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Honduran president asks CentAm to work together to overcome common enemies

CENTRAL AMERICA INDEPENDENCE | 15 de septiembre de 2019

Tegucigalpa, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez on Sunday urged Central Americans to unite to face "common enemies," including organized crime and climate change, saying that he hopes that Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama enter the customs union established between his country and Guatemala, which El Salvador will soon join.

At the start of events commemorating the 198th anniversary of Honduran independence from Spain, Hernandez said that now is the time for Central Americans to work "together" so that unity is never lacking as the region confronts "our common and also very powerful enemies."

"Alone, we will not be as effective. We must work as friends, neighbors, brothers and allies for the development whereby our people may live better," he said.

The Honduran leader spoke of the importance of transforming Central America into "a zone of social and economic development whose strength is felt in the hemisphere."

"We've taken very important steps like the Customs Union with Guatemala and very soon with El Salvador," Hernandez emphasized, saying that he hopes Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama will join to create "the eighth largest economy" in Latin America.

Central America must "raise its voice" in the United Nations General Assembly session on Sept. 25 in New York so that the nations that have "caused this world disaster (climate change) commit themselves to supporting the countries that have suffered most, and we're ready to move forward" with that effort.

Hernandez said that now is the time to recognize that "we have to take a leap toward the massive production of food with the use of the latest technology, to know how to take advantage of (rainfall) when it comes and to be able to administer (these things) appropriately."

He emphasized that Honduras has committed itself to restoring a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of forestland by 2030 and to implementing policies to promote "inclusive and sustainable development."

Accompanied by his wife, Ana Garcia, members of the legislative and judicial branches, Tegucigalpa Mayor Nasry Asfura, the ambassadors from other Central American nations and students, Hernandez recalled the struggle for independence in front of a statue of Honduran statesman Gen. Francisco Morazan, who was executed on Sept. 15, 1842, in Costa Rica as he was fighting for the union of Central America.

The ceremony was held in front of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, where the capital's mayor read the Independence Declaration of the Central American nations drafted on Sept. 15, 1821.

Once the ceremony was concluded, the president and his retinue went to the National Stadium in Tegucigalpa to view the Independence Day civil parades.

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