a letter to the Honduran Ambassador to Canada, asking the Honduran government to release Edwin, due to the latest ruling from the tribunal court that deemed his case was assigned to the wrong jurisdiction court.
MP Stanton has been one of our best advocates, provid oingngoing support in verbal and written communication to the Minister and Honduran government; MP Nuttall sponsored an e-petition, presented on February 20, 2019 before the House. He has also appealed to the Honduran government to release Edwin through written correspondence.
We have received overwhelming support from Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada, who is sponsoring a paper petition to be launched in April, 2019. Elizabeth May’s office has also sent many letters in support of Edwin to Honduran and Canadian government authorities, also to prominent international human rights individuals and organizations.
On March 12, 2019, MP Hardcastle sent the following correspondence to Minister Freeland.
We appreciate this support and strong message to demand action from the Canadian Government against the corruption in the Honduran government. Her letter sums up the case of Edwin and the unjust treatment he has received from the Honduran government, also the blatant inaction of the PM’s office.