Archive | Honduras

Dams, Deaths Squads and the Murder of Berta Cáceres

by JOHN PERRY

Photograph Source: Comisión Interamericana de – CC BY 2.0

“They build dams and kill people.” These words, spoken by a witness when the murderers of environmental defender Berta Cáceres were brought to trial in Honduras, describe Desarrollos Energéticos SA (DESA), the company whose dam project Berta opposed. DESA was created in May 2009 solely to build the Agua Zarca hydroelectric scheme, using the waters of the Gualcarque River, regarded as sacred by the Lenca communities who live on its banks. As Nina Lakhani makes clear in her book Who Killed Berta Cáceres?,[1] DESA was one of many companies to benefit from the 2009 coup d’état in Honduras, when the left-leaning President Manuel Zelaya was deposed and replaced by a sequence of corrupt administrations. The president of DESA and its head of security were both US-trained former Honduran military officers, schooled in counterinsurgency. By 2010, despite having no track record of building dams, DESA had already obtained the permits it needed to produce and sell electricity, and by 2011, with no local consultation, it had received its environmental licence.

Much of Honduras’s corruption derives from the drug trade, leading last year to  being labelled a narco-state[2]in which (according to the prosecution in a US court case against the current president’s brother) drug traffickers “infiltrated the Honduran government and they controlled it.”[3] But equally devastating for many rural communities has been the government’s embrace of extractivism – an economic model that sees the future of countries like Honduras (and the future wealth of their elites) in the plundering and export of its natural resources.[4] Mega-projects that produce energy, mine gold and other minerals, or convert forests to palm-oil plantations, are being opposed by activists who, like Cáceres, have been killed or are under threat. Lakhani quotes a high-ranking judge she spoke to, sacked for denouncing the 2009 coup, as saying that Zelaya was deposed precisely because he stood in the way of this economic model and the roll-out of extractive industries that it required.

The coup “unleashed a tsunami of environmentally destructive ‘development’ projects as the new regime set about seizing resource-rich territories.”[5] After the post-coup elections, the then president Porfirio Lobo declared Honduras open for business, aiming to “relaunch Honduras as the most attractive investment destination in Latin America.” [6] Over eight years, almost 200 mining projects were approved. Cáceres received a leaked list of rivers, including the Gualcarque, that were to be secretly “sold off” to produce hydroelectricity. The Honduran congress went on to approve dozens of such projects without any consultation with affected communities. Berta’s campaign to defend the rivers began on July 26, 2011 when she led the Lenca-based COPINH (“Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras”) in a march on the presidential palace. As a result, Lobo met Cáceres and promised there would be consultations before projects began – a promise he never kept.

Lakhani’s book gives us an insight into the personal history that brought Berta Cáceres to this point. She came from a family of political activists. As a teenager she read books on Marxism and the Cuban revolution. But Honduras is unlike its three neighbouring countries where there were strong revolutionary movements in the 1970s and 1980s. The US had already been granted free rein in Honduras in exchange for “dollars, training in torture-based interrogation methods, and silence.”[7] It was a country the US could count on, having used it in the 1980s as the base for its “Contra” war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Its elite governing class, dominated by rich families from Eastern Europe and the Middle East,  was also unusual. One, the Atala Zablah family, became the financial backers of the dam; others, such as Miguel Facussé Barjum, with his palm oil plantations in the Bajo Aguán, backed other exploitative projects.

At the age of only 18, looking for political inspiration and action, Berta left Honduras and went with her future husband Salvador Zúñiga to neighbouring El Salvador. She joined the FMLN guerrilla movement and spent months fighting against the US-supported right-wing government. Zúñiga describes her as having been “strong and fearless” even when the unit they were in came under attack. But in an important sense, her strong political convictions were tempered by the fighting: she resolved that “whatever we did in Honduras, it would be without guns.”[8]

Inspired also by the Zapatista struggle in Mexico and by Guatemala’s feminist leader Rigoberta Menchú, Berta and Salvador created COPINH in 1993 to demand indigenous rights for the Lenca people, organising their first march on the capital Tegucigalpa in 1994. From this point Berta began to learn of the experiences of Honduras’s other indigenous groups, especially the Garífuna on its northern coast, and saw how they fitted within a pattern repeated across Latin America. As Lakhani says, “she always understood local struggles in political and geopolitical terms.”[9] By 2001 she was speaking at international conferences challenging the neo-liberal economic model, basing her arguments on the exploitation experienced by the Honduran communities she now knew well. She warned of an impending “death sentence” for the Lenca people, tragically foreseeing the fate of herself and other Lenca leaders. Mexican activist Gustavo Castro, later to be targeted alongside her, said “Berta helped make Honduras visible. Until then, its social movement, political struggles and resistance were largely unknown to the rest of the region.”[10]

In Río Blanco, where the Lenca community voted 401 to 7 against the dam, COPINH’s struggle continued. By 2013, the community seemed close to winning, at the cost of activists being killed or injured by soldiers guarding the construction. They had blocked the access road to the site for a whole year and the Chinese engineering firm had given up its contract. The World Bank allegedly pulled its funding, although Lakhani shows that its money later went back into the project via a bank owned by the Atala Faraj family. In April 2015 Berta was awarded the Goldman Prize[11] for her “grassroots campaign that successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam.”[12]

Then in July 2015, DESA decided to go ahead by itself. Peaceful protests were met by violent repression and bulldozers demolished settlements. Threats against the leaders, and Berta in particular, increased. Protective measures granted to her by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights were never properly implemented. On February 20 2016, a peaceful march was stopped and 100 protesters were detained by DESA guards. On February 25, 50 families had to watch the demolition of their houses in the community of La Jarcia.

The horrific events on the night of Wednesday March 2 are retold by Nina Lakhani. Armed men burst through the back door of Berta’s house and shot her. They also injured Gustavo Castro, who was visiting Berta; he waited until the men had left, found her, and she died in his arms. Early the following morning, police and army officers arrived, dealing aggressively with the family and community members who were waiting to speak to them. Attempted robbery, a jilted lover and rivalry within COPINH were all considered as motives for the crime. Eventually, investigators turned their attention to those who had threatened to kill her in the preceding months. By the first anniversary of Berta’s death the stuttering investigation had led to eight arrests, but the people who ordered the murder were still enjoying impunity. Some of the accused were connected to the military, which was not surprising since Lakhani later revealed in a report for The Guardian that she had uncovered a military hit list with Berta’s name on it.[13] In the book she reports that the ex-soldier who told her about it is still in hiding: he had seen not only the list but also one of the secret torture centers maintained by the military.

Nina Lakhani is a brave reporter. She had to be. Since the coup in Honduras, 83 journalists have been killed; 21 were thrown in prison during the period when Lakhani was writing her book.[14] She poses the question “would we ever know who killed Berta Cáceres?” and sets out to answer it. Despite her diligent and often risky investigation, she can only give a partial answer. Those arrested and since convicted almost certainly include the hitmen who carried out the murder, but it is far from the clear that the intellectual authors of the crime have been caught. In 2017 Lakhani interviewed or attempted to interview all eight of those imprisoned and awaiting trial, casting a sometimes-sympathetic light on their likely involvement and why they took part.

It took almost two years before one of the crime’s likely instigators, David Castillo, the president of DESA, was arrested. Lakhani heads back to prison to interview him, too, and finds that Castillo disquietingly thinks she is the reason he’s in prison. “There is no way I am ever sitting down to talk to her,” he says to the guard.[15]Nevertheless they talk, with Castillo both denying his involvement in the murder and accusing Lakhani of implicating him. Afterwards she takes “a big breath” and writes down what he’s said.

In September 2018, the murder case finally went to trial, and Lakhani is at court to hear it, but the hearing is suspended. On the same day she starts to receive threats, reported in London’s Press Gazette[16] and duly receiving international attention. Not surprisingly she sees this as an attempt to intimidate her into not covering the trial. Nevertheless, when it reopens on October 25, she is there.

The trial reveals a weird mix of diligent police work and careful forensic evidence, together with the investigation’s obvious gaps. Not the least of these was the absence of Gustavo Castro, the only witness, whose return to Honduras was obstructed by the attorney general’s office. Castillo, though by then charged with masterminding the murder, was not part of the trial. Most of the evidence was not made public or even revealed to the accused. The Cáceres family’s lawyers were denied a part in the trial.

“The who did what, why and how was missing,” says Lakhani, “until we got the phone evidence which was the game changer.”[17] The phone evidence benefitted from an expert witness who explained in detail how it implicated the accused. She revealed that an earlier plan to carry out the murder in February was postponed. She showed the positions of the accused on the night in the following month when Berta was killed. She also made clear that members of the Atala family were involved.

When the verdict was delivered on November 29 2018, seven of the eight accused were found guilty, but it wasn’t until December 2019 that they were given long sentences. That’s where Nina Lakhani’s story ends. By then Honduras had endured a fraudulent election, its president’s brother had been found guilty of drug running in the US, and tens of thousands of Hondurans were heading north in migrant caravans. David Castillo hasn’t yet been brought to trial, and last year was accused by the School of Americas Watch of involvement in a wider range of crimes.[18] Lakhani revealed in The Guardian that he owns a luxury home in Texas.[19] He’s in preventative detention, but according to COPINH enjoys “VIP” conditions and may well be released because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two of those already imprisoned may also be released. Daniel Atala Midence, accused by COPINH of being a key intellectual author of the crime as DESA’s chief financial officer, has never been indicted.[20]

The Agua Zarca dam project has not been officially cancelled although DESA’s phone number and email address are no longer in service.[21] Other environmentally disastrous projects continue to face opposition by COPINH and its sister organisations representing different Honduran communities. And a full answer to the question “Who Killed Berta Cáceres?” is still awaited.

Notes.

[1] Lakhani, N. (2020) Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Defender’s Battle for the Planet. London: Verso.

[2] “The Hernández Brothers,” https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2019/october/the-hernandez-brothers

[3] “Honduran President’s Brother Is Found Guilty of Drug Trafficking,” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/world/americas/honduras-president-brother-drug-trafficking.html

[4] “Murder in Honduras,” https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2017/march/murder-in-honduras

[5] Lakhani, op.cit., p.89.

[6] “Honduras, open for business,” https://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2011/may/honduras-open-for-business

[7] Lakhani, op.cit., p.24.

[8] Quoted by Lakhani, op.cit., p.35.

[9] Lakhani, op.cit., p.44.

[10] Lakhani, op.cit., p.56.

[11] The Goldman Prize is sometimes described as the “Nobel Prize” for environmental and human rights defenders. See http://www.goldmanprize.org/recipient/berta-caceres/

[12] “Introducing the 2015 Goldman Prize Winners,” https://www.goldmanprize.org/blog/introducing-the-2015-goldman-environmental-prize-winners/

[13] “Berta Cáceres’s name was on Honduran military hitlist, says former soldier,” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/21/berta-caceres-name-honduran-military-hitlist-former-soldier

[14] “Entre balas y cárcel: 35 periodistas exiliados en tres años,” https://www.reporterosdeinvestigacion.com/2020/05/23/entre-balas-y-carcel-la-prensa-hondurena/

[15] Lakhani, op.cit., p.219.

[16] “Guardian stringer covering notorious Honduras murder trial shares safety fears amid online smear campaign,” https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/guardian-stringer-covering-notorious-honduras-murder-trial-shares-safety-fears-amid-online-smear-campaign/

[17] Lakhani, op.cit., p.252.

[18] “Violence, Corruption & Impunity in the Honduran Energy Industry: A profile of Roberto David Castillo Mejía,” http://www.soaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Violence-Corruption-Impunity-A-Profile-of-Roberto-David-Castillo.pdf

[19] “Family of slain Honduran activist appeal to US court for help in her murder trial,” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/31/berta-caceres-murder-trial-subpoena-david-castillo

[20] See COPINH’s web page on the aftermath of the Berta Cáceres trial, https://copinh.org/2020/05/actualizacion-causa-berta-caceres-2/; see also “Indígenas piden acusación penal contra Daniel Atala como supuesto «asesino intelectual» de Berta Cáceres,” https://www.reporterosdeinvestigacion.com/2020/05/15/indigenas-piden-acusacion-penal-contra-daniel-atala-como-supuesto-asesino-intelectual-de-berta-caceres/

[21] “Inside the Plot to Murder Honduran Activist Berta Cáceres,” https://theintercept.com/2019/12/21/berta-caceres-murder-plot-honduras/

Posted in HondurasComments Off on Dams, Deaths Squads and the Murder of Berta Cáceres

From Monroe to Trump. US Sponsored Military Coups in Latin America

By Global Research New

Video: Syrian Armed Forces Teach ‘2nd Strongest NATO Army’ Painful Lesson in Idlib

By South Front,

Units of the Russian Military Police entered the town of Saraqib in eastern Idlib following the second liberation of the town from al-Qaeda terrorists and Turkish forces. According to the Russian military, the deployment took place at 5:00pm local time on March 2 and was intended to provide security and allow traffic through the M4 and M5 highways. In fact, the Russians came to put an end to Turkish attempts to capture the town and cut off the M5 highway in this area.

From Monroe to Trump. US Sponsored Military Coups in Latin America

By Elson Concepción Pérez,

The latest threat to Venezuela of a possible military intervention, the recent coup in Bolivia under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS), the tightening of the blockade of Cuba, destabilization in Nicaragua, and open interference in the internal affairs of countries in the region, where democratic governments have set the standards for development and sovereignty, do not come as a surprise.

The US-Taliban ‘Peace Deal’? Imperial State Criminality and Terrorism, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and “Restorative Justice”

By Junaid S. Ahmad,

The US/NATO war and occupation of Afghanistan offers a glaring case of what US Senator Fulbright (yes, the one who started the Fulbright program of scholarships and exchanges) called the ‘arrogance of power’ (of his country), his book being of the same title. The wealthiest and most powerful nation in the history of the world, with a war machine on steroids, invading and occupying for nearly two decades one of the poorest countries on the planet – and one which had already undergone two decades of uninterrupted internecine war in the prior two decades.

Keep It Simple and Question: Propaganda, Technology, and Coronavirus COVID-19

By Edward Curtin,

Two of the major problems the world faces – world destruction with nuclear weapons and the poisoning of the earth’s ecology and atmosphere – are the result of the marriage of science and technique that has given birth to the technological “babies” (Little Boy and Fat Man) that were used by the U.S. to massacre hundreds of thousands of Japanese and now threaten to incinerate everyone, and the chemical and toxic inventions that have despoiled the earth, air, and water and continue to kill people worldwide through America’s endless war-making and industrial applications.

Turkey in Syria: Down a Blind Alley in an Unwinnable War?

By Tony Cartalucci,

Turkey had been making some promising steps in the right direction since Washington’s disastrous proxy regime-change war in Syria began unraveling – yet it still maintains a problematic position inside Syrian territory, backing what are unequivocally terrorists and obstructing Syria’s sovereign right to recover and restore order within its own borders.

The latest and most dangerous manifestation of this untenable policy is the increasingly frequent and fierce clashes between Turkish forces occupying Syrian territory and Syrian forces themselves moving deeper into the northern Syrian governorate of Idlib.

Neoliberal Globalization Is Pushing Humanity “Towards the Edge”

By Shane Quinn,

There have been a number of harmful consequences as a result of the neoliberal era, which emerged in the late 1970s, taking off during the tenures of Ronald Reagan (US president, 1981-1989) and Margaret Thatcher (British prime minister, 1979-1990). There has been an explosion of private power, splintering of societies, destabilization of the financial system, and so on.

Neoliberal globalization has been an important factor too in political parties shifting further to the right, and succumbing to the power of increasingly dominant multinational corporations. This is most notable in America where the Republican Party (or organization) has moved so far off the spectrum that traditional republicans from previous decades would hardly recognize it today.

Why Are Stocks Crashing?

By Mike Whitney,

Uncertainty. It’s impossible for investors to gauge the economic impact of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus or its effect on stock prices. Investors buy stocks with the expectation that their investment will grow over time. In periods of crisis, when the environment becomes unfamiliar and opaque, expectations are crushed under the weigh of uncertainty. When expectations dampen, investors sell.

Posted in USA, Brazil, CUBA, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Peru, Puerto Rico, South America, VenezuelaComments Off on From Monroe to Trump. US Sponsored Military Coups in Latin America

As Honduras Collapses, Its People are Forced to Flee

by LAURA CARLSEN

Photograph Source: ProtoplasmaKid – CC BY-SA 4.0

Honduras is collapsing. The thousands of migrants who flee every day are direct testimony to a political, economic and social crisis that the world ignores and the U. S. government seems bent on perpetuating. Instead of examining the crisis behind the exodus, the Trump administration has set an intercontinental human trapline that captures thousands of the world’s poorest and most persecuted men, women and children, and then converts their suffering into campaign fodder.

Until the Ukraine gamechanger came along, this seemed to be working as the central message of a candidacy that proclaimed white supremacy a valid political platform. Since the whistleblower exposé, the Trump re-election campaign has had to pivot to spewing lies about Joe Biden and fending off impeachment But unless he goes down, sooner or later he´ll return to slandering immigrants and issuing racist warnings of the “invasion” from the south.

Meanwhile, almost no-one is asking why so many people leave. Donald Trump portrays Honduran and other Central American migrants as global gold-diggers, looking for a way to scam an overly tolerant United States. Anyone with the slightest familiarity with what migrants go through, abandoning their homes and facing the physical and psychological dangers of the migrant trail, immediately and correctly dismisses this explanation.

The Mexican government has emphasized going to “the root causes” of migration, which it defines as underdevelopment, and a democratic congressional delegation led by Nancy Pelosi in August recently used the same language. But what are the ‘root causes’? What really motivates so many people to leave, when their chances of making it to relatives and new lives in the United States are so low? When the cost of the journey—in all senses—is so high?

The Real Roots of Migration

I went down to Honduras to ask grassroots leaders these questions. Also, to find out what’s behind the rise in the popular movement over the past year and, most of all, whether it can provide a way out of the downward spiral the country has been in since the coup of 2009. I found a country facing an acute crisis on all levels—a political crisis of legitimacy that has destroyed faith in the leaders and led to violent repression
of protest as the government implodes, an economic crisis with over 60% of the population living in poverty and extreme poverty, and a crisis in security as organized crime groups control urban territory, corporations take over resources, and corrupt security forces and paramilitaries routinely attack the citizenry with practically no legal consequences. There is also a deeper, more ineffable crisis: many Hondurans see no future in their own country.

Bartolo Fuentes is a migrant organizer who accompanied the first large caravan that left San Pedro Sula in October of 2018, picking up thousands of Hondurans and later Guatemalans before arriving at the Mexican southern border. He dismissed another common explanation for why people leave, one espoused by both Trump and the Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, that traffickers are responsible for convincing people to leave.

“That’s absurd, if they just ask the migrants in Tapachula (Mexico’s southern border) how they got there, what motivated them to leave, they’ll realize that here there’s terrible hunger, people don’t have a way to make a living, and worse, they don’t have any hope that things will get better,” Fuentes stated. “The people leave because in Honduras they can’t resolve the basic problem of survival. Other countries need to understand that it’s not outside agitators or instigators that are prodding the people to leave, it’s hunger, it’s despair, it’s the lack of opportunities. The way things are, Hondurans aren’t going to stop leaving any time soon.”

He and many others also cite as causes the everyday violence and death threats for the slightest of offenses—a young woman who rejects the advances of a local gang leader, a taxi driver who can no longer pay the weekly extortion fee, the mother who shields her young son from forced recruitment into gangs, and the child himself, growing up with too many images of loved ones murdered or filled with fear.  The list of what makes one a target in a land where the law has no inhibiting influence whatsoever goes on and on.

10 Years After the Coup

According to former president Manuel Zelaya, the current crisis has been a long time in the making—since 2009 when he was kidnapped and forcibly removed from office in a military coup. Despite widespread international condemnation of the coup, he was never restored to power in a return to the constitutional order. Instead, the illegal coup regime organized elections to whitewash its crime with the help of the U.S. government. Under successive illegitimate governments, democratic institutions became tools for private national and transnational interests.

“This has created more migrants, more poverty, greater corruption, more looting and an increase in drug trafficking because, put simply, there’s a popular phrase that says ‘when the river is muddied, it’s the fisherman’s gain’, Zelaya told me in his office in the opposition LIBRE Party headquarters.

“And we’re facing a reality—the global economic system of the transnationals generates privatizations, impositions of the International Monetary Fund and more poverty. With the lack of opportunities, the people flee, it’s not that they migrate– they flee –from the lack of opportunities and the misery in our country.”

Zelaya’s reflections on what happened after the coup lead straight into the protests happening today. After the coup, Honduras became the training ground for extreme forms of neoliberalism. It encouraged transnational investment in megaprojects that displace rural communities and cause entrenched conflicts. The foreign debt burgeoned from $3 billion to more than $9 billion in ten years. The rightwing president Juan Orlando Hernandez, has faced numerous corruption scandals and massive protests following the 2017 presidential election. In that election, JOH first stacked a court that then gave him a green light to go against the constitution and run for re-election, then he stole that election, shut down the vote count and declared himself the winner. Since then, the Honduran people have not stopped protesting. and the IMF signed a stand-by agreement with his administration for $311 million in May, signaling further privatization. The nation increasingly depends on remittances from the thousands who fled.

In early 2019, a law and then a series of presidential decrees opened up health and education services to private sector investment and management. The medical profession, unions and farmers, teachers and students hit the streets to protest the privatization measures and forced the government to roll back some, but not all, of the reforms. Under the leadership of the head of the Medical College, Dr. Suyapa Figueroa, the growing popular movement refused to back down. The Platform for the Defense of Health and Education was formed out of the people’s gut reaction to the wholesale delivery of the country to private interests and international capital. The privatization of health struck a nerve.

“The population was outraged because the situation that most harms them is the fact that the government had completely abandoned the issue of health. We always had shortages in hospitals, but never to the point where these shortages were constant, and we believe that these shortages were on purpose to cause the dterioration of the public health systme to justify passing health services provison to the private sector,” Dr. Figueroa explained.

Today, the Platform for the Defense of Health and Education is the backbone of Honduras’ resistance movement. While strengthening its specific demands for accessible, free-of-charge public services, its main demand is the immediate resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH, by his initials).

A Narcostate?

That day might be closer than anyone expected. Hernandez was cited as a co-conspirator in the drug-trafficking trial of his brother, Tony. Tony Hernandez was extradited to the United States under terms his brother passed into law, in part to guarantee US support for his bid for power. The District court filing states that Juan Orlando used illegal drug money to finance his campaign and maintain his power.

On October 18, th court convicted Tony Hernandez on four counts of drug trafficking, illegal possession of weapons and making false statements to a US official. For the Honduran opposition, the trial meant that the accusation that Honduras is a “narcostate”, with the president at the head of it, was proven in a US court of law. It was huge news—not so much the revelation of the president’s involvement, but the fact that it became part of evidence in a US court that validated the information. Pressure to oust JOH increased and the grassroots movement gained momentum.

The mounting evidence of corruption and illegal activity against JOH should be ample reason for the US Congress to reconsider its strategy in Honduras. Trump announced plans to cut off aid to the country, and other Central American nations, for not doing enough to force their citizens to remain exposed to the violent situations the U.S. government helped create. His announcement caused a stir in Washington and the press, but the aid suspension never happened. Instead aid has continued, largely to repressive military and police and border programs that exacerbate rather than address the real problems.

Inexplicably, many progressive politicians and Washington NGOs protested the original announcement of suspension of aid to Honduras, with little explanation of how aid to an illegitimate and unpopular government in crisis would help the country. US aid historically– and especially under a Trump administration– has never been impartial or beneficent to the receiving Central American countries. All the Honduran grassroots leaders I talked to were very clear—U.S. aid props up the JOH government and works against us.

Trump later reversed himself and promised to restore aid, mostly for security measures to contain migration. And now the U.S. government has a new way to spend taxpayer money and ruin lives. On Sept. 25, Trump convinced a very vulnerable Juan Orlando Hernandez to sign a “Safe Third Country”agreement. This agreement  forces asylum seekers from other countries passing through Honduras to seek asylum there rather than continuing northward, despite the fact that Honduras is the nation that expels more people than any other country in the Hemisphere. As crazy as it sounds–and it is–the Honduran president quickly agreed, amid speculation that the negotiation included some sort of immunity or conditions of a cushy exile probably in Florida should that become necessary (potentially allowing him precisely what the U.S. government is so bent on denying ordinary Hondurans). JOH is teetering on the edge of a precipice, with the accusations of drug trafficking, abuse of power and corruption hanging over his head and a huge part of his own citizenry calling for his resignation on a daily basis.

Instead of turning a blind eye to the Honduran crisis, Congress should stop propping up a man his own people call a dictator. As the Honduran government continues to attack protestors and target activists, it should quickly approve the Bertha Cáceres Act, named for the feminist environmental activist murdered for defending a river slated to be dammed. The Act calls for the immediate suspension of security aid.

For those of us who have worked for decades on Central American solidarity, for the hundreds of thousands of Hondurans living in the United States and for new generations of activists involved in migrants’ rights, social justice and foreign policy, the plea is to stand up with and for the Honduran popular movement. Honduras has been the worst-case scenario of broken rights, outright U.S. intervention and ruinous capitalist economic policy. The Honduran people have had to fight so hard for so long. By joining grassroots and international pressure, the people could finally win their nation back from the corrupt oligarchy that has hijacked it.

Posted in HondurasComments Off on As Honduras Collapses, Its People are Forced to Flee

Washington’s Consensus on Neofascist Coups in Latin America

by; PAUL STREET

A clash between pro-Zelaya protesters and the Honduran military. Photograph Source: Roberto Breve – CC BY-SA 2.0

However much they war on the domestic political front, Washington’s Democrats and Republicans are on the same page when it comes to the imperial war on democracy and social justice in Latin America.

No Partisan Warfare on Honduras (2009)

In 2009 and 2010 Republicans were in a partisan tizzy over everything Barack Obama and Democratic Party, from health insurance reform to economic stimulus, bank bailouts, auto bailouts, and climate policy. The “Tea Party” rebellion arose, replete with a heavy dose of white herrenvolk racism.

But the Teapublicans offered no complaint when Obama’s Secretary of State Hilary Clinton aided and abetted a right-wing business and military coup that overthrew Honduras’ democratically elected left-populist president Manuel Zelaya in the spring of 2009.  Washington’s two major parties were united in opposition to Zelaya’s alignment of Honduras with Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia in attacking poverty and inequality and redirecting Latin American regional development away from U.S. control [1]. Democrats and Republicans agreed that the independent and egalitarian Latin American trend needed to be checked.

The Honduran coup and the Obama administration’s critical role in supporting it was just peachy keen as the GOP was concerned. Never mind that the regime-change in Honduras produced bloody repression and increased misery in that desperately poor country.

No Impeachment for Backing a Venezuelan Coup Attempt (January 2019)

Flash forward ten years.  The Obama-backed right-wing coup in Honduras helped fuel Central American migrant streams that the demented fascist oligarch Donald Trump railed against during his successful and Nativist presidential campaign. “Donito Assolini” has been mired in partisan turmoil since the beginning of his cancerous, white-nationalist presidency. The two major parties and their constituents disagree sharply over whether the tiny-fingered, tangerine-tinted, Twitter-tantruming tyrant Trump should be impeached and removed for trying to trade arms to Ukraine in exchange for political dirt on the ludicrous right-wing Democratic-presidential clown-car candidate Joe Biden. Washington and the U.S. electorate are torn by fanatical partisan polarization. Nine in ten Democrats think Trump committed an impeachable offense regarding Ukraine but just 18.5% of Republicans, less than one in five, agree.

Impeachment is nearly certain [2] in the U.S. House of Representatives since the House is controlled by Democrats.  Removal is unlikely in the U.S. Senate because the upper chamber of Congress is run by Republicans, who will argue that Trump’s abuse of power does not rise to the level required for defenestration. The neofascistic “heartland” Trumpenvolk is ready to respond to removal and perhaps even to impeachment with armed attacks, encouraged by a malignantly narcissistic and authoritarian president who has “warned” of (threatened to spark) “Civil War….If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office.”

Trump’s well-documented and ham-fisted attempt to bribe and extort political assistance from Ukraine is worthy of impeachment and removal.  But by focusing narrowly on Biden-Burisma-Gate, the Democrats are essentially exonerating Trump on numerous other graver, impeachment- and removal-worthy offenses including the separation of migrant children from their parents at the southern U.S. border, the detention of tens of thousands of migrant children and families in for profit concentration camps, the instruction for the U.S. Border Patrol to violate the law, the breach of international asylum law, the declaration of a fake national emergency to criminally divert taxpayer funds to the building of a widely hated Nativist Wall, the acceleration of Ecocide (the biggest issue of our or any time), and – of special relevance to this essay and current events in Bolivia (see below) – the eager support Trump granted an attempted right-wing coup to overthrow the democratically elected left-populist (Chavista-socialist) Maduro government in Venezuela last Winter.  Regarding the last transgression, here is a thoroughly reasonable Article of Impeachment, one of many drafted by the activist group Roots Action:

“In his conduct while President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of President of the United States …On the evening of January 22, 2019, following years of damaging U.S. sanctions against Venezuela, which followed an unsuccessful 2002 U.S.-supported coup attempt, Vice President Pence called Juan Guaidó and told him that the United States would support him if he were to seize power in Venezuela. The next day, January 23, Guaidó attempted to do so. That same day, President Trump issued a statement recognizing Guaidó as the President of Venezuela, despite the fact that Venezuela had an elected president and that Guaidó had no legitimate claim to the presidency. On January 24, 2019, the Trump-Pence administration attempted unsuccessfully to persuade the Organization of American States to recognize Guaidó as president…In the above and related actions and decisions, President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Michael Richard Pence…are guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal from office.”

Sadly, it is unthinkable that the Democratic Party establishment would give a second thought to impeaching Trump for his support of a criminal right-wing putsch in Venezuela.  That’s because top Democrats are on board with Republicans in believing that independent and socialist-leaning governments representing the interests of poor and working-class Latin Americans need to make way for regimes more compliant to the commands of Washington and Western financial institutions and corporations.

Bolivia Right Now: “We Can’t Botch This Like We Did Venezuela”

Few Democrats beyond a handful of progressive outliers like Bernie Sanders have had the basic human and democratic decency to denounce the vicious racist and neofascist coup that removed Bolivia’s democratically elected socialist and Indigenous president Evo Morales from power eleven days ago. Anyone with Internet access can see graphic footage of a massacre in which peaceful Indigenous protesters in Cochabamba were murdered by snipers in military helicopters defending a “transitional government” headed by an evangelical neofascist who has tweeted the following: “I dream of a Bolivia free of indigenous satanic rituals, the city is not for the Indians send them to the high plains or to the Chaco!”

True to his own racist, neofascistic, and oligarchic colors, Trump grotesquely hailed the gruesome Bolivian coup for bringing the world “one step closer to a completely free, prosperous, and democratic Western hemisphere.”

Where have the Ukraine-Russia- and impeachment-obsessed Democrats been on the Trump-backed fascist-racist Bolivian coup? Missing in action, for the most part, beyond the progressive margins occupied by Sanders et al. “Since Morales’ forced resignation,” the left commentator Jacob Sugerman notes, “the response of leading Democrats and presidential hopefuls has been one of almost total silence, even among the party’s putative progressives. Liberal Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) chillingly tweeted that “the U.S. needs to support a civilian-led transition of power at a perilous moment. We can’t botch this like we did Venezuela.’’ A hideous statement given the fact that the United States recently backed yet another failed right-wing coup in Venezuela, as it did in 2002!

“The Western Media Can Barely Conceal Their Adulation”

The “liberal media” hasn’t been much better. “For all the supposed threat Trump represents and the enthusiasm sparked by his possible impeachment,” Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR) reports. “Western media continue to march lockstep behind his administration’s coups in Latin America. Bolivia has a new US-backed puppet leader,” FAIR notes after surveying the “liberal” U.S. and European press, “and the Western media can hardly conceal their adulation” (emphasis added). The New York Times, the Guardian, and other leading Western papers portray to the coup regime as merely “conservative,” downplaying its fascist essence and the horrific violence it is employing while purveying the coup regime’s false claim that Morales corruptly stole his re-election last October 25th.

While the major television networks have kept millions of U.S. eyeballs glued to the House Democrats’ often compelling Biden-Burisma impeachment drama (“Insane in the Ukraine”), a U.S.- backed fascist coup regime in the Americas – in Bolivia – is massacring people in plain sight with bipartisan U.S. approval. What percentage of US-Americans know about this atrocity? (probably less than 0.3%). Like so many other hideous crimes at home and abroad, the neofascist coup and repression are not considered newsworthy on US television. The Indigenous Bolivians being shot through the skull by fascist forces in military helicopters are classic examples of what Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman called “officially unworthy victims” in U.S. mass media. They are insidiously invisible to all but a few U.S.-Americans.

“Two Wings of the Same Bird of Prey”

It is all so very neo-Cold War.  While the “liberal” U.S. media and political class claims to care passionately about liberty and democracy in Eastern Europe (though never explains what right Washington has to meddle in the political and military affairs of Eastern Europe, on the historically explosive western border of nuclear-armed Russia), it couldn’t care less about freedom, democracy and social justice in its own hemisphere, where Latin Americans are expected to take direction for Washington and its allies among the most reactionary sections of the Latin American ruling class — or face bloody repression.

This is not merely a matter of bad information and oversight or distraction by impeachment.  It’s about the imperialist Democratic Party’s longstanding opposition to true national independence, social justice, and democracy in Latin America (and in other “Third World” locations) since the Woodrow Wilson presidency and before.  As far as Latin American independence and social justice fighters have long been concerned have long been concerned, the Democrats and Republicans are very much as Upton Sinclair described them in the original Appeal to Reason version of The Jungle: “two wings of the same bird of prey.” For all their partisan tumult in the imperial “homeland” today, Sinclair’s metaphor still fits U.S. policy towards Latin America and indeed the rest of the world – Ukraine included[3]

Endnotes.

1. The fake-progressive corporate imperialist Barack Obama summarized part of the bipartisan U.S. foreign policy establishment consensus in his nauseating, stealthily right-wing 2006 campaign book The Audacity of Hope. There Obama ripped “left-leaning populists” like “Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez” for daring to think that developing nations “should resist America’s efforts to expand its hegemony” and for trying to “follow their own path to development.”  Such supposedly dysfunctional “reject[ion] [of] the ideals of free markets and liberal democracy” will only worsen the situation of the global poor, Obama claimed (p. 315), ignoring a preponderance of evidence of showing that the imposition of the “free market” corporate-neoliberal “Washington Consensus” had deepened poverty across the world for decades.

2. The United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is helping end doubt about the likelihood of Trump’s impeachment as I am writing this essay on the morning of Wednesday, November 20th, 2019. Sondland is testifying to the House that Trump conditioned arms shipments to Ukraine on Ukraine’s new president publicly announcing an investigation into Biden and the Ukrainian gas company Burisma in the spring and summer of this year. Sondland is also noting numerous efforts by the Trump administration to criminally obstruct the House impeachment inquiry.

3. Trump is being impeached (though probably not removed) for interjecting his personal political interests into U.S. imperial policy in Eastern Europe. But, with all due respect for Trump’s strange and suspicious attraction to Vladimir Putin, the two major U.S. political parties share the brazen imperial notion that the Superpower United States has some special God- and/or history-ordained global-exceptionalist entitlement to be centrally involved in political and military affairs on nuclear-armed Russia’s volatile western border, on nuclear-armed China’s borders, in the super-volatile Middle East, and indeed in practically every part of the planet.

Posted in USA, Bolivia, Brazil, CUBA, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, HondurasComments Off on Washington’s Consensus on Neofascist Coups in Latin America

Clinton political critic murdered in Honduras ‘Video’

NOVANEWS

Image result for hillary clinton cartoon drawing

A “NIGHTMARE REGIME”

SHE CALLED OUT CLINTON BY NAME

When she was Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton green-lighted a violent right wing coup against the democratically elected president of Honduras.

She then worked to tirelessly to discredit its critics.

Now one of those critics, a woman who was a leading human rights leader, just got a bullet in the head.

She wasn’t shy about mentioning Hilary Clinton by name.

Now, during the presidential primary and election season, she won’t be saying anything.



Posted in USA, HondurasComments Off on Clinton political critic murdered in Honduras ‘Video’

Why Did Latin America Stop Standing up for Palestine?

NOVANEWS
CECILIA BAEZA

(L-r) Sara Netanyahu and her husband, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, applaud as Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and his wife, Hilda Patricia Marroquin, open the Guatemalan Embassy in Jerusalem, May 16, 2018. Guatemala became the first country to follow in the footsteps of the United States’ deeply controversial move, breaking with decades of international consensus. (RONEN ZVULUN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, August/September 2018, pp. 44-45

Special Report

By Cecilia Baeza 

WHILE MOST OF THE WORLD rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, some Latin American leaders have supported it enthusiastically. This may come as a surprise to many; after all, the region has been vocal about its support for the Palestinian cause. All Latin American states, except for Colombia, Panama and Mexico, recognized the state of Palestine between 2008 and 2013.

But political realities in the region have changed. Paraguay recently became the third country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of the U.S. and Guatemala. Honduras may be next; last month, its congress passed a resolution urging its Foreign Ministry to carry out the move. And in December 2017, Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right presidential candidate leading in Brazil’s most recent polls, stated that if elected he would follow Trump’s controversial decision.

Such developments signal a worrisome shift in support for the Palestinian cause and demonstrate a broader regional trend toward regressive politics.

Many observers are pointing to the fact that Latin America and Israel have ties that date back to 1948. Guatemala pioneered these relations with its immediate recognition of the Israeli state, and more than half of Latin American countries opened embassies in Jerusalem in the years that followed. Yet though Latin America was rather friendly toward Israel until 1967, afterward, relations changed.

For instance, in 1980, Israel’s adoption of a law proclaiming Jerusalem its “indivisible and eternal capital” led to a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on countries to move their embassies to Tel Aviv.

Nine Latin American states—Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela—immediately respected the demand. The Dominican Republic and Guatemala delayed until 1982, but ultimately implemented the resolution.

More recently, in 2014, as the Israeli offensive against Gaza’s population escalated and the international community stayed silent, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru issued strong statements of condemnation and recalled their ambassadors for consultation.

Regional support for relocating embassies to Jerusalem is linked to an alarming takeover of power by right-wing forces in the region and their need for U.S. approval. The right-wing governments of Guatemala and Honduras are facing serious political crises, for example, and desperately need Washington’s support.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has been mired in a series of corruption and money laundering scandals since 2016, and is still under pressure to submit his resignation. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s recent re-election in November 2017 was plagued by widespread allegations of electoral fraud and corruption, as well as violence against protesters.

For Morales and Hernandez, moving their embassies to Jerusalem is not only a show of “goodwill” toward Trump, but an attempt to shift attention away from domestic troubles. It also shows a resurgence of servile subordination to U.S. interests—something most Latin American governments had managed to overcome in the 2000s.

The two leaders also have personal connections to Israel. Morales is an evangelical Christian, as are around 40 percent of Guatemalans, and as such he is a staunch Zionist. Hernandez, on the other hand, is a graduate of an outreach program administered by the Agency for International Development Cooperation under the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Paraguay’s president, Horacio Cartes—a billionaire who has also been accused of money laundering and drug smuggling—also has close ties with Israel. He is known to have close relations with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. One of Cartes’ campaign advisers in 2013, Ari Harow, also served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff.

Further, these three leaders came to power with the support of right-wing parties that have long-standing ties with the Israeli military industry. Israel sold weapons to and maintained excellent relations with the Paraguayan tyrant Alfredo Stroessner, a military general who ruled from 1954 to 1989. Cartes, the leader of the right-wing Colorado Party, which served as the political power base of the Stroessner dictatorship, has revived these military connections.

Similar ties were established in the late 1970s between the Guatemalan regime and Israel. A few years later, when Gen. Efrain Rios Montt staged a coup, it was reported that 300 Israeli military advisers aided him. Officers who participated in the Guatemalan civil war side by side with Montt, who was later convicted of genocide against indigenous communities, are now part of Morales’ party. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the Guatemalan president chose to go to Israel for his first official trip abroad.

Honduras, too, received significant military support from Israel during the 1980s, when the CIA-backed Contra uprising swept through the country. In 2016 it signed a new arms export deal with Israel, one of the largest in Latin America in recent years. Hernandez called it an historic deal that would strengthen the country’s security forces, unlike anything that came before it.

Admittedly, democracy is receding in Latin America, even in countries governed by left-wing parties, such as in Nicaragua and Venezuela. But there is something especially worrisome about this new generation of right-wing leaders in Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay and elsewhere. They are reversing gains achieved by the civil society on indigenous and minority rights and re-introducing toxic racist rhetoric and policies—not that different from the Israeli ones.

Israel’s financial and military support for these right-wing powers spells nothing good for the people of Latin America.



Posted in Palestine Affairs, CUBA, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, VenezuelaComments Off on Why Did Latin America Stop Standing up for Palestine?

The Struggle Against Honduras’ Stolen Election

NOVANEWS

Last year’s disputed elections in Honduras continue to present a struggle for grassroots activists in the country, who face harsh police and military crackdowns in response to protests, reports Dennis J. Bernstein in the following interview.

By Dennis J. Bernstein

The latest tragedy of misguided U.S. foreign policy in Central America is the tacit support for another stolen presidential election in Honduras. The new right-wing renegade government there is inflicting terrible violence upon people who refuse to accept the election results from Last November’s election between extreme right-wing parliamentary dictator, Juan Orlando Hernandez, the current president, and progressive reformer, Salvador Nasralla.

A map of Honduras.

To get a clearer picture as to what is happening on the ground in Honduras–which includes dozens of murders of street activists–I spoke to Sandra Cuffe. Based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Cuffe has resided for many years in Central America and writes for several online publications.

Cuffe also expressed deep concern for the safety of Edwin Espinal, a noted activist and ally to many movements in Honduras, including COPINH. COPINH is the group founded by the late Berta Caceres, who it is believed was assassinated by right-wing forces affiliated with the Honduran government. Espinal has now been arrested and is being held under difficult circumstances at a Honduran military base.

“The current government has arrested, beaten Espinal many times,” said one friend and co-worker of Espinal. “His body has been beaten and broken repeatedly. Now he is a political prisoner, held in leg chains, for having exercised his right to free speech and free assembly”.

I spoke to Cuffe on January 24 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Dennis Bernstein: Could you remind people what happened in terms of recent elections in Honduras, and give us a sense of the atmospheric pressure right now?

Sandra Cuffe: Last November 26 there were general elections in Honduras.  It was a fiercely contested election between Juan Orlando Hernandez, the current president, and Salvador Nasralla, who was the candidate for the oppositional alliance against the dictatorship.

According to the Honduran constitution, re-election for the office of president is not allowed but the right wing has been concentrating power to the point where the executive branch controls basically all branches of government and a supreme court ruling allowed for the president’s re-election.

On the other side, the Libre Party grew out of resistance to the 2009 coup d’etat that was supported by the United States.  For these elections, it formed an alliance with a smaller party, as well as with Salvador Nasralla.

After more than half the votes had been counted, preliminary results had Nasralla in the lead by five points, which was considered irreversible.  The computer system then mysteriously crashed and when it came back online that lead began to rapidly disappear.

That was the earliest indication that fraud was involved.  The official results took another few weeks to come out. The Organization of American States found serious irregularities in the voting and numerous indications of fraud.

Meanwhile, there were massive protests and all kinds of actions going on across the country. At least 35 people have been killed, with the actual number being probably much higher. Most were killed when security forces opened fire on protests around the country. Hundreds have been wounded and well over a thousand have been detained. Many have been released but some are still being held as political prisoners. The inauguration is set for January 27 so we are now in the middle of a week of action leading up to that.

DB: Please say a little more about what is at stake here and why people are willing to put their lives on the line.

SC: What is at stake is democracy.  Since the 2009 coup, people have organized, formed political parties and alliances. A lot of people who hadn’t been politically active before are now starting to take action in an attempt to change what is going on.

The ruling National Party has been in power since 2010. They have concentrated power to an extreme degree. There has been a huge rise in militarization, including the creation of a military police which has been responsible for the majority of the deaths of protesters.

Salvador Nasralla in 2013.

Even aside from this current crisis since the election, Honduras has long been one of the most violent countries in the world, one of the most dangerous for environmental defenders as well as for journalists. Healthcare and education are in shambles. Corruption is rampant. So really the future of the country is at stake.

But despite the repression, people are not backing down. There have been massive marches, especially last December in the capital, with tens of thousands of people in the streets. The opposition alliance has its strongest base in the northwest of the country, where resistance has always been strongest. Tire blockades have been used in a lot of places. There was at first some limited dialogue with police, but recently it has mainly been military forces showing up, opening fire or using tear gas.

DB: What has the U.S. government said about the killing of protesters?  Do they continue to support the coup?

SC: For decades, Honduras has been a key ally of the U.S. in Central America. There is a huge military base there. It is home to the U.S. Southern Command Joint Task Force Bravo. In the 1980s it was the training ground and launching pad for counterinsurgency operations throughout Central America. The United States is in the background of everything that goes on politically in Honduras.

The U.S. and the OAS disagreed on whether to recognize the election results. Two days after the election and just before soldiers started opening fire on protesters, the U.S. State Department certified the election, which freed up military aid to the Honduran government.

DB: The important activist Edwin Espinal is now in custody.  What is going on there now with his case?

SC: Edwin is a longtime activist in Honduras. He was extremely active in the movement in the streets after the coup. His wife was actually killed in the context of the protests. There have been around a thousand detentions. Most of those detained were released soon afterwards, but there are at least a couple dozen people still in jail. The charges are mainly related to property destruction.

In Edwin’s case, in response to tear gas attacks, protesters broke the windows of a Marriot Hotel next to the Presidential Palace. Several police stations have been burned down after police opened fire on protesters. Edwin was arrested last Friday and he faces three charges related to property destruction. He is under investigation for terrorism and criminal association. Edwin’s case has been placed in a special court system, with his hearings taking place on a military base. There is virtually no public access. This Monday he had his initial hearing.

DB: Has anyone been able to talk to him directly? And how do you think he will be treated while in custody?

SC: People were able to visit him after his arrest when he was being held in a police cell. They were able to see him very briefly going to and from hearings. However, he has lawyers from a prominent human rights organization so there has been some communication with the outside. Visits are very difficult to arrange. Reading materials are forbidden. In terms of safety, because there have been so many incidents of intimidation and threats by security forces against Edwin dating back to right after the coup, the government has implemented “protective measures” in his case under orders of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

DB: Has Edwin’s case received any support from members of the U.S. Congress?

SC: I don’t know the answer to that yet. There is a very active Honduran solidarity network in the US and Canada who have been very involved since the coup.

DB: In terms of U.S. policy toward Honduras, this is actually what we like to see, isn’t it? It is like one big free-trade zone with a few military bases thrown in. We can also expect a flood of more Hondurans and other Central Americans to the U.S.

SC: I know that when you talk to most young people, they no longer see a future for themselves here.They organized and went to the polls and the signs of clear victory were simply wiped out two days later. People are outraged and many of them will leave the country.

 



Posted in HondurasComments Off on The Struggle Against Honduras’ Stolen Election

Communiqué Against the Imposition of an Unconstitutional and Anti-Democratic Regime in Honduras

NOVANEWS

Dominican Republic

Despite the fact that the Honduran people have been demanding that the candidate of the Opposition Alliance against the Dictatorship, Salvador Nasralla, be recognized as their president elect, the disputed Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) has declared the winner of the elections of November 26 to the current president, Juan Orlando Hernandez.

The candidacy of Hernandez is illegal in the first place, since reelection is prohibited in the Constitution of Honduras. Fraud and serious irregularities in the electoral process have already been admitted by countless voices around the world, including the General Secretary of the Organization of American States. The declaration of Hernandez as the winner is an offense on a world scale, unacceptable from any point of view.

The repression against the people has been brutal, with up to now about 40 Hondurans killed, including about 10 children asphyxiated in their homes by tear gas, and a large number of people arrested.
In this situation, for justice and peace in Honduras, we in the Dominican Republic demand:

  1. The immediate cessation of violence by the repressive forces of the dictatorship of Juan Orlando Hernandez and respect for the civil and political rights of all Honduran citizens.
  2. That the declaration of Juan Orlando Hernandez as the winner of the elections be revoked.
  3. That the Government of the Dominican Republic disclaim and reject the declaration of Juan Orlando Hernandez as the winner of the elections, as the governments of El Salvador and other countries have already done, and that within the International Community the Dominican State demand that all legitimate means be applied in defense of the institutions and democracy in Honduras, to avoid the imposition of an unconstitutional government.
  4. That the citizens of the Dominican Republic and all Latin American countries demand from their governments a consistent, clear and firm conduct of defense of democracy in Honduras, without space or margin for further electoral fraud or coups in the region .

This statement was delivered to the Embassy of Honduras in Santo Domingo and to the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic on December 20, 2017.

Signed by:

Revolutionary Left – IR
Dominican Popular Movement – MPD
Socialist Workers League – LST-CURR
Caamañista Movement – MC
Aniana Vargas Popular Front– FEPAV
FALPO
FELABEL
Rebel Movement– MR
Broad Front
Transport Federation The New Option FENATRANO
World Federation of Trade Unions (Dominican Republic Chapter)
Popular Urban Network
Magisterial Current Juan Pablo Duarte
Alba Movements
Assembly of the Peoples of the Caribbean (APC)
International Alliance of Inhabitants
Cry of the Excluded
Communist Party of Labor (PCT)
Movement of Independent Workers (MTI)
Movement of Working Women (MMT)
Flavio Suero Student Front (FEFLAS)
National Commission for Human Rights
University Renewal Front (FUR).
Caribbean Youth
Trade Union Current Juan Pablo Duarte (UASD).
Homeland Movement For Everyone
National Union of Revolutionary Students –UNER
Force of the Revolution
Dominican Youth Force FJD
Magisterial Current Narciso Gonzalez
Venezuela Movement We Are All RD
Dominican Committee of Human Rights (CDDH)
Foundation Jesus in you I trust.
Matías Bosch Carcuro
Maribel Nuñez
Narciso Isa Conde
National Association of Nursing – Asonaen
Jupana Student Movement

Posted in HondurasComments Off on Communiqué Against the Imposition of an Unconstitutional and Anti-Democratic Regime in Honduras


Shoah’s pages

www.shoah.org.uk