• Salute the People of Honduras and Their Resistance!
Salute the People of Honduras
In the face of more than eighty days of government repression and attacks on rights, the people of Honduras are stepping up their resistance to the illegal coup government of Roberto Micheletti, installed by the U.S.-backed Honduran military. The Honduran people achieved another victory September 21 with the return of their elected president Mel Zelaya. Since then Hondurans have been converging on Tegucigalpa, the capital, to defend Zelaya and insist that he be restored to power immediately and unconditionally. Zelaya is in the Brazilian Embassy, which the illegal coup government has surrounded and subjected to tear gas and other chemical weapons. Such actions, like the coup itself, are contrary to international law.
Voice of Revolution salutes the resistance of the Honduran people and stands with them in their fight for rights. We demand that the U.S. government act to meet the demands of the people here and worldwide by immediately removing all U.S. troops from Honduras, cutting off all aid to the illegal coup government and calling for the immediate and unconditional return of Zelaya to the presidency. We call on President Barack Obama to break his silence concerning the situation in Honduras and particularly the brutal repression and attacks on human rights imposed on the people.
The National Front of Resistance Against the Coup has sustained its resistance since the military coup June 28 and says it will not rest until its four demands are met: 1) the restoration of President Mel Zelaya; 2) the restoration of constitutional order; 3) the withdrawal of the military to its barracks; and 4) the installation of a national constituent assembly.”
The coup government has increased their repression since Zelaya returned September 21. Yet Obama, speaking at the United Nations September 23 and in Pittsburgh September 24-25, has remained silent on Honduras. His failure to act is rendering the words he said at the United Nations concerning rights and repression empty: “True leadership will not be measured by the ability to muzzle dissent, or to intimidate and harass political opponents at home. The people of the world want change. They will not long tolerate those who are on the wrong side of history…Among those rights is the freedom to speak your mind and worship as you please; the promise of equality of the races, and the opportunity for women and girls to pursue their own potential; the ability of citizens to have a say in how you are governed, and to have confidence in the administration of justice. For just as no nation should be forced to accept the tyranny of another nation, no individual should be forced to accept the tyranny of their own people.”
The coup government in Honduras is openly attacking the people who are demonstrating to defend their rights and demand a say in governance. It is imposing indefinite curfews and attempting to outlaw resistance with military force. Peoples here and worldwide are not remaining silent and are taking action to support the people of Honduras. Certainly Obama can do no less.
The many activists who were on the streets in Pittsburgh to oppose the G-20 and faced the massive police presence, tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and deafening sound weapon could well sympathize with the people in Honduras also facing brutal repression with the same weaponry — much of it directly supplied by the U.S. and with the Honduran military forces trained by the U.S. In both countries people are demanding to know why, when the plane carrying Zelaya out of the country in June stopped at the U.S. military base, the U.S. did not stop it and return Zelaya then. That would have ended the coup before it even got off the ground. Instead, the most reactionary U.S. forces have ensured the coup government remains in place while branding Zelaya as “reckless” and “foolish” for returning to Honduras.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to take the view that “both sides” must stop the violence and engage in “dialogue.” It is the coup government that is taking revenge on the people and now threatening to raid the Brazilian embassy, cutting off water and electricity and forcing people in the surrounding area to evacuate. It is the coup government using massive police, military and lethal weaponry against the people for almost three months now, killing and disappearing unarmed civilians. It is Zelaya who has peacefully returned and repeatedly agreed to dialogue, while the coup government has refused. Justice demands that the coup government be sanctioned and called to account for its repression and illegal actions.
Zelaya has been targeted in part because he recognized the people's need to be empowered through a constituent assembly. Organizing for a constituent assembly, where the people themselves can elect their own delegates and write and approve a constitution, remains a main demand of the resistance. For U.S. rulers, this goes against the “natural order” of things, where only the rich, the “natural aristocracy” govern and the masses are considered “unfit.” For Latin America, according to this view, those who reject the primacy of domestic and foreign monopolies over the people's needs are the problem, while the rich oligarchs the allies. Thus, while actions by the Honduran oligarchs, such as the coup and the subsequent repression were a necessary evil. And while it may not have been quite right for the coup plotters to remove Zelaya, the action was both understandable and justifiable. Such a view perhaps also explains Obama’s silence, but does not justify it.
It is also this viewpoint that the oligarchs and foreign monopolies are the “natural rulers,” that explains the continued call for “dialogue,” by Clinton, based on the San José Accord. This U.S.-organized accord seeks to legitimize the coup by putting conditions on Zelaya's return to power, specifically limiting his mandate as president and outlawing any possibility for a constituent assembly. Coup leader Micheletti has never accepted the accord and Zelaya has repudiated it.
The peoples of Honduras and all of Latin American have a great collective experience of fighting against such reactionary arrangements of foreign intervention, military coups and rule by exception and will never permit them to take hold again. These attempts by the U.S to dictate what is democratic or undemocratic, constitutional or unconstitutional based on circumscribing the people's participation in decision-making or trying to suggest that a benevolent dictatorship of the oligarchs is actually democracy are being rejected — as resistance in Honduras, Pittsburgh and worldwide shows. The peoples are demanding new arrangements, where the monopoly owners, oligarchs, and reactionaries of all kinds are blocked from power and the people themselves govern and decide. This is the requirement of modern democracy peoples everywhere are fighting for.
Salute the Honduran People and Their Resistance!
In view of the recent brutal repression perpetrated by the military dictatorship of Mr. Roberto Micheletti Bain, the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup d'État addresses the national and international public opinion to Denounce and:
1. Condemn the savage repression by the military dictatorship against the people demonstrating pacifically to celebrate the return of President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya. This repression has spread to neighborhoods and villages through indiscriminate and brutal aggression by the military and police forces. The repression is of such a magnitude that the dictatorship has begun using sport stadiums as detention centers, under the pretext of upholding the curfew. Therefore, we demand the Immediate Release of All Political Prisoners!
2. Condemn the inhuman measures that the usurping regime has used against the people currently staying in the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Brazil, including the President and his family, fellow refugees of the Resistance and the diplomatic staff of the embassy, measures such as cutting electricity and water supplies. In view of these facts, we denounce before the world these violations and call for the Reinforcement of International Solidarity and call on the world to move from statements to actions.
City of Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., September 22, 2009
The occupants of the Embassy of Brazil, accompanying Presidente Manuel Zelaya Rosales, his wife and family, communities and marchers are being subjected to chemical weapons dropped from helicopters and aircraft or sophisticated sonic and radioactive radiation apparatus used by the troops that have produced severe cases of diarrhea, vomiting, nasal and gastrointestinal hemorrhaging among the occupants as well as the communities.
According to clinical staff, these cases are probably due to the utilization of toxic substances among which are included pesticide, chemical components of the gases, radioactive substances such as radioactive caesium and toxic fungi.
We urgently need an international mission of the UN, World Health Organization (WHO) because we are facing an irregular war against the people of Honduras. The Armed Forces will not allow doctors nor the International Red Cross to enter the Embassy of Brazil, thereby violating all international treaties and conventions on health and respect for human rights.
Please distribute this urgent call in the name of life and love for humanity.
Tegucigalpa, September 24, 2009
Emergency Protest in Solidarity with Honduras
The military coup government in Honduras has intensified the repression by shutting off electricity, shutting down airports and hi-ways, blocking radio and TV and are detaining and corralling entire communities (including children) in stadiums with no food, no water nor restrooms.
Reports are now coming in from Honduras that the military is beginning to fire live bullets into crowds of Zelaya supporters outside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa where Zelaya is staying. The military is arresting resistance leaders and taking control of radio and TV stations. This will be a defining moment for the Barack Obama administration and the G-20 to decide whether they will allow this tyranny to continue. The U.S. government holds the purse strings to the Honduran military and the G-20 countries can impose economic sanctions against the coup.
We Need To Take Action Now! It is Time to Mobilize! We encourage everyone to participate.
Demonstrate September 25, 4pm, Federal Building
Send a message to President Obama: email@example.com or go to Hillary Clinton’s web site: http://contact-us.state.gov/cgi-bin/state.
Declaration about the Situation in Honduras by ALBA Member Countries in the OAS
Meeting in Washington DC, as representatives to the Organization of American States (OAS) from member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Americas (ALBA), we express our condemnation of the massive violation of human rights of the people of Honduras, who, throughout that country are showing their support for the constitutional president of the Republic of Honduras, Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales, and his return to Tegucigalpa.
The continued aggression and harassment begun this morning against the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, where President Zelaya is being protected, is a brutal violation of International Rights norms and of all the conventions that regulate and guarantee civilized respect of diplomatic relations between countries, including the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations.
We add our voice to the regional, national, and world organizations and institutions that have expressed their rejection of these barbaric acts that the coup leaders and supporters have committed in Honduras. We demand an end to the repression, a definite suspension of the curfew, respect of the inviolability of the Brazilian diplomatic headquarters, and the immediate and unconditional restitution of President Zelaya to his functions as Constitutional and Democratic President of Honduras.
(Translated by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com)
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.
Havana, September 23, 2009
Latin American leaders at the proceedings of United Nations (UN) General Assembly's annual high-level debate on September 23 called for a return to power of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, stressing that political will is vital to confronting and overcoming threats against peace, development and democracy.
Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez and Carlos Mauricio Funes, President of El Salvador, used their addresses to express their concern about the ongoing political situation in Honduras.
"Unless there is political will, we will see more coups like the one that toppled the constitutional President of Honduras," Lula said. "The international community demands that Mr. Zelaya immediately return to the presidency of his country and must be alert to ensure the inviolability of Brazil's diplomatic mission in the capital of Honduras," he added.
In his address Mr. Funes said the "de facto government [in Tegucigalpa] has not heeded the clamor of the international community that Honduras return in the shortest time possible to constitutional order." Meanwhile, any elections organized by the de facto authorities will lack the necessary legitimacy and transparency to ensure credible results that can contribute to resolving the crisis, he stressed. "We must close all possibility of returning to the era of authoritarianism or military or civil-military dictatorships. We must not let the coup in Honduras become a precedent that would endanger the gains made with regard to stability and regional institutional democracy."
Dr. Vázquez said Uruguay rejects "the breakdown of institutions in the Republic of Honduras and we demand the immediate restoration of constitutional order, restoring to their posts the authorities, democratically elected by the Honduran people." He also called for perseverance in efforts to integrate the Americas "without exclusions, or exceptions, or embargoes -- such as the one imposed on Cuba. We are all Americans. And equals."
(UN News Center)
The 15th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum, which was held on August 21, 22 and 23, 2009 in Mexico City with the participation of 520 delegates, 63 left-wing political parties and organizations of 32 countries in response to the events that have developed since 28 June of this year in the Republic of Honduras:
• Strongly condemns the coup d'état against Honduras' constitutional President Manuel Zelaya, which constitutes a stab in the back of democratic freedoms, and joins forces with the international community in denouncing the coup d'état.
• Denounces the involvement of the United States in this coup d'état through the intermediation of Costa Rica, the U.S. implementation of a new form of coups d'état and U.S. interventions in the domestic affairs, in the Latin-American and Caribbean nations, undermining sovereignty of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.
• Denounces the violation of the Honduran people's human rights to freedom of speech, organization, and mobilization, and to political freedom.
In view of the above, the Meeting resolves:
• That the constitutional order in Honduras be immediately re-established by unconditionally reinstating President Manuel Zelaya and other democratically elected government officials, including and mayors.
• That the human rights of the Honduran people be unconditionally respected and the political prisoners be immediately released.
• To show its complete and unconditional solidarity with the Honduran people's resistance struggle, and to give its political support to re-establish democratic freedoms.
• To praise the strength of the mobilization of social organizations in defense of the democratic freedoms and civil, political and social rights of the Honduran people.
• To maintain observation and "accompaniment" missions to provide support to the people of Honduras, particularly to social organizations, the Democratic Unity Party, member of the São Paulo Forum, and other progressive parties.
• To urge Latin American and Caribbean governments, and international organizations to intensify their actions so as not allow this new type of coup d'état to happen again.
• That the demonstrations against the coup be supported by the São Paulo Forum, starting with the mobilizations and demonstrations that will take place on August 28, 2009.
(Translated from the original Spanish by TML Daily)
Honduran President Zelaya on September 24 announced from the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa dialogue had begun with the de facto government to seek a peaceful end to the country's political crisis. Coup leader Roberto Micheletti has agreed to reopen dialogue, according to candidates for the country's November presidential elections. The presidential candidates met first with Micheletti then visited Zelaya at the embassy.
"We've obtained the commitment of Mr. Micheletti to restart dialogue with this reference point (a first peace plan proposed by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias) or any other," said Elvin Santos, a presidential candidate from the Liberal Party, speaking for the four candidates.
"At this time I can say that the dialogue has begun with the forces of the nation," Zelaya said on Radio Globo after meeting with the auxiliary bishop of Tegucigalpa, Juan Jose Pineda.
Zelaya said he had met Wednesday night with "a representative of the de facto government" whom he would not identify.
"We have not advanced at all from the inflexible position that they [the coup regime of Roberto Micheletti] have," Zelaya said, but he described the meeting as "positive."
The announcements of talks came after the UN Security Council agreed to a request from Brazil for emergency talks on the three-month crisis today.
Earlier on Thursday in a brief interview with CNN, when asked whether he was returning to the country to reclaim the presidency, Zelaya said "I never lost that title" and added that he would stay in the embassy "as long as it takes to end the coup d'etat."
Brazilian Chief of Staff Dilma Rousseff defended Thursday Brazil's decision on giving shelter to Zelaya. "The embassy is Brazilian territory," she said. "I cannot believe that any civilized person propose that you hand over someone who asked for asylum." Brazil's Foreign Relations Minister Celso Amorim said the Brazilian government did not know about Zelaya's return beforehand. "This opportunity, of course, involves risks. But it is an opportunity for dialogue, which is what we are trying to provide," he said. News agencies report some 70 people including President Zelaya remain confined in the embassy.
News agencies also report that borders are being reopened, presumably because Zelaya is now inside Honduras. Curfews during the day have been lifted, however the nighttime ones remain in place.
In related news, the Organization of American States (OAS) will send a new mediation mission to Honduras on the weekend, including ambassadors withdrawn after the June 28 coup.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund after consulting with its membership, on Thursday said it would still recognize Zelaya as head of state of Honduras. The IMF's sister institution, the World Bank, suspended aid to Honduras, as did the United States and the European Union, after the coup.
On September 23, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the temporary suspension of United Nations technical assistance to the electoral authority in Honduras, saying current conditions are not conducive to the holding of credible polls. Ban "does not believe conditions are currently in place for the holding of credible elections that would advance peace and stability," his spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the UN is concerned about the current situation and allegations of human rights violations.
"The Secretary-General is convinced that an end to the crisis in Honduras requires a consensual agreement and supports regional mediation efforts to that end.” The statement added, "He joins the Organization of American States (OAS) and regional leaders in calling for an agreement and urges all political actors to redouble efforts to find common ground through peaceful dialogue."
The United Nations system in Honduras has also voiced its concern about the current situation, stating that it is the responsibility of the State to guarantee the life, freedom and security of all of its citizens in conformity with the international human rights treaties ratified by Honduras, the Constitution of the Republic and national legislation. "The use of force, in any form, by agents of the authorities, applied without regard to the criteria of need and proportionality, violates the right to life and integrity," said a statement issued yesterday in the capital. Neither Zelaya nor Micheletti are standing for election but the coup government is hoping to stay in office until the vote to keep Zelaya out.
Meanwhile, with the coup regime threatening to storm the Brazilian embassy by force, Radio Globo reported the morning of September 24 that the military completely cleared the houses around the Brazilian embassy overnight. All of the residents in the area have been cleared from their houses and the military has occupied some of them, the station reports. Radio Globo also identified several boxes attached to the power lines that jam radio signals (such as cell phones and radios) in the area around the embassy. The military was interfering with Radio Globo's internet signal, sending end-of-stream packets to clients trying to connect, while Channel 36's internet broadcast was also unavailable September 24.
The blog Honduras Resists reports that from September 22-23 at least four people died in the confrontations that took place in Tegucigalpa. The peasant leader who directs the National Front of Resistance Against the Coup d'Etat in Honduras, Rafael Alegría, confirmed to Radio Globo the death of two people poisoned by teargas used by the military and police to disperse the protesters around the Brazilian embassy. At the same time, Alegría confirmed that a union leader of the National Agrarian Institute died from a bullet wound.
Zelaya spokesperson Omar Palacios confirmed to the Nicaraguan newspaper Nuevo Diario the death of an eight-year-old child who was living next to the Brazilian embassy. The child died from being asphyxiated by the tear gas used. "They attacked the house with bombs and didn't give them the opportunity to leave. There was no humanitarian consideration even to take out their remains," added Palacios.
According to information from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, four people have been killed during acts of protest against the Micheletti government since June 28. "Mass beatings and detentions have proliferated" against the opposition to the coup regime says the organization. Amnesty International (AI) denounced an increase in police beatings, massive arrests of protesters against the de facto government and the intimidation of human rights activists in Honduras since the coup in June.
For his part, Zelaya indicated in statements made by telephone to the media that he has "information of more than ten people killed yesterday."
(Agence France Presse, Xinhua, UN News Center, TML Daily)