Thursday, July 30, 2009

Honduras News Update: Another Anti-Coup National Strike; Reflections From Fidel

Another anti-coup national strike in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA, July 30—Another national strike in the state sector, marches, and the taking of highways and public institutions characterize Honduras today on the 33rd day of popular resistance to military coup.

The 48-hour strike was called last Sunday by the three main labor union groups at the end of an assembly of the National Front against the Coup organized to adopt strategies for the restitution of constitutional order.

The six national education colleges will be part of today’s and Friday’s demonstrations. In a strategy aimed at recovering days lost in the school year, teachers are returning to the classroom for the first three days of the week. Teachers and professors maintained a strike for three weeks after the coup on June 28.

In the last three days, members of the Front have closed access to the city’s principal luxury shopping malls and stores in reaction to business sector support for the coup leaders.

Yesterday, the protest affected Metro Mall, part-owned by the former president of Panamanian origin, Ricardo Maduro.

The army and riot policy closed in on the demonstrators and caused moments of tension, given the fear of another attack with arms, averted by march leaders, who insisted on the peaceful nature of the demonstration.

Meanwhile, the de facto government has re-extended the state of siege in the eastern department of El Paraíso, which has been subjected to this order for six days, thus provoking a humanitarian crisis in the area.

Army troops and police are still mounting roadblocks on the Pan-American Highway to Las Manos, on the border with Nicaragua, in order to prevent the crossing of thousands of people who are hoping to join up with President Manuel Zelaya, who is preparing his return to the country.

Zelaya’s mother, Hortensia Rosales; his wife, Xiomara Castro; and their daughter Xiomara, have been detained at these military posts since last Friday in their effort to reunite the family.

Popular vigils at the Venezuelan embassy and the Radio Globo radio station continued tonight for the sixth consecutive day in an effort to protect them from police action.

A deportation order hangs over the Venezuelans diplomats. They rejected this order because they do not recognize the de facto government. The radio station has been broadcasting constant coverage of the popular resistance against the coup leaders. (PL)

Translated by Granma International

Genocide in Honduras, states human rights defender

TEGUCIGALPA, July 28 (PL).— The Honduran armed forces and police are committing practicing collective genocide, affirmed a defender of human rights in the country, which is one month into the coup today.

Andrés Pavón, president of the Human Rights Committee in Honduras, informed the press that, in the face of that reality, it has submitted an appeal for protection to the Supreme Court.

"We came to lodge a writ before the court so that after the coup in Honduras, they cannot say that they were unaware of the practice of collective genocide that the armed forces and the police are carrying out," the lawyer affirmed.

In its curfews, the de facto regime is violating more than 22 articles of the constitution, such as the right to food and free movement, the legal specialist stated.

The appeal lodged before the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Room seeks to alert it to the "holocaust that is being constructed in the border town of El Paraíso," the lawyer noted.

Since last Thursday, a huge number of citizens have remained in that town, located 10 kilometers from the border with Nicaragua, in an attempt to join up with President Manuel Zelaya. They are at risk of losing their lives to military repression or a lack of water and food.

Pedro Magdiel Muñoz Salvador, a 23-year-old builder was murdered there and his body, showing visible signs of torture, was found some 100 meters from the El Paraíso police outpost. He had come from Tegucigalpa to support the return of the constitutional president after the coup on June 28.

The de facto government led by Roberto Micheletti imposed a curfew in the border area with Nicaragua last Friday which continues to date. The curfew has trapped many Zelaya sympathizers in a steadily worsening humanitarian crisis, Pavón confirmed.

Translated by Granma International

Reflections of Fidel

A Nobel Prize for Mrs. Clinton

(Taken from CubaDebate)

THE interminable document read out yesterday by Nobel laureate Oscar Arias is far worse than the seven points of the act of rendition that he proposed on July 18. He did not communicate with international opinion via a Morse code. He spoke before TV cameras that were broadcasting his image and all the details of the human face, which generally has as many variables as a person’s fingerprints. Any intention of lying can be easily discovered. I was observing him closely.

Among television viewers, the vast majority knew that a coup d’état had taken place in Honduras. Via that medium they were informed of the speeches made in the OAS, the UN, the SICA, the Non-Aligned [Movement] Summit and other forums; they had seen the outrages, and the abuse and repression of the people in activities that have brought together hundreds of thousands of people to protest against the coup d’état.

The strangest thing is that, when Arias was expounding on his new peace proposal, he wasn’t delirious; he believed in what he was saying.

Although very few people in Honduras were able to see the footage, many people in the rest of the world did see it and likewise, had seen when he proposed the famous seven points of July 18. They knew that the first of them stated textually: "The legitimate restitution of José Manuel Zelaya Rosales in the Presidency of the Republic until the end of the constitutional period for which he was elected."

Everybody wanted to know what the mediator would say yesterday afternoon. The recognition of the rights of the constitutional president of Honduras, with his powers reduced almost to zero in the first proposal, was relegated to sixth place in Arias’ second project, in which not even the phrase "legitimize the restitution" is employed.

Many upstanding people were shocked, and they possibly attribute what he said yesterday to his own shady maneuvers. Maybe I am one of the few people in the world to understand that there was an auto-suggestion more than a deliberate intention in the words of the Nobel Peace laureate. I particularly noticed that when Arias, with a special emphasis, his words choked with emotion, spoke of the multitude of messages that presidents and world leaders, moved by his initiative, had sent him. That is what passes through one’s mind; he doesn’t even realize that other honest and modest Nobel Peace laureates like Rigoberto Menchú and Adolfo Pérez Esquivel are indignant at what has taken place in Honduras.

Without any doubt whatsoever, a large number of Latin American governments, those which knew that Zelaya had approved of Arias’ initial project and that he trusted in the good sense of the coup leaders and their yanki allies, breathed a sigh of relief, which only lasted 72 hours.

Seen from another angle and returning to things prevailing in the real world, where the dominant empire exists and close to 200 sovereign states are having to battle with all kinds of conflicts and political, economic, environmental, religious and other interests, it only remains to give a prize to the brilliant yanki idea of thinking of Oscar Arias in order to gain time, consolidate the coup and demoralize the international agencies that supported Zelaya.

At the event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution, Daniel Ortega, recalling with bitterness the role of Arias in the first Esquipulas Agreement, stated before a huge crowd of Nicaraguan patriots: "The yankis know him very well, that’s why they chose him as a mediator in Honduras." An that same event, Rigoberto Menchú, of indigenous descent, condemned the coup.

If the measures approved in the foreign ministers’ meeting in Washington had simply been implemented, the coup d’état could not have survived the peaceful resistance of the Honduran people.

Now the coup leaders are already moving within Latin America’s oligarchic circles, some of which, in their high state positions, no longer blush when speaking of their sympathies toward the coup, and imperialism is fishing in the troubled waters of Latin America. Exactly what the United States wanted with the peace initiative, while it accelerated negotiations to surround the homeland of Bolívar with military bases.

One must be fair, and while we are waiting for the last word of the people of Honduras, we should demand a Nobel Prize for Mrs. Clinton.

No comments: