(Updated Sept. 28) International solidarity with the Honduran people's struggle for democracy

Solidarity demonstration, Sydney, September 24, 2009.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal below is publishing various solidarity statements and reports of actions in solidarity with the democracy struggle of the people of Honduras. More will be posted as they come to hand.

Socialist Alliance: `Australia must act for democracy in Honduras'

Below is an open letter from the Socialist Alliance to Australia's foreign affairs minister, Stephen Smith, calling on the Australian Labor government to act for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of President Manuel Zelaya, and the restoration of democracy in Honduras.

An open letter to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs

To: Stephen Smith, Minister for Foreign Affairs, PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Tel: (02) 6277 7500 Fax: (02) 6273 4112, email: Stephen.Smith.MP@aph.gov.au

Cc: Electorate office, 953A Beaufort St, Inglewood WA 6932, tel: (08) 9272 3411 Fax: (08) 9272 3477

September 24, 2009

Dear Minister Smith,

The people and nation of Honduras urgently need the support of democratic governments and peoples around the world.

The current military dictatorship in Honduras, which on June 28 overthrew the elected government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales in a coup d’etat, has unleashed a wave of repression against tens of thousands of people who have taken to the streets demanding Zelaya’s immediate restoration as president.

Zelaya re-entered Honduras on foot on September 21 and was given asylum by the Brazilian government in its embassy in Tegucigalpa. However, on September 22, as thousands of people assembled outside the embassy to welcome Zelaya home, the coup regime headed by Roberto Micheletti cut electricity and water to the embassy and tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed and fired on the president’s supporters, seriously injuring some.

With Zelaya’s return, the incessant violations of human rights and fundamental liberties perpetrated by the dictatorship over the last 85 days have significantly increased. Hundreds more civilians have been arrested and images have emerged of large numbers of protesters being rounded up and detained in a sports stadium in Tegucigalpa. The military has now imposed a total curfew in the country – an attempt to prevent the Honduran people from expressing their wish for the restoration of democracy in their country.

Speaking to international media on September 21, Zelaya called on Honduras’ armed forces to “respect the human rights of the Honduran people … To the commander general of the armed forces ... I peacefully make a call for sanity, so that there is no violence on the streets. The people here are unarmed, shouting for joy.”

It is a fundamental human right of all peoples to determine their own government and political future and during the last three months the people of Honduras have made very clear what they want with peaceful protests, strikes and road blockades, on a daily basis. On September 15, three million people rallied in more than 20 cities and towns across Honduras demanding an end to the coup.

We join with the nine governments of Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, the Organisation of American States, the UN General Assembly and the Rio Group in their call for Zelaya to be immediately reinstated as the legitimate president of Honduras and for the democratically elected government to be able to resume its duties. We note also that the European Union and almost every government in the world have officially condemned the coup, and call on the Australian government to urgently:

  • Demand that the coup leaders respect the integrity of the Brazilian embassy and immediately stop the repression against civilians;

  • Actively support the reinstatement of democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya, including supporting all calls for his reinstatement made at the 64th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly this week;

  • Demand the immediate release of all political and social movement activists who have been detained by the military;

  • Support President Zelaya’s and the Honduran people’s rejection of the terms of the “Arias agreement”, which would legitimise the coup leaders’ actions, and work for the reinstatement of Zelaya to the presidency without conditions of any kind, in accordance with the will of the people of Honduras.

  • Not recognise the results of Honduran elections in November if those elections are carried out while the coup government remains in power, the position of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR).

  • Support the calls of the Honduran people for the coup leaders to be arrested and tried for their crimes.

  • Pressure the United States administration to end its training of the Honduran military.

We applaud the millions of courageous Hondurans who have peacefully protested for three months to defend democracy, despite severe intimidation and assault by the military, and pledge our active solidarity with them until the coup is overturned and democratic rights are assured in Honduras.

Yours in support of the democratic rights of all peoples,

Bea Bleile, Margarita Windisch, Dick Nichols

National Conveners, Socialist Alliance

Download this letter as a PDF or Word document.

Statement from Cuban parliament on situation in Honduras

Havana, September 23, 2009 -- The National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba yesterday issued a statement repudiating the flagrant violation of human rights being suffered by the people of Honduras.

Below is the text of the document:

Given the gravity of events that are still occurring in the sister Republic of Honduras, the National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba affirms its profound concern over the flagrant violation of the most elemental human rights of the people of that country as a consequence of their determined and constant resistance and rejection of the coup d’état and the dismantling of the constitutional and democratic regime of the government of President Manuel Zelaya.

We join the universal repudiation and condemnation of the military regime imposed on that nation and call for the implementation of more energetic and profound measures on the part of the international community in order to achieve a return to normality and the restoration of the Honduran president, democratically and popularly elected, as a manifestation of the will of his people.

Zelaya’s presence in Tegucigalpa constitutes a gesture of courage and is based on his legitimate right as the constitutional president of Honduras. His physical integrity and that of his family, of the diplomatic personnel and other employees in the Brazilian embassy, as well as that of the group of Hondurans present there must be respected and guaranteed by the coup perpetrators. The barbaric repression of demonstrations by the people in support of the democracy that they are defending and which they deserve must likewise be ended.

PSOL Brazil: Unconditional support for Honduran people

September 22, 2009 -- Zelaya`s entry in Honduras is a great victory of the 85 days of Hondurean resistance. It put us the urgent task to improve the continental solidarity with the resistance at the moment it was opened a confrontation between people and dictatorship. There is a new situation which provides us with the urgent task of supporting the next steps in Honduras and also to prepare with all dedication the meeting they have organised on October 7 and 8.

There is no other way to understand how Zelaya entered the country – without negotiation with the regime, even surprising it – if it wasn’t due to the powerful Hondurean resistance which advanced on September 15. As the comrades of the Hondurean Resistance Front said, “This day we have mobilised 3 million people. Althought we can’t confirm this amount, because it is a sum of more than 20 mobilisations organised along the country, we can assure that only the mobilisation in Tegucigalpa had about 150,000 people.”

The resistance through these 85 days kept advancing, generating what we can call a democratic popular revolution, a mobilisation process as or deeper than the ones in Venezuela, Bolivia and Equador.

Zelaya’s entry and his positioning in Brazilian embassy gives power to this open process and it establishes in fact two powers: Zelaya and the mobilised people, from one side, and the oligarchy responsible for the coup d’état from the other side. How this process will be defined it depends of the power of the popular mobilisation to face the regime and of the resistance direction.

Another element which allowed the growth of the resistance was the international isolation of the coup’s regime. This isolation is also a product of the continental ascension which lives Latin America and that is expressed in the role of the ALBA’s countries, led by Venezuela, that positioned themselves for the return of Zelaya, and that have been almost for sure the ones who collaborated with his entry, as it was done in the past tries.

This situation also explains why yankee imperialism could not support the coup d’état and why Obama had to keep his repulsion to the coup and a position of a negotiated exit.

The next hours and days will be definitive for the outcome of the Hondurean process. In his return to the country Zelaya said: “Country, restitution or death”. He also said that the agreement proposed by Arias, the president of Costa Rica, is not the alternative. This was the position transmitted by Nicaragua’s ambassador to the emergency meeting of the Organization of American States.

At this time it was started a confrontion between the resistance and the dictatorship which tries to remove the demonstration in front of the Brazilian embassy.

WE DECLARE OURSELVES OPENLY AGAINST THE REPRESSION AND DENOUNCE THE DICTATORSHIP GOVERNMENT, AND SUPPORT THE IMMEDIATE RESTITUTION OF ZELAYA IN POWER, FOR THE WIDER SOLIDARITY AND COLABORATION WITH THE NATIONAL RESISTANCE FRONT.

It is time to develop one wide and unconditional campaign of solidarity, denouncing the repression and preparing one important delegation to be present in the Honduras meeting.

PSOL (Party for Socialism and Liberation) international relations secretary.

European Left MEPs demand EU support for deposed Honduran president

Francisco Contreras, president of Latinamerikagrupperna/Solidaridad Suecia-America Latina, addresses a picket outside the Swedish parliament to call for support to democracy in Honduras. The rally was organised in a few hours. Photo by Left Party, Sweden.

September 24, 2009 -- Spectrezine -- The legitimate president of Honduras Manuel Zelaya arrived in Honduras this week and is in the Brazillian embassy supported by thousands of people from all over the country that have come to Tegucigalpa to show their support.

The European United Left–Nordic Green Left (EUL-NGL), the left group in the European Parliament, is demanding that the EU offer concrete support for Zelaya, a democratically elected head of state deposed in an illegal military coup.

Willy Meyer of Spain’s Izquierda Unida (United Left), who visited the country four days after the coup d’etat, is delighted with the news of Zelaya's return and has demanded that the Spanish overnment, the European Commission and the European Council offer “the maximum collaboration with President Zelaya to endorse him in every action in order to restore the democratic order in Honduras”.

Meyer has asked the European Commission “to collaborate with the Organisation of American States (OAS) to support all diplomatic actions” and to instruct its office in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran cpital, to hold talks with President Zelaya “in order to coordinate the measures necessary for the return of constitutional order”.

“We are against the curfew and any kind of repression of the people that are around of the Brazillian Embassy, and we also demand that the army return to its barracks”, said Meyer.

Friends of the Earth International: A call for world-wide solidarity against the repression in Honduras

By Nnimmo Bassey

September 22, 2009 -- Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) applauds the return to Honduras of its legitimate president, Manuel Zelaya, who has taken refuge in the embassy of Brazil in Tegucigalpa. At the same time we note with grave concern the siege on the Brazilian embassy and the increase in repression following the return of President Zelaya. Friends of the Earth International denounces the gross human rights violations in Honduras perpetuated by the illegitimate government. This repression violates international norms and cannot be accepted under any circumstances.

The people of Honduras have stood firmly by their legitimate president and have not wavered since the day the unfortunate usurpation of power took place on 28 June 2009.

Friends of the Earth International calls on the international community to pressure the illegitimate authorities in Tegucigalpa to step aside for dialogue and for the completion of term of the legitimate president.

Specifically, Friends of the Earth International calls on the Security Council of the United Nations to take immediate actions to stem the rise of violence in Honduras.

We also assure the peoples of Honduras of the continued support and solidarity of our 77 groups and 2 million members spread around the world.

Nnimmo Bassey, chairperson, Friends of the Earth International.

Toronto: Supporters call for the return of democratically elected Honduran President to power

By John Bonnar

September 25, 2009 -- rabble.ca --  Supporters of deposed Honduran president Manuel Zelaya gathered outside the Brazilian consulate in Toronto on September 23 demanding his return to power while condemning the violence and oppression under interim leader Roberto Micheletti.

Zelaya, ousted in a coup nearly three months ago, slipped back into the country September 21 and is currently taking refuge in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa.

“Thank you Brazil and the people of Brazil for your great support”, said Raul Burbano of the Latin American Solidarity Network. Supporters applauded. “We’re here asking the Canadian government to condemn the violence against people who have been resisting peacefully against a military dictatorship for the last three months.”

“Viva Brazil”, yelled one supporter.

Representatives from Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and the Toronto Bolivia Solidarity Network also attended Wednesday’s rally on the southwest corner of Bloor and Bay Streets. In the past, the OSSTF has supported the Latin American Solidarity Network in their documentary work as well as moving forward the causes of progressive movements in Latin America. 

Burbano appealed to Canadians to take a stand against the interim Micheletti government that imposed a curfew, closed the airport and set up roadblocks on highways leading into Tegucigalpa to keep out more Zelaya supporters from other regions of the country.

The Associated Press reported that Zelaya loyalists ignored the decree and surrounded the embassy dancing and cheering and using their cell phones to light up the streets after electricity was cut off on the block housing the embassy.

Luis Granados Ceja was recently in Honduras with the brigade from the Latin American Solidarity Network. He explained that Zelaya’s return to Honduras had less to do with international pressure than the valiant efforts of the Honduran people, who have been resisting a military dictatorship for close to three months.

Even after daily rallies, constant repression, and Zelaya supporters killed or detained, he said “the people remain on the streets with the same level of optimism and militancy that they did on day one”. With Zelaya’s return, his supporters are even more determined to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

“We must take this opportunity to restore democracy to Honduras so that they can continue”, he said. “Members of the military are willing to take the lives of their fellow Honduran people in order to prop up this coup.”

Granados Ceja declared that the Canadian government must call for the immediate and unconditional return of Zelaya to power. Until that happens, he argued that Prime Minister Harper should suspend all aid to the de facto government.

The Obama administration has cut more than $30 million in non-humanitarian aid to Honduras — calling it a signal that Washington is not happy with the status quo.

In the meantime, CUPE Ontario committed to call on the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), CUPE National and other affiliates to pressure the Canadian government to change its position. The Manitoban recently reported that Canada, the second largest investor in Honduras, has not cut off military aid or any aid to the coup government and is in fact still training Honduran soldiers despite the coup. 

“The Canadian government’s position is embarrassing”, said Edgar Godoy of CUPE Ontario. “They have to take a position to restore the constitution in Honduras, to demand the freedom of the people who have been detained and stop the repression.”

Nchamah Miller told supporters that Canada needs to wake up now. “If we don’t we’re going to have a battlefront on our own continent,” said the president of the National Council of Latin American and Caribbean Women in Canada.

“It’s time for Canada to realise what’s at stake here.”

Miller warned that if Canadians continue to remain indifferent to the situation in Honduras, the Harper government will have been complicit in keeping the illegal coup in power. She urged Latina and Caribbean women to join the council.

Raul Burbano, who was also in Honduras recently, reported that the resistance movement in Honduras is unanimously united against the dictatorship. He explained that the goal of the movement, besides restoring Zelaya to power, is to re-establish the nation through a constitutional assembly led by the people.

“We’re calling for grassroots democracy”, he added. “Every day at the front lines, members of various indigenous groups are putting themselves in danger, struggling against neo-liberalism and free trade agreements.”

Burbano said the dynamics of power have changed in Honduras dramatically in the last thirty years, since the free trade agreements were signed. In the 1980s, he remarked, the multinationals had 40 per cent of the power, the government had 40 per cent, and the people had the remaining 20 per cent.

“Today, the people only have 5 per cent of the power, while the multinationals control 75 per cent of the country.”

Like Burbano, Communist Party of Canada leader Miguel Figueroa believes the coup in Honduras needs to be seen in a broader context. He said it’s part of a larger struggle to roll back and defeat the popular, progressive and anti-imperialist movements that are sweeping across South America.

“It’s like the domino theory of the 1950s during the Cold War”, said Figueroa, “which was used to justify US imperialist intervention in Vietnam and Southeast Asia in order to stop the spread of the left.”

Solidarity statement of the Iraq Committee, Lund, Sweden

The Iraq Committee in Lund, Sweden, salutes President Manuel Zelaya and his brave return to his homeland, Honduras.

We hope that this move will facilitate a successful general uprising of the popular masses in Honduras, reinstating Mr Zelaya as leader of the country.

The Anti-Imperialist Bloc of ALBA will be strengthened if Honduras will also join as member.

This is in the interest of the Patriotic Resistance and people of Iraq, who have everything to gain from a more united alliance of the oppressed peoples against the US Empire.

We support the international trade union initiatives condemning the coup, and we send our greetings to the steadfast Frente Nacional de Resistencia.

Your struggle against the reactionary usurpers of power is an inspiration to anti-imperialists around the world!

¡Viva El Pueblo Hondureño!

¡Viva La Solidaridad Internacional!

Jon Bonnevier, convenor, The Iraq Committee in Lund

http://iraklund.wordpress.com/

Comments

Reflections by comrade Fidel: A REVOLUTION IN THE MAKING

Reflections by comrade Fidel

A REVOLUTION IN THE MAKING

Last July 16, I literally said that the coup d’état in Honduras “was conceived and organized by unscrupulous characters on the far-right who were officials in the confidence of George W. Bush and had been promoted by him.”

I mentioned the names of Hugo LLorens, Robert Blau, Stephen McFarland and Robert Callahan, Yankee ambassadors to Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua appointed by Bush in the months of July and August 2008; the four pursued the line of John Negroponte and Otto Reich, two characters with an ominous history.

I then indicated that the Yankee base at Soto Cano had provided the main backup to the coup and that “the idea of a peace initiative from Costa Rica was transmitted to the president of that country from the State Department when Obama was in Moscow and he was declaring at a Russian university that the only president of Honduras was Manuel Zelaya,” and added: “With the Costa Rica meeting, the authority of the UN, the OAS and the other institutions that committed their support to the people of Honduras is being questioned.” “The only correct thing to do at this moment is to demand that the government of the United States ceases its intervention, stops giving military aid to the coup and pulls out its Task Force from Honduras.” 

The US response to the coup d’état in that Central American country has been to strike an agreement with the government of Colombia in order to set up seven military bases similar to that of Soto Cano in that sister nation thus menacing Venezuela, Brazil and every other people in South America.

At a critical moment, when the tragedy of the climate change and the international economic crisis are under discussion at a UN summit conference of heads of States, the putschists in Honduras are threatening the immunity of the Brazilian Embassy where President Zelaya, his family and a group of followers were forced to seek sanctuary.

The fact is that the government of Brazil had absolutely nothing to do with the situation created there.

Consequently, it is inadmissible --actually inconceivable-- that the Brazilian Embassy may be assaulted by the fascist government, unless it intends to commit suicide dragging the country to a direct intervention of foreign forces,  --as it was the case in Haiti—which would mean the intervention of Yankee troops under the UN flag. Honduras is not a remote isolated country in the Caribbean. An intervention in Honduras with foreign forces would unleash a conflict in Central America and bring political chaos to the entire Latin American region.

The heroic struggle of the Honduran people during almost 90 days of ceaseless battle has placed the fascist pro-Yankee government, which is crushing unarmed men and women, in a critical situation. 

We have seen the emergence of a new conscience among the Honduran people. Legions of social fighters have gained experience in that battle. Zelaya delivered on his promise to return. He is entitled to his position in the government and to preside over the elections. New and admirable cadres are outstanding in the combative social movements; they are capable of leading that people through the hazardous journey ahead of the peoples of Our America. A Revolution is in the making there.

The current session of the United Nations General Assembly can be a historic one depending on its rights and/or wrongs.

The world leaders have presented very interesting and complex subjects, which reflect the enormity of the tasks facing humanity and the little time available.

Fidel Castro Ruz

September 24, 2009

1:23 PM

Powered by Drupal - Design by Artinet