Sunday, August 2, 2009

Appeal from Honduras: Communique - Democratic & Labor Forces

Supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya take part in a rally to protest against the military coup in Tegucigalpa on July 1, 2009. (Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Coup in Honduras

Hillary Clinton called Manuel Zelaya "Reckless" when he attempted to return to his country after the coup d' etat conspirators kidnapped and deported him from his own country.

This seems to be a repetition of the "Bloodless Coup" pioneered by the Bush administration in Haiti and now repeated covertly by the Obama Administration in Honduras...

The following Communique is forwarded by the "International Liaison Committee of Workers & Peoples. Read their accompanying note which follows after the signed communique from workers/unionist of Honduras and Brazil.


July 31, 2009

The ILC hereby forwards to you the following Communiqué from Honduras:


Appeal to the International Workers' Movement, To the Trade Union Federations on the Continent and Internationally, To all Trade Unions in the Americas

Dear sister and brother unionists and workers in the Americas and around the world:

Honduras has been witnessing for the past 33 days horrors, repression, state-of-emergency suppression of basic democratic rights -- all of which are the result of the coup d'etat that was organized by the high military command at the behest of the large landowners and the transnational corporations.

This coup d'etat has put in place a de-facto dictatorial regime that has broken with the institutional rule of law; deposed the legitimate president of Honduras, Manuel

Zelaya Rosales; and interrupted the process of consulting the people via a popular referendum on the proposal to convene a National Constituent Assembly to draft a new Constitution.

The labor federations in Honduras -- together with the grassroots, human rights, peasant, indigenous, youth, and women's organizations -- have formed the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup.

Over the past two days, on July 30 and 31, the National Strike of Public Sector Workers has taken place.

On July 30, the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup carried out its protest actions, with road-blocks. The response of the police and army was to attack the thousands of peaceful protesters with firearms, wood and rubber bullets, and toxic tear gas shot down in canisters from helicopters.

We have reports that many of the protesters were seriously injured and that one teacher, Roger Abraham Villegas, received a bullet to his head and is in critical condition.

Among those injured are Carlos H. Reyes, who is co-coordinator of the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup, general secretary of the Union of Bottling Industries (STIBYS) and a leader of the Popular Bloc. Also detained is Juan Barahona, also co-coordinator of the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup.

We issue this appeal to our sisters and brothers the world over, but particularly to those on our continent:

It is in the interest of working people and democracy across the Americas to defeat this coup d'etat.

We cannot accept "solutions" that would have us place on equal footing the legitimate government of Honduras and the perpetrators of the coup d'etat.

We cannot accept the duplicity of the U.S. administration which condemns the coup, on the one hand, while supporting the perpetrators of the coup, on the other.

The defense of democracy in each and every country, the defense of workers' rights and of the very possibility to forge processes of Constituent Assemblies requires that across the continent workers and peoples support unconditionally the resistance struggle that we are waging in Honduras.

That is why we believe it is necessary to carry out a campaign directed at every government and at the embassies with demonstrations and/or sit-down occupations, as well as a CONTINENTAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY AND MOBILIZATIONS.

Together we can thus promote the interests of workers on the continent and around the world.

We call most particularly on the dock-worker unions internationally so that they can organize the boycott of ships bringing cargo to Honduras.

Sisters and brothers on the continent and worldwide:

Let us join forces to demand:

* Freedom for all the detained unionists and activists!
* Down with the military coup!
*Immediate and unconditional return andreinstatement of Manuel Zelaya Rosales, Honduras' legitimate president!
* Onward toward the Constituent Assembly in Honduras!

signed by:

Joao Batista Gomes
CUT - Brazil

Carlos H.Reyes
General Secretary,
Union of Bottling Industries (STIBYS) - Honduras


A soldier and a police officer take away a supporter of Manuel Zelaya in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Thursday, July 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Diario La Prensa de San Pedro Sula)

Communique - July 31, 2009

The AFL-CIO has issued a strong condemnation of the coup in Honduras. USLAW has taken no formal position as this struggle is outside the scope of our focus. However, international labor solidarity is not limited to Iraq and the message below from trade unionists in Honduras and Brazil is of sufficient import and urgency to warrant our making an exception to make it available to all affiliates.

We are indebted to Alan Benjamin, Liaison to USLAW from the SF Labor Council, for establishing a direct line of communication to the democratic forces in Honduras, and especially the labor forces, and providing this communique from the Popular Resistance to the global labor movement.

Those who want to continue to receive updates from Alan should contact him directly at

A demonstrator lies on the street, asking for help during clashes between supporters of Manuel Zelaya and soldiers and policemen in Tegucigalpa on June 29, 2009. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya shout at army soldiers guarding a government building during a protest in Tegucigalpa, Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Please share this communique with others in the labor and social justice movements.

In solidarity, Michael - July 31, 2009

Rumors are swirling that the military is pressuring Micheletti to agree to Arias's proposal to allow Zelaya to return as president. Fernando "Billy" Joya, a former member of Honduras's infamous Battalion 316, a paramilitary unit responsible for the deaths of hundreds in the 1980s, has resurfaced as "special security adviser" to Micheletti's government. At least nine people have been assassinated or disappeared in the past month, with one body dumped in an area used by death squads in the 1980s as a clandestine cemetery.

Among the executed, disappeared and threatened are trade unionists, peasant activists and independent journalists. The US press has focused on Zelaya's efforts to build support for a constitutional assembly; the proposal to revise the Constitution was broadly supported by social movements as an effort to democratize Honduras's notoriously exclusive political system.

The business community didn't like Zelaya because he raised the minimum wage. Conservative evangelicals and Catholics detested him because he refused to ban the "morning-after" pill. The mining, hydroelectric and biofuel 20 sector didn't like him because he didn't put state land at their disposal.

And the generals didn't like it when he tried to assert executive control over the military.

Zelaya likewise moved to draw down Washington's military presence; Honduras, alone among Central American countries, hosts a permanent detachment of US troops at the Soto Cano air force base, a holdover from the 'Contra war.'

Just Foreign Policy - July 31, 2009


International Liaison Committee of Workers & Peoples,
P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.

Tel. (415) 641-8616;
fax: (415) 626-1217.


thezenhaitian said...

The US is Hondura's number one trade partner. They have the power to restore Zelaya back in office by merely threatening a trade embargo. They have instead chosen to passively watch as Honduras falls into chaos and many innocents die as many did and still do in UN occupied Haiti (another victim of Washington).

I read an interesting piece about the coup in Honduras. The writer says, " Latin America the bitter riddle still rings true: Why are there no coups in Washington DC? Because it doesn’t have a U.S. embassy!"

Men anpil, chay pa lou.

AL said...

Actually the honduran president was trying to amend the honduras constitution so that he could stay in office longer so if i see anything that honduras makes i am going to buy ten of them to show my support, so they did the right thing in getting that despot out of office and our fearless leader backs the ousted president as he is on the wrong side again.

thezenhaitian said...

AL-- I am so glad to be here to counter your biased views on issues that matter to people who care about real democracy.

As usual you are completely off the mark. The nature of that referendum is that it would not have, in and of itself, allowed Velaya to run for office again; it would merely have put to the people the question of whether the Constitution should have been so amended to allow for a second term. And let me add that currently the president's term is four years, and that is the one term he or she is allowed. I don't think it's exactly dictatorial to consider the possibility of allowing a second term in office. How would we feel in this country if a president was only allowed one four-year term in office?

The struggle of the Honduran people to maintain their democracy is heroic and needs to be supported by anyone who values freedom and democracy. I know in your heart you want real democracy for the Honduran people... though this is something that the US itself is still struggling with. Especially in light of the last four years under the tyrannical and despotic Bush administration.

AL said...

How can you signify that obama stands for democracy when he would not support the people of iran who wanted freedom and democracy after a stolen election. Bush was elected by the people, and he certainly would not stand by while two russian nuclear submarines with 36 nuclear ICBMs only 200 miles off the east coast which you are closer than me, ronald reagan would have made those submarines surface, despite the messiah obamas visit and promise of americas nuclear disarmament the kremlin will not stop there aggressive stance toward the USA, i guess the russians can smell weakness. Since you have a hostility towards free markets and capitalism maybe people from other countries should go to cuba or venezuela where you can feel free to enjoy a socialist or communists life style because both of these countries have great levels of economic growth and no one is motivated to do any better in life because the government takes care of them, thats what honduras is trying to avoid by having an overthrow of a gradual dictator. God bless honduras!

thezenhaitian said...

1) I did not "signify" anything about Barack Obama. However, I did say that elements in his administration, particularly Hilary Clinton seem to be covertly supporting the coup in Honduras.

2) President Obama made many statements in support of Iran's people when they were protesting the results of their recent elections. Diplomacy is a foreign concept to neo-cons, but they will just have to get used to it since they lost the elections and the confidence and trust of the American people.

3) Russia is not a US enemy. The US has diplomatic relations with Russia. You don't know what was discussed when President Obama went to Russia on a diplomatic mission, so don't conjure up scenarios about something you could not possibly know the specifics of. The fact is, Russia and the US have always had more in common then they had differences.

As for "other people* moving to Cuba, Venezuela or any other country... the land of the free, surely has enough room for more than one viewpoint and open dialogue about this *great experiment*? Surely, they must believe in one-person, one-vote? Uhmm, if they didn't believe in democracy, that would explain a lot. That would explain G. W. Bush musing about how much easier it would be if this were a dictatorship. Could it possibly be that neo-cons don't really BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY?

Your term "gradual dictator" aptly describes George W. Bush. Many have called him *King George* because of the way he violated the US constitution.

If you believe in democracy, then you should feel bound to support the restoration of democracy in Honduras.

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