Press Conference Calls for Justice in Future Relations with Cuba
Thursday, December 1 2016
Los Angeles/Harbor Area, (San Pedro) California
Thursday, December 1, 2016 San Pedro Courthouse
Press Conference Calls for Justice in Future Relations with Cuba
Thursday, December 1 2016
Los Angeles/Harbor Area, (San Pedro) California
Thursday, December 1, 2016 San Pedro Courthouse
Please find a message from one of Witness for Peace Southwest’s Regional Board members on the physical passing of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro and how we in the United States can continue his legacy for justice and humanity. *
“But the ideas of Cuban Communists will remain as proof that on this planet, if you work hard and with dignity, you can produce the material and cultural goods human beings need.” Fidel Castro, Presente
This is an enormous day, an inevitable day, a sad day, and yet, like Fidel himself embodied….It is also a very powerful day.
When 9/11 happened, and the [US] American people were bewildered, lied to and bamboozled into being clueless to world events. I said, at the time, that when Fidel Castro died, it would be the same. An event of the same enormity has occurred, and sadly, the ignorance and lies in our “media” only distort. They will not clarify nor truly teach.
The whole world’s people will know what just happened. Except the [US] American people.
Fidel Castro, the man, is no longer living. But, he has now with his parting, spread inevitably and profoundly even more deeply into the hearts-and most importantly for communists-into the ACTIONS of millions upon millions of people, in [the] America[s] and all over the World.
Derided as “bleeding hearts” during Ronald Reagan’s wars against poor farmers in Central America, we will humbly, yet proudly answer, Yes. That is called human, to care for, and to bleed for others. Humus. Earth. Connected, without apology or equivocation.
Che’s words of revolution, of humanity ring clear to me now: “Y seremos millones”…and we will be millions…That we are, today. No lies, no mendacity, no fascist, cruel bullsh**t will be allowed in our spaces. We will stand up to it all. We will study war no more. Ever.
We do not argue with the arguers. We do not appease the fascists, anywhere, in any heart or in any action. We will name you. We will out you. We will resist you. And we will build and show Another Way. Because we have seen it.
And we will all win because:
People, in the end, can’t drink fracked water.
People, in the end, can’t survive the endless murder of each other.
People, in the end, can’t eat radioactive food.
People, in the end, can’t thrive on hate.
People, in the end, have to answer to their children.
People, in the end, will choose survival over lies.
Life, you will see, will [defeat] Trump Capitalism. Amen.
And of course, too, people in the end cannot do what Nature does: Sustain us all on this gorgeous Planet, in this gorgeous space called Life.
Nature Bats Last.
Fidel knew that. In his last, lovely years his focus was on Planet Earth, and on what we as people need to do to survive on [the earth]. He focused on three main themes, as I saw it: Nuclear war, climate change, and…growing food. In fact, in several of his last meetings with world leaders, sustainable (ie, life-sustaining) agriculture was his main concern and topic of conversation. Imagine that. What a terrorist.
Fascism is derived from the Italian word meaning division. There is no division on Earth, only Unity. That was Fidel’s magic, to see that unity and to fight for it until his last, lovely god-given breath. Yes, god, little g…a “g” that belongs to all of us, that excludes no one.
Fidel, history has absolved you. You left a country that is a beacon of resistance and hope and humanity that, despite the Empire’s blockade, too many of us have seen with our own eyes…and the cat, as they say, is out of the bag…
We have been teaching, and we will continue to teach, to “red” and “blue” alike. And, we are unstoppable.
In my master’s thesis on Cuba’s Energy Transition, I quote philosopher Emmanuel Kant: The Actual Proves the Possible. Cuba’s example has proven to us:
Another World is Possible.
So I do not lose heart. I am sad today, of course. But emboldened and very, very grateful for my understanding, my knowledge and my ability to serve.
Never Fear, Fidel Was Here
Founder, CUSSP Cuba-US Sustainability Project
Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Board Member
*All images can be found on On Cuba’s facebook page.
In case you weren’t able to catch WfPSW on tour in October, please catch this entire presentation captured on film from Portland, OR. Here, speakers Maria Gabriela Del Pilar Blanco and Paola Martucci Gomez speak to the current political, social and economic challenges facing the Bolivarian Revolution including a recent opposition led attempt to coup democratically elected President Nicolás Maduro!
Join Witness for Peace Southwest and Venezuelan organizer María Gabriela Del Pilar Blanco for a series of discussions about the current climate in Venezuela. We will be visiting a variety of spaces in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington states. Please see our listing below for confirmed public event dates. Please contact Regional Organizer Jeanette Charles if you are interested in attending and would like more information: email@example.com or 805.669.VIVA
Sunday October 2, 2016
“Venezuela y la revolución bolivariana – una conversación con activistas venezolanas”, La Casa Roja, 1251 St. Andrews Place, Los Angeles, California 90019
“Women, Gender & Sexuality in Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution”, CIELO galleries/studios, 3201 Maple Ave, Los Angeles, California 90011
6pm – 830pm
Monday October 3, 2016
“People’s Power and Popular Movements in Venezuela”, Scripps College, 1030 N Columbia Ave, Claremont, CA 91711
9:35-10:50am @Scr Hum 105 & 2:45-5:30pm @ Scr Balch 218
Wednesday October 5, 2016
“Sexuality, Gender Diversity and Feminism in the Americas”, California State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330
2-3:15pm @ Room JR 319
Thursday October 13, 2016
Indigenous Rights Center, ABQ, NM more details TBA
Tuesday October 18, 2016
“Venezuela: Queer Liberation and the Bolivarian Revolution”, The Eric Quezada Political Education Center, 518 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Thursday October 20, 2016
Napa Valley, CA public event, more details TBA
Saturday October 22, 2016
“Una al margen: documentary about being trans in Venezuela” Comalito Collective, 302 Georgia Street, Vallejo, CA 94590
discussion at 6:30pm (documentary screenings throughout the day starting at 1pm)
Sunday and Monday October 23 & 24, 2016
Portland, OR & Seattle, WA Public Events, more details TBA
Tuesday October 25, 2016
“Building People’s Power in Venezuela: LGBTQ and Women’s Perspectives on the Bolivarian Process” California State University, Los Angeles 5151 State University Drive Los Angeles, CA 90032
3-:430 pm @ KH B 3008
Sponsored by the Task Force on the Americas and SOA WATCH Organized and led by Lisa Sullivan, 30 year resident of Venezuela.
Most have read about the brutal economic war that has engulfed Venezuela and caused a grave food shortage. Fewer have heard about the creative efforts of many Venezuelans to provide food for their families and communities by growing it. In balconies, backyards, median strips, old tires, vacant lots and more.
Come to Venezuela in October this fall to bring solidarity to local Venezuelan communities who are stepping out of food lines and into the soil to grow healthy local food. They are forging an alternative economy to the half-century-old model of fossil fuel exports for food imports that was a key cause of this crisis. This incipient economy is based on local production, barter, solidarity and sustainability.
The delegation will participate in celebrations of Venezuela’s National Seed Day, on October 29th, in the Andean village of Monte Carmelo. Venezuela has the world’s most progressive seed law, prohibiting GMO seeds and encouraging community seed banks.
The delegation will visit urban and rural conucos (Venezuela’s traditional food garden)They will also meet with leaders of the new Urban Agriculture Ministry and agronomists and campesino leaders involved in this local food-growing movement.
An optional add-on trip to the Afro Venezuelan communities of Ocumare and Cata is offered from November 1-4. This group will spend a day visiting the tropical small farming and fishing initiatives on the coast, and enjoy 2 relaxing days at one of Venezuela’s most pristine and peaceful beaches on the Caribbean, Bahia de Cata.
The delegation fee of $1150 covers all meals, lodging, in-country transportation, translation, materials and visa application free. It does not cover international travel to and from Caracas. The fee for add-on trip to the Afro-Venezuelan coast is $300. A visitor’s visa is required for U.S. citizens. TFA will streamline the visa application process, for an additional $50 to cover visa fee and mailing.
Interested? Contact Lisa: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hosted by: Witness for Peace Colombia International Team & Witness for Peace Southwest
For more information about the Latin American Liberation Webinar Series register here
El Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de honduras hace de conocimiento a la opinión pública el asesinato el día de hoy de nuestro compañero Nelson García de la comunidad de Río Chiquito en el departamento de Cortés, a manos de dos personas desconocidas.
Lamentamos tener que informar que el compañero Nelson García fue asesinado cuando llegaba a la casa de su suegra a almorzar, luego de haber estado toda la mañana ayudando a mover los enceres de las familias desalojadas de la comunidad de Río Chiquito.
El asesinato ocurrió en el marco del desalojo efectuado contra la comunidad e Río Chiquito en la localidad de Río Lindo, en el departamento de Cortés, en el cual aproximadamente 100 policías, 20 efectivos de la policía militar, 10 del ejército y varios de la DGIC invadieron el territorio recuperado por 150 familias, en el cual más de 75 habían construido sus casas con los materiales y esfuerzos que han podido obtener.
El desalojo se produjo al medio día de hoy, utilizando tractores y maquinaria pesada para destruir las casas de madera en las que han vivido desde hace casi 2 años los compañeros y compañeras organizadas en el COPINH, dejándoles sin un techo con qué protegerse. De igual manera se destruyó la huerta y sembradíos de la comunidad, arruinando con tractores las plantaciones de yuca, caña, plátano y pequeñas milpas, violando cualquier tipo de derecho. Incluso se destruyó un horno artesanal que tenía la comunidad y mataron unas gallinas pertenecientes a la comunidad.
La comunidad de Río Chiquito ha protegido su territorio desde que le fue donado a las mujeres de la misma, sin embargo, han sido atacados por las autoridades municipales, en especial por el alcalde anterior, que utiliza 3 testaferros para despojar a los compañeros y compañeras, y vender la tierra.
El compañero Nelson García fue un activo militante del COPINH, en la defensa del derecho a la habitación, lo recordamos por su activa participación en el proceso de recuperación de la tierra y la fundación de la comunidad de Río Chiquito. Lamentamos esta nueva muerte a 13 días del vil asesinato de nuestra coordinadora General Berta Cáceres.
El asesinato de nuestro compañero Nelson García y el desalojo de la Comunidad de Río Chiquito se suman a la guerra en contra del COPINH, que busca acabar con su labor de defensoría, resistencia y construcción de más de 22 años.
Estas agresiones del día de hoy se suman a la gran cantidad de amenazas, agresiones, asesinatos, intimidaciones y criminalizaciones dirigidas en contra del COPINH.
Desde el asesinato de nuestra compañera Berta Cáceres hemos sido objeto de una gran cantidad de incidentes que demuestran el nulo interés por parte del Estado hondureño por garantizar nuestra vida y la labor que desempeñamos. Así como su irrespeto a los mandatos de la CIDH en cuanto a la aplicación de las medidas cautelares que se nos han otorgado.
Las medidas cautelares fueron emitidas el días 6 de marzo y hoy 9 días después nos asesinan un compañero. ¿Cómo se supone que confiemos en el proceso investigativo del Estado si a la coordinación de la organización se le hostiga criminalmente mediante el llamado a declarar investigando su presunta participación en el asesinato, mientras no se investiga a las fuentes de las amenazas? ¿Cómo se supone que se haga justicia en el caso de nuestra lideresa Berta cuando no se garantizan las medidas necesarias para la protección de su familia, y las hijas y compañeros de nuestra compañera Berta han sido perseguidas por un hombre armado en la ciudad de Tegucigalpa en medio de los encuentros con autoridades?
Desde el mismo día del asesinato de Berta, las instalaciones del COPINH en La Esperanza han sido vigiladas por personas desconocidas, intimidando a quienes permanecemos en resistencia, siguiendo el legado de nuestra lideresa.
De igual manera los compañeros y compañeras de la comunidad de Río Blanco han sufrido agresiones de persecución cuando se trasladaban a la ciudad de Tegucigalpa para exponer su caso ante entes como el Ministerio de Gobernación y los representantes del grupo de representantes diplomáticos del G16.
Además de un incidente en el cual los compañeros de la comunidad se trasladaron al Río Gualcarque y fueron agredidos por los guardias de seguridad del proyecto hidroeléctrico Agua Zarca, mediante disparos de escopeta, que afortunadamente no hirieron a ningún miembro de la comunidad.
Todas estas agresiones hacen parte de un plan de exterminio en contra de nuestra organización y hacemos un llamamiento a la solidaridad nacional e internacional para luchar en contra del mismo.
Exigimos que cese la persecución, el hostigamiento y la guerra en contra del COPINH.
Exigimos que el Estado hondureño responda por la muerte de nuestros compañeros y compañeras y no exista más impunidad.
Exigimos justicia para nuestra compañera Berta Cáceres.
Con la fuerza ancestral de Lempira, Mota, Etempica, Berta, se levantan nuestras voces llena vida, justicia y paz.
¡¡¡Berta Vive, la lucha sigue!!!
La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. Dado a los 15 días del mes de marzo 2016.
Enough is Enough!
The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras [COPINH] makes known to public opinion today’s assassination of our comrade Nelson García, of the community of Río Chiquito in the department of Cortés, at the hands of two unknown assailants.
We regret to have to say that comrade Nelson García was assassinated when he arrived at the house of his mother-in-law to eat lunch, after having spent all morning helping to move the belongings of the families being evicted in the community of Río Chiquito.
The assassination took place in the context of the eviction carried out against the community and Río Chiquito in the locality of Río Lindo, in the department of Cortés, where approximately 100 police, 20 members of the militarized police, 10 soldiers, and several members of the DGIC [investigative police] invaded the territory that had been recuperated by 150 families, where more than 75 of them had built their homes with the materials and efforts they had been able to gather.
The eviction happened at mid-day today, using tractors and heavy equipment to destroy the wooden homes where the comrades organized in COPINH had lived for nearly two years leaving them without a roof over their heads. The garden and plantings of the community were also destroyed, the tractors being used to ruin the cultivations of yucca, cane, plantain, and small milpas, violating any concept of justice. The community’s artisanal oven was also destroyed, and chickens belonging to the community were killed.
The community of Río Chiquito had defended their territory ever since it was given to the women there; nonetheless they were attacked by the municipal authorities, especially by the prior mayor, who used three front men to evict the comrades and sell the land.
Comrade Nelson García was an active militant of COPINH, defending the right to habitation; we remember him for his active participation in the process of recuperating the land and founding the community of Río Chiquito. We lament this new death thirteen days after the vile assassination of our General Coordinator Berta Cáceres.
The assassination of our comrade Nelson García and the eviction of the community of Río Chiquito are additional elements of the war against COPINH that seeks to end our more than twenty-two years of work defending, resisting, and constructing. Today’s aggressions are additional elements of the large quantity of threats, aggressions, assassinations, intimidations and criminalizations directed against COPINH.
Since the assassination of our comrade Berta Cáceres we have been the target of a large number of that show there is zero interest on the part of the Honduran state in guaranteeing our lives and the work that we perform, as well as disregard for the mandates of the IACHR in terms of the application of the precautionary measures that have been granted us. The precautionary measures were granted March 6th, and now, nine days later, they’ve killed one of our comrades.
How could anyone expect us to trust the investigative process of the state that criminally harasses the leadership of the organization by announcing that it is under investigation for presumed participation in the murder, while not investigating the sources of the threats?
How could anyone expect there would be justice in the case of our leader Berta, when the measures necessary to protect her family are not guaranteed, and the daughters and companions of our comrade Berta have been followed by an armed man in the city of Tegucigalpa during their meetings with the authorities?
Since the very day of Berta’s assassination, the installations of COPINH in La Esperanza have been under surveillance by unknown persons, intimidating those who remain in resistance following in the footsteps of our leader.
In the same way the comrades of the community of Río Blanco have suffered aggressions and persecution when they went to the city of Tegucigalpa to make their case in front of entities such as the Ministry of the Interior and the diplomatic representatives of the G16.
Also there was an incident in which the comrades of the community went to the Río Gualcarque and were assaulted with shotgun blasts by the security guards of the hydroelectric project Agua Zarca, fortunately without injuring any members of the community.
All of these aggressions are part of a plan for the extermination of our organization and we call for national and international solidarity to fight back.
We demand an end to the persecution, harassment, and war against COPINH.
We demand that the Honduran state answer for the deaths of our comrades and that there be no more impunity.
We demand justice for our comrade Berta Cáceres.
With the ancestral force of Lempira, Mota, Etempica, Berta, our voices rise full of life, justice, and peace.
Berta Lives On, the Struggle Continues!
La Esperanza, Intibucá, Honduras. Done on the 15th day of the month of March, 2016.
Join us in this webinar on Wednesday – Please note to participate you just need to either call in using the number below or sign in online with the link provided below
Webinar: Justice & Solidarity for Berta Cáceres and COPINH
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
6:30pm – 8pm (CST)
Hosted by: Witness for Peace, Honduras Solidarity Network (HSN) & SOA Watch
PIN: 122 085 956#
You are invited to a special webinar to mobilize a US campaign for justice and solidarity for Berta Cáceres, our beloved and missed sister, and the organization she co-founded. COPINH is one of the strongest indigenous organizations in Honduras and it is now more than ever, facing incredible repression.
On the agenda:
Summary of context and what has transpired since Berta’s assassination
Key demands from Berta’s Family & COPINH
Campaign actions & follow up
For more information and the latest WfP action alert, please visit:
Last week, Berta Cáceres Flores, Lenca leader who fought with such dedication for the preservation of her peoples’ natural and ancestral resources, was tragically murdered by at least two individuals who broke down the door of the house where Berta was staying in the Residencial La Líbano in La Esperanza, Intibuca.
Since 2006, Berta and COPINH have been entrenched in a struggle with DESA, a private Honduran company, building the Agua Zarca dam in Rio Blanco, Honduras. The project has been plagued by human rights abuses from its inception, when it bypassed a consultative process with the affected communities before breaking ground. The last protest that took place on February 20, 2016 was accompanied by Witness for Peace, where we witnessed excessive and unnecessary militarization, along with a lack of respect for the Right to Assembly and Freedom of Speech. At the protest, members of COPINH were blocked from protesting by a tractor, and protesters were threatened with arrest.
We are profoundly concerned that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has partnered with DESA’s Social Investment Programming through the MERCADO project, linking US taxpayer dollars to the repression and violence against COPINH.
We strongly condemn the role in Rio Blanco of Los TIGRES, a Honduran specialized police unit, which is funded and vetted by the United States, in defending the private interests of DESA.
We demand that the U.S. Embassy not only offer “all the resources of the United States Government to assist in bringing these criminals to justice” as they have stated that they have done, but rather support an independent international investigation and DEMAND that both the intellectual and material authors of the murder be prosecuted. We also call for all legal and political measures possible to guarantee the immediate and ongoing protection of the witness Gustavo Castro Soto, as well as all members of COPINH.
We further demand that the United States government recall its ambassador to Honduras for consultations until such time as concrete action to end impunity in the murder of Berta Cáceres Flores has taken place, and institutional measures to protect human rights have materialized.