Archive for the ‘Honduras’ Category
Rachael Boothroyd, Venezuelanalysis, April 17, 2011
Venezuela’s President Chávez met with ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya and a delegation from the National Resistance Front (Frente de Resistencia Hondurena) on Saturday in order to continue mediation of the current political conflict in Honduras.
The meeting was arranged following an initial dialogue between Chávez, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and the current Honduran president, Porfirio Lobo, on the 9th of April in Cartagena, Colombia.
In his meeting with Chávez, which lasted more than three hours, Zelaya outlined the primary conditions that will set the basis for negotiations and initiate mediation to allow his return to Honduras. Lobo has since agreed to mediation and the conditions set out by Zelaya will act as a ‘working draft’ for further negotiations.
Afterwards Chávez, who is jointly leading the mediation committee with Santos, reaffirmed that Venezuela would continue to fight for the “reestablishment of peace and democracy in Honduras,” adding, “We are fighting to consolidate, not just in Venezuela, but on the whole continent, in Latin America, Central America, South America, an area of peace. A great area of peace which is truly democratic, where social justice – real peace – prevails.”
Zelaya thanked Chávez and the Venezuelan people for their role in the negotiation process, stating, “The people of Venezuela are the leading example and representation of the process of change in Latin America.”
After seeking a referendum on the creation of a constituent assembly, Zelaya was ousted in a coup d’état in June 2009 and is currently in exile in the Dominican Republic. A presidential election led to the replacement of the military junta by Porfirio Lobo in January 2010, however, several countries in Latin America, such as Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela have refused to acknowledge the election’s legitimacy. Honduras has been expelled from the OAS (Organisation of American States) since the 2009 coup and continues to experience political instability amidst reports of human rights abuses.
Post-coup regime in Honduras carrying out unprecedented assault on most organized sector of the resistance, the teachers
From the Real News:
A report from various communities in Honduras where the regime imposed by a 2009 military coup has opened up an all-out attack on the country’s teachers. Honduras’ teachers are, in the eyes of many, the most organized sector of the anti-coup resistance movement. Over recent months they have had their pensions stolen, their wages cut, their labor rights suspended, and a new education law passed which they believe is the beginning of the privatization process. In response, the teachers and the National People’s Resistance Front have occupied institutions, roads and highways across the country, to which the regime has responded with brute force.
Produced by Jesse Freeston.
+This article has been electronically translated, read in original Spanish here+
Mario Cerna, El Heraldo, April 12, 2011
Honduras and the United States reiterated yesterday to strengthen the fight against drug trafficking and extend the fight for a better regional security.
Those were some of the conclusions reached by the commander of U.S. Southern Command, Douglas Fraser and Honduran Defense Minister, Marlon Pascua, after a bilateral meeting.
Representatives from both countries met in the Joint Chiefs meeting which also involved the Joint Chiefs, with the exception of Rene Osorio, who is outside the country, according to reports.
Nor was the commander of the Naval, Christopher Romero Burgos, who apparently is in poor health.
Fraser visit Honduras for the second time.
The U.S. Embassy said that the presence of Fraser answered that “is in charge of the activities undertaken by the country’s Armed Forces with U.S. defense and security institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
In that sense Easter Fraser and security dialogue and cooperation, as well as combating drug trafficking, humanitarian assistance projects, training for peace support missions and natural disasters.
Honduras and the U.S. have a base set of Palmerola base, 78 kilometers from the capital, in the city of Comayagua.
Currently they have provided to strengthen the naval bases of the north coast, even reported the creation of a new Bay Islands [base], to combat drug trafficking.
The Chief of Staff, Rene Osorio said earlier Monday that the U.S. was asked to a 360 degree radar to detect the entry of narcoavionetas the country.
Another issue that Fraser will deepen with other government officials is that of regional security.
President Barack Obama, during his visit to El Salvador on March 22, announced support of $ 200 million for the entire region, which will strengthen regional security. Fraser spoke with U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens, the possibility of assisting the country in efforts to overcome the recent political crisis.
In the senior official visit, which continues today, has scheduled meetings with diplomats from his country and President Porfirio Lobo Sosa.
America’s ‘backyard’ has never been so united and independent of U.S. influence.
Steve Ellner, In These Times, April 14, 2011
In his State of the Union address in January, President Obama pressed for quick passage of a free trade agreement with Colombia, and since then has followed up on the proposal. In doing so he has delighted Republicans who had been accusing him of failing to prioritize the issue. In his January speech, Obama made no reference to his unequivocal concern over human rights violations which he had raised in his third presidential debate with McCain.
Since 2008, little has improved to justify Obama’s reversal. Human Rights Watch has reported a 41 percent increase in the number of victims in 2010 over the previous year, including the murder of 44 trade unionists. In the first six weeks of 2011, death squads assassinated three more labor activists.
In an attempt to assure members of U.S. Congress that progress is being made, on April 7 Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Obama announced from the White House the approval of an “Action Plan,” whereby the Colombian government pledged to take stringent measures to curb abuses. Many Colombian trade union leaders, however, refused to buy into the arrangement and expressed skepticism about their government’s resolve. Tarsicio Mora, president of the Unitary Workers Confederation (CUT), objected by saying, “It just can’t be that respect for a basic right established in the constitution, such as the right to life, has to be required by a commercial transaction.”
Obama’s new stand has also failed to win over U.S. trade unionists. In January, Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen argued against the agreement by pointing out that 15 million Colombians representing 82 percent of the working population are not recognized as workers and thus under the law “have no rights.”
Obama’s change–from opposition to the free trade agreement with Colombia, to lukewarm endorsement of it, to vigorous support–is just one example of his turnabout on Latin American policy. His modified stand distances Washington from an important bloc of Latin American governments and contributes to the decline of the U.S. leadership position in the hemisphere.
Worldview, April 5, 2011
Listen to the story here
While the protests in the Middle East continue to make news, the protests in Honduras barely make a ripple. The country’s divisions spilled out into the open in June 2009 when President Manuel Zelaya was removed from power by the military.
The administration of the current president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, has taken a hard line against the opposition. The country has been embroiled in a month-long teacher’s strike, which President Lobo declared illegal last week. Yesterday, he suspended 5,000 teachers for three months and he has threatened to fire and suspend more if they don’t show up for work today. The union says 40,000 teachers will return to work, but the strike is the just the tip of the discontent iceberg.
Gary Cozette is program director of the Chicago Religous Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN). He published a report on his latest visit to Honduras. Vicki Cervantes is from La Voz de los de Abajo, a Chicago-based Honduran human rights organization. They were both in the Central American country in January 2011.
Gustavo J. Fuchs, Peace & Conflict Monitor, April 4, 2011
Contributing columnist Gustavo Fuchs details the lack of media coverage of violent repression against the popular resistance movement in post-coup Honduras, contrasting the underreported Honduran realities with the media’s recent obsession with popular demonstrations in the Middle East. Fuchs highlights the Honduran government’s repressive response to teachers’ strikes and impunity towards campesino murders – virtually absent in the headlines. Selective media bias in support of hypocritical Western agendas has left the Honduras resistance to fend for itself while the Middle East gets all the attention.
While the world watches with amazement the repression in the Middle East, the Honduran post-coup de facto government continues its systematic brutality against any popular dissent. While aggrandizing democratic ideals across the Middle East, Obama and his administration have to be held accountable for their failure to support democracy in their own backyard.
Since the military coup, Honduras has been converted into a laboratory for conspired war and media terror where military occupation forces conspire with Pentagon forces, Colombian military and police, hired security guards private, national and international intellectual sponsored by the U.S., European and Latin American extreme right.
The plan is to abort any process of democratization and freedom, in order to transform our country into a political and ideological platform for military aggression against the people of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and any country aligned with ALBA.
Following the call to a National Strike for March 30, by the National Front for Popular Resistance (FNRP), peasant organizations, workers, women, feminists, the community for sexual diversity, artists, students, teachers, university professors, and various resistance movements protested in solidarity with the national teacher´s organization and protested against multinationals that have been behind the coup forces.
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