Honduran congress members brutalized by military police, Social Movements march on the capital

honduras tear gas congress

 

Click Here to ask your Representative to support Human Rights in Honduras

 

Calls and emails needed to State Department and US Embassy in Honduras demanding the US denounce the brutal attacks that took place at the Honduran congress.

Sample script: “Madam, Are you aware that just recently Honduran military police broke down doors at the Honduran National Congress and subjected elected congress persons to violence, beatings, and teargas forcibily ejecting these elected officials from their congressional posts? Has Secretary Kerry or US Ambassador Kubiske condemend this violent use of force against elected officials of the Honduran congress?”

 

CONTACT:

Call State Department- Honduras Desk: 

Kelsi Cambronne 202-647-3505

Emails to State Department and US Embassy: 

Kelsi Cambronne, Honduras Desk Officer- CambronneKL@state.gov

Amanda Johnson Miller, US Embassy Human Rights Attache- Johnson-MillerA@state.gov

 

Honduran LIBRE congress members brutalized and teargassed by military police inside congressional building.

diputadas Honduras-military police

Video here of military police repressing congresspersons inside and outside congressional building.

Video of two women LIBRE congesspersons overrun and trampled by military police.

 

“The Order From the National Congress Was to Repress All Action by the Opposition.”  

Marvin Palacios, May 13, 2014.  Defensores en Linea (COFADEH)

The President of the National Congress, Maurico Oliva, gave the order to brutally repress the opposition party Libertad y Refundación (LIBRE)  and the activists and leaders that were demonstrating peacefully below the National Congress.

The order of the day was repression and violence, said the congressmembers from LIBRE.  The violent actions led by agents of the State left several congressmembers hospitalized and dozens of demonstrators with serious blows/injuries, produced by the brutality with which riot troops and military police acted.

Around 4:00 in the afternoon a strong contingent of military police, police from the Special Operations Command (COBRA), and military troops entered into the hall of sessions of the National Congress, occupied strategic positions inside the big hall, surrounded the congressmembers of LIBRE and began to use batons, tear gas bombs, and shields to assault, push and mistreat and beat the representatives of the people.

There was no consideration for anyone, including congressmembers such as Claudia Garmendia, congressmember from the department of El Paraíso, who suffered the charge of the military soldiers, in which she was surrounded on the floor, and rescued by one of her congressmember companions.

Ex-President Zelaya, upon being expelled with shoves and blows from the second level of the National Congress, where he presides over the bench of the 36 congressmembers of LIBRE, said `those who are governing Honduras are beasts.’

Later he added sadly that `it’s only taken 100 days for president Juan Orlando Hernández to show us his fangs; he will not be releected to govern because the Honduran people reject his dictatorship.’

In the streets of the historic center you could breath smoke and pepper gas in industrial quantities, and while people covered their mouths with scarves, others were persecuted and beaten by those in uniform.

The central park was once again the scene of battle between demonstrators and police, but in disproportionate conditions.  Many of the protesters were persecuted and beaten by those in uniform.

Congressmember Claudia Garmendia was hospitalized because of the blows and gases she received inside the hall of sessions of the National Congress; also the congressmembers Elvia Argentina Erazo (Copán) and Audelia Rodríguez (Atlántida).

Congressmembers Hari Dixon, Rafael Alegría, and Wilfredo Paz were beaten.  The Red Cross transfered several disheartened and injured people to the Hospital Escuela.

Several days ago LIBRE called for a peaceful demonstration underneath the National Congress [Transl:  the building is sort of on big stilts, with an open area on the first floor; the actual congress is on the second floor], demanding that, because LIBRE is the second political force in the country, with 36 congressmembers, it be represented in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.  The demand was met by a response from the President of Congress Mauricio Oliva that LIBRE had to obtain 86 congressmembers in order to be included. And the other response from Oliva was made this afternoon, in ordering a brutal repression against the opposition politicians, activists, and leaders of LIBRE.

The situation is worrisome to human rights bodies, considering tomorrow environmentalists will arrive at the National congress tomorrow to demand an end to concessions for extraction of the country’s mineral resources.

The Honduras Solidarity Network has set up an emergency fund for Hondurans who need emergency medical help, relocation for security reasons and for the families and victims of human rights abuses and assassinations. Please support the Honduras Emergency Fund if you are able.

Honduran Social Movements en route to march on the Capital

caminata en camino honduras 2014 caminata honduras 2014

Campesinos, Indigenous peoples and members of the social movements launch a “caminata” march across the country with demands for “Dignity and Sovereignty”

 

Funds still needed for food, housing, transport and medical support for the dozens of organizations participating in the “caminata”. Donate here to the caminata. 

 

National Mobilization of the Territories 

May 14 and 15 join the grand national mobilization of the Territories “For Dignity and Sovereignty” 

We are mobilizing to demand the immediate liberty of our political prisoner compañero, José Isabel Morales, “Chabelo”, whose complete right to prove his innocence has been violated, unjustly condemned to 17.5 years in prison, because of the power of political interests, in complete violation of his rights as a citizen and of the Constitution of the Republic. 

We are mobilizing to demand the derogation of the Law of Agricultural Modernization and for the approval of the Decree of the Law for “Integral Agrarian Reform with Gender Equity for Food and Development Sovereignty”

We are mobilizing to demand the derogation of the mining law and the exit of the Hydroelectric and Mining Projects from the Territories

We are mobilizing to demand the derogation of the Law that puts into effect the Special Development and Employment Zones (ZEDE) or what is called Charter Cities, and we demand the resolution of the suit challenging its constitutionality in the Supreme Court of Justice by representatives of organizations from the Social and popular movement. 

We are mobilizing to demand the investigation of the femicides at the national level by the State and the punishment of those who, protected by the impunity that prevails in the Justice system, continue to commit barbaric acts. 

More than three months after the takeover of City Hall in San Francisco de Opalaca, COPINH demands that the State of Honduras respect the process of the Indigenous Lenca Government of San Francisco de Opalaca, respect the Indigenous and legitimate Mayorship, for its ancestral and historic authority, unrestricted respect for its self-determination, territories and natural goods. We demand the official removal of the Imposed Mayor.

The Mobilization will begin on Wednesday, May 14th in the morning, leaving from the community of Zambrano. 

Arrival in Tegucigalpa is planned for Thursday the 15th and we call for participation from the Popular Resistance; FNRP Collectives; Base Organizations of the Social and popular urban movement,  artists, writers, feminists, Youth, Leftist Political Organizations; LGBT Organizations and all the organizations that are in the struggle against the oppressor system and the continuation of the Coup d’E’tat of 2009, organizations in struggle against neoliberal policies, imperialism and the patriarchy. 

It is important to count on the solidarity of the citizenry in general, to bring water, basic grains (beans, rice, etc.) fuit, vegetables, mattresses, blankets and medicines for during the march and especially for the indefinite vigil that we will maintain beginning May 15 in the plaza below the National Congress. 

 

 “Listen People and Join in the Struggle!”

Liberty for Jose Isabel Morales Chabelo Now!

For an Integral Agraria Reform: Raise the Banners of Struggle!

Mining and Hydroelectric Projects: Out of Honduras!

Sovereignty YES! ZEDE or Charter Cities NO!

Justice! Justice! Justice!…Stop Stop the Femicides!

CONVOCAN:

Plataforma Regional Agraria del Aguan,  (MOCRA, MARCA, MUCA, MCA, Empresa Asociativa Rigores, Empresa Asociativa Vallecito, Empresa Asociativa Gregorio Chávez, Empresa Asociativa Salado Lis Lis. Equipo de Reflexión, Investigación y Comunicación, ERIC.  Asociación Intermunicipal y Vigencia Social de Honduras (AIDEVISH), Organizaciones de la Plataforma del Movimiento Social y Popular; Central Nacional de Trabajadores del Campo, CNTC, Región Norte, Coordinadora de Organizaciones Populares del Aguan COPA,  Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras, COPINH, Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras, OFRANEH,  Movimiento Amplio por la Dignidad y la Justicia, MADJ, Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos,  Instituto Ecuménico de Servicios a la Comunidad (INEHSCO) 

Red de Comercialización Comunitaria, Red COMAL.  

Frente Nacional de Resistencia Popular, FNRP.  

Capítulo Honduras – Articulación de Movimientos Sociales hacía el ALBA, ALBAMOVIMIENTOS

Regional Agrarian Platform of the Aguan )MOCRA, MARCA, MUCA, MCA, EARigores, EA Vallecito, EAGregorio Chavez, EA Salado Lis Lis)

Team for Reflection, Investigation and Communication (ERIC)

Intermunicipal Association and Social Force of Honduras (AIDEVISH)

Organizations of the Platform for the Social and Popular Movement

National Center for Rural Workers (CNTC), Northern Region

Coordinator of Popular Organizations of the Aguan (COPA)

Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH)

Fraternal BLack Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)

Broad Movement for Dignity and Justice (MADJ)

National Network of Human Rights Defenders

Ecumenical Institute for Community Services (INEHSCO

Community Commercialization Network (Red COMAL)

National Front of Popular Resistance (FNRP)

Honduran Chapter – Grouping of Social Movement to ALBA, ALBAMOVIMIENTOS

 

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URGENT ACTION: Congress on Verge of Passing Sanctions on Venezuela!

2979_10151422864268645_1665835711_nURGENT ACTION: Congress on Verge of Passing Sanctions on Venezuela!

Click HERE to Oppose Sanctions on Venezuela.

The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bill for sanctions against Venezuela on Friday morning, May 9. Only Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Karen Bass (D-CA) spoke out against the bill. HR 4587 entitled the ‘‘Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act’, is sponsored by far-right Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). The bill is expected to be voted on as soon as next week by the whole House in an expedited “suspension of rules” vote that would waive any debate.

Representative John Conyers (D-NY) is authoring a Dear Colleague letter this week that would support the Obama administration’s own opposition to sanctions on Venezuela in order to give the dialogue process a chance. Calling on more engagement with Venezuela rather than confrontational measures.

Help us in contacting your Reps to vote NO on HR4587 and for them to sign Rep. John Conyers’ Dear Colleague letter opposing any sanctions on Venezuela. The Vatican and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) are right now mediating talks between the democratically elected government of President Nicolas Maduro and the democratic opposition. Sanctions at this time would undercut a peaceful solution to Venezuela’s problems and empower the violent opposition which is trying to achieve what they have been unable to achieve democratically in 16 elections since 1999.

This is an urgent situation. We cannot be complacent and assume that our Congressional allies will stop this ridiculous bill from becoming law. Please pass this alert on to your friends and neighbors and contact your Rep. yourself today telling them that you will be watching closely how they vote.

Click HERE to send a letter to your Rep.

Washington DC Switchboard: 1-202-224-3121

All you need to do is leave a message that you want the congressperson to vote No on HR4587 and you want them to support Rep. Conyers letter opposing any kind of sanctions on Venezuela.

If you would like a list of talking points on Venezuela click here.

To send a letter thanking Reps. Meeks and Bass for their vocal opposition to the Venezuela sanctions bill click HERE. Or Call Washington DC Switchboard: 1-202-224-3121

If you need any assistance or have questions contact tanya@wfpsw.org or call 805-669-8482.

Cuba rejects US Listing as a Terrorist Nation

sw-cuba may

Statement from Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations

• MINREX forcefully rejects the manipulation of an issue as sensitive as international terrorism, in order to advance a policy against Cuba, and demands that our country be definitively deleted from this spurious, unilateral, arbitrary list, which is an affront to the Cuban people, and discredits the government of the United States itself

On April 30, the U.S. State Department released its Country Report on Terrorism 2013, which repeated the absurd designation of Cuba as “a state sponsor of terrorism,” for the 32nd time.

The State Department was obliged to recognize in its own report that in 2013 Cuba supported and sponsored negotiations between the FARC and the government of Colombia, with the objective of achieving a peace agreement; that there is no information indicating that the Cuban government has supplied weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups; and that members of the ETA resident in Cuba were relocated with the cooperation of the Spanish government.

Despite this, considerations of a political nature and the need to justify at all cost the failed blockade, unanimously rejected by the international community, take precedence over rationality once again.

The only pretext to which the State Department alludes, to support this slanderous accusation of Cuba, is the presence in the country of “fugitives” from U.S. justice, none of whom, it is worth clarifying, have been accused of terrorism. Some of these citizens were legitimately granted asylum, while others who committed crimes in the United States, were duly tried and sentenced, and chose to reside in Cuba after the completion of their sentences.

The government of Cuba reaffirms that our national territory has never been utilized, nor will it be utilized, to shelter terrorists of any nationality, or for the purpose of organizing, financing or perpetuating terrorism against any country in the world, including the United States. Moreover, our government rejects and unequivocally condemns all acts of terrorism, in any location, under any circumstances, and regardless of alleged motivations.

It is the United States government which employs state terrorism as a weapon against countries which oppose its domination. It uses repugnant methods of torture and advanced military technology, including unpiloted drones, to extra-judicially execute alleged terrorists, including U.S. citizens, additionally causing the deaths of many innocent victims within the civilian population.

Cuba is one of the countries which, for defending its independence and dignity, has suffered over decades the consequences of terrorist acts, organized, financed and executed from U.S. territory, acts which have caused 3,478 deaths and 2,099 debilitating injuries.

Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean and the world will never forget that the United States continues to harbor terrorists of Cuban origin, such as Luis Posada Carriles, intellectual author of the first terrorist attack on a civilian aircraft in the Western Hemisphere, causing the in-flight explosion of a Cubana de Aviación plane off the coast of Barbados, October 6, 1976, killing the 73 passengers aboard.

Paradoxically, the U.S. continues to hold serving long, unjust prison sentences, those who struggled against terrorism, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero, for crimes they did not commit.

The Ministry of Foreign Relations forcefully rejects the manipulation of an issue as sensitive as international terrorism, in order to advance a policy against Cuba, and demands that our country be definitively deleted from this spurious, unilateral, arbitrary list, which is an affront to the Cuban people, and discredits the government of the United States itself.

Havana, April 30, 2014

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