Speaker Nancy Pelosi

U.S. House of Representatives

Pelosi Remarks at Press Availability Following Congressional Delegation Meetings with Honduran Officials

August 11, 2019
Press Release

Tegucigalpa, Honduras – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks at a press availability following meetings with government officials during the congressional delegation’s visit to Honduras.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.   Thank you very much to our distinguished chargé who we’re very proud, and the Embassy staff who have made our visit such an official one for us, so that we could bring greetings to the people of Honduras, to hear some thoughts.

We had the occasion to listen to so many leaders in the community, we met with the Attorney General and others, and we had an opportunity to share some concerns and I’ll share some of them with you.

Thank you, forgive me for the translation, but I do want to take the occasion to say what an honor it is to come with such a distinguished delegation.  Four are Chairman of Committees, four of our new Members in the freshman class, part of our present and future in the Congress and more senior Members standing on Committees, very important to our discussion.  Let me introduce them.

Chairman on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, Chairwoman, you’ll hear from, on the Small Business Committee, Nydia Velázquez, Chair of Rules Committee, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, the Chair of the Homeland Security [Subcommittee] of Appropriations, Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard of California, Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas, Congresswoman Amata Coleman Radewagen of American Samoa, Congresswoman Norma Torres of California, Congressman Anthony Brown of Maryland, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania, Congressman Jesús ‘Chuy’ García of Illinois, Congresswoman Katie Hill of California, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Illinois.

Thank you.

The purpose of any of our congressional travel is always to promote security and regional stability.  We are neighbors in this hemisphere and our interest in Central America and the Northern Triangle is very important to all of the countries concerned.

Three pillars of the relationships, though, are security, prosperity and governance.

In each of the countries we’ve visited, we made the point that you cannot have security unless you end corruption.

You cannot have prosperity unless you promote justice.  Therefore, good governance is central to prosperity.

Today, we had the opportunity to share some thoughts with the Foreign [Minister]  – a visit in the interest of prolonging security, prosperity and good governance for the Honduran people demands that we have candid conversation with each other.

We shared, therefore, in truth, our concerns that we are hearing from different representatives of the people about the lack of justice and the presence of corruption in Honduras.

I considered it a personal as well as an official privilege to bring up the name Berta [Cáceres].  I call her just by first name.  I knew her.  I honored her in my office when she received the Goldman [Environmental Prize] award.  I tried to convey to the government, the President and others, on several occasions, that her safety was important to Members of Congress.

Following our meeting with the Foreign Minister, we had a personal, emotional privilege of meeting with Berta’s family – her mother and her daughters and other members of the family.

They are channeling their energy and their grief into promoting better opportunity for women and indigenous people.  Children, women, indigenous people: that was our theme throughout the trip.  I think that that focus is important for any country, including our own.

One other thought I wanted to leave with you, as we just met with the Attorney General, is the whole-hearted support of our congressional delegation for [Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras], for it to be renewed, because it is central to the issue that we talked about, related to good governance, eliminating impunity for actions that are not appropriate or illegal, as well as any corruption.

The timing of our trip relates to the migration issue, which is very important to all of our countries in the Northern Triangle, whether United States or Mexico, et cetera.

So now, I would like to yield to a distinguished Member of Congress, who has been very active on the issue of Temporary Protected Status and other issues that relate to respecting newcomers to America and if they want to go home, to make sure that they are safe, the Congresswoman from New York, the Chair of the Small Business Committee, as well as a Member of the National Resources Committee – she covers a lot of territory, [Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez].