WfPSW Announces 2016 Delegations

Consider joining Witness for Peace Southwest on one of our international and national delegations in 2016!

Delegation fees cover all set-up preparation, 2 meals per day, housing accommodations, interpreters, transportation within the country and a trained delegation coordinator. The feel also covers extensive reading and activist tools before and after the delegation. Limited space is available—Apply early!

For more information and an application please contact: Witness for Peace Southwest Regional Organizer Jeanette Charles at 805-669-VIVA or jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or Malia Everette at 415-735-5407 or malia@altruvistas.com. For additional information about scholarship opportunities and fundraising assistance contact Jeanette Charle or Tanya Hartley at southwestwfp@gmail.com.

WfPSW has experience organizing delegations to countries throughout the region including Honduras, Colombia and Mexico. If you would like to organize a delegation for your organization, school or community group through Witness for Peace Southwest, please contact Jeanette Charles, Tanya Hartley or Malia Everette (information provided above).

 

MEXICO-U.S. BORDER March 19-26, 2016: Impacts of US War on Drugs on the Mexico/US Border

Learn more about the Impacts of the US War on Drugs in Southern California and along the Mexico-U.S. border. We will meet with organizations challenging the prison industrial complex, fighting against massive deportations and creating alternatives to free trade. Contact Jeanette Charles for more information regarding this delegation’s overall cost.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by January 18, 2016

 

CUBA April 24- May 3,  2016: Celebrate May Day in Cuba:  Labor and Community Organizing from the Ground Up

Join the Cuban people on International Worker’s Day in Havana, Cuba! Join us for what promises to be a remarkable time to celebrate Cuba’s revolutionary spirit, past and present!

Cost: $2350 without international airfare and $2950 with airfare included from Miami.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by February 28, 2016.

 

VENEZUELA  May 21-30, 2016: Afro-Venezuelan History and Culture    

May is Afro-Venezuelan history month and is full of events marking the significant political, cultural and social contributions of the African Diaspora and the specific struggles of Afro-descendants in Venezuela. Learn how Afro-Venezuelans have secured significant rights with the Bolivarian Revolution and continue to build an anti-racist Venezuelan society today.

Cost: $1950 excluding international airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by March 14, 2016.

 

VENEZUELA  July 21-31, 2016: The Bolivarian Revolution: From Simon to Hugo  

From Simon Bolivar to Hugo Chavez, the Bolivarian Revolution has evolved into building an inclusive society where all Venezuelans participate. Delegates will learn first-hand the ways and means of Venezuelan democracy, providing a unique opportunity to witness how public policies and grassroots organizing come together.

Cost: $1950 excluding international airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by May 16, 2016.
PUERTO RICO  Nov. 4-12, 2016:  Boricua: The Hidden Colony $1850 

Their status as a U.S. commonwealth leaves them without a vote and voice in their nation’s political future. Stand in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico as they continue their fight for their independence against US occupation and militarization.

Cost: $1850 excluding airfare.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150 is due by August 15, 2016.

 

CUBA  Dec. 27, 2016-Jan 4, 2017: New Years in Havana:  Cuban Socialism and Cultural Resilience  

Learn about the Cuban people’s revolutionary history and cultural resilience while also celebrating the New Year! Expect to learn about the importance of arts and culture in Cuban society and its revolutionary development.

Cost: $2850 without international airfare and $3450 with airfare included from Miami.

Deadline: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by  September 26, 2016.

Urgent Action: Pres. Obama signs sanctions on Venezuela

2979_10151422864268645_1665835711_nThe Venezuela Sanctions bill authored and pushed by Cuban American congresspersons Bob Menendez (Senate D-NJ) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (House R-FL) passed congress last week and was just signed by President Obama yesterday Thursday Dec 18, 2014. A day after President Obama announced steps towards normalizing relations with Cuba.

Tell President Obama today that we want no more embargoes in Latin America!

No to Venezuela Sanctions!

Call the White House comment line: (202) 456-1111

Call The State Department Venezuela Desk: 202-647-4216

Tell the President you oppose sanctions on Venezuela. You support normalized relations with Venezuela and Cuba.

Click here to send a letter to the President, State Department and your Congressional Representatives.

Los Angeles Protest Against Sanctions

Monday Dec 22 at Noon.

LA Times Building 202 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA.

Meet at Los Angeles Times Building at 202 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles to protest the LA Times unfair reporting on Venezuela then we will march 1-2 blocks to Senator Barbara Boxer’s district office at 312 N Spring St Los Angeles to ask that she speak out against US Sanctions on Venezuela. Click here to RSVP via Facebook or email southwestwfp@gmail.com or call 805-669-VIVA. 

Click here for a list of Talking Points on Venezuela and US Sanctions

Witness for Peace Southwest sponsored 3 fact finding delegations to Venezuela in 2014 and works towards a more just and humane US policy towards Latin America.

 

“Is Venezuela the new Cuba? The US now has two embargoes in Latin America.”

 

ON Dec 17, 2014 Cubans celebrate the return of the Cuban Five

ON Dec 17, 2014 Cubans celebrate the return of the Cuban Five

by Tanya Cole, Witness for Peace Southwest. Dec 19, 2014

A day after President Obama announces historic steps in normalization of relations with Cuba he signs US sanctions on Venezuela. While many of us celebrate significant movement in US-Cuba relations we still have a very solid economic embargo and travel ban in place with our island neighbor. Now we have expanded our list of sanctioned countries in Latin America to two. While the Venezuela sanctions bill does not include economic sanctions or travel bans yet, its not for lack of trying by the bill’s authors. Not coincidently the same Cuban-American congresspersons that are furious with President Obama for easing relations with Cuba are the same that have been pushing Cuba style sanctions on Venezuela. The House version of the Venezuela sanctions bill authored by extreme reactionary Cuban American Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen has the same name as the Helms Burton Act (a bill passed to punish other countries for doing business with Cuba), with only the name of Cuba replaced by Venezuela: the Venezuelan Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act. It contains three different forms of sanctions, a statement of policy for reducing oil imports from Venezuela and a “strategy” section that recycles various passages from the Helms Burton Act including the demand that Venezuela move “toward a market-oriented economic system based on the right to own and enjoy property” and make “constitutional changes that would ensure regular free and fair elections.”

On Monday Dec 15, Venezuelans march to reject US Intervention.

On Monday Dec 15, Venezuelans march to reject US Intervention.

This past Monday thousands of Venezuelans marched to reject US intervention and to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of the Bolivarian constitution, one of the most progressive in the world which includes reforms like social security benefits for stay at home moms and full recognition of indigenous peoples and afro-descendants.

The passing of US Sanctions on Venezuela at the height of US police brutality protests and CIA torture reports is case in point of US hypocrisy and interventionist policies in Latin America while ignoring glaring human rights abuses at home and among key US allies like Mexico, Honduras and Colombia. The US has funded over a billion dollars in recent years to the Mexican military and police under the guise of the US Drug War and has trained thousands of Mexican security forces at the infamous US Army School of the Americas (long known for its own torture manuals). The case of the 43 missing Mexican students of Ayozinapa killed at the complicity of Mexican security forces and drug cartels is a blatant example of the failed US drug war that has helped fuel gross and massive human rights abuses across Mexico where the impunity rate is 95-98%.

14 years and 7 billion dollars later of US Plan Colombia spending and the training of over 10,000 Colombian military officials has left Colombia with one of the worst human rights records in the hemisphere and an internal refugee crisis only second to Syria. In addition, the US has continued US military and police training and funding of Honduran security forces even after a 2009 coup d’etat unleashed a killing spree of over 300 political activists where Honduran military and police were either complicit, looked the other way or failed to investigate the assassinations. The US has not called for sanctions against Mexico, Honduras or Colombia but has rather continued to fund their militaries and police with billions of US tax payer dollars and even brokered free trade deals with all three nations.

Cuban American -US congresspersons like Senator Menendez and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who have long held the responsibility for the hold up in normalization of US-Cuban relations, have accused Venezuela of cracking down on street protests earlier this year. While US streets are aflame over rampant police brutality and impunity the US might want to actually learn a thing or two from Venezuela’s widespread police reforms enacted since 2009. All Venezuelan security forces are required to receive human rights training and graduate from university level education. Earlier this year right wing violent protests in Venezuela were responsible for the deaths of over 40 people, many of which were pro-government demonstrators, members of the Venezuelan National Guard and innocent bystanders. The President of Venezuela’s National assembly states, “our government responded with restraint, allowing those violent demonstrations to go on for several months. Every effort was made to ensure that only protesters who directly violated laws or placed the lives of others in danger were detained. For example, those responsible for burning public buses with Molotov cocktails, or who set fire to a public university, were rightly arrested and charged — as were 17 state security agents accused of using excessive force against protesters, who are awaiting trial.”

The recent release of the Cuban Five and steps towards normalization of relations between the US and Cuba’s 50+ year stalemate should be an example of why we as US citizens cannot let Venezuela become the United States’ new “Cuba.” The United States is increasingly being shut out of Latin American alliances like the Summit of the Americas, ALBA and CELAC due to its bullying tactics against countries like Cuba and Venezuela. Several Latin American nations agreed to boycott the upcoming 2015 Summit of the Americas if the US continued to block Cuba’s participation. 10 Latin American nations have already rejected the threat of US sanctions on Venezuela.

Venezuela is a strong unifying leader in Latin America and if the United States continues its hostility towards Venezuela, the US itself may find itself blockaded by its closest Southern neighbors.

Witness for Peace Southwest sponsored 3 fact finding delegations to Venezuela in 2014 and works towards a more just and humane US policy towards Latin America.

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Eyewitness Reports this week in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba

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Download event flyers: sf event flyer nov 20, 2014LA event flyer nov 22, 2014

Eyewitness Reports this week in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Venezuela, Honduras and Cuba

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Thursday Nov 20, 2014 730-930pm
518 Valencia St San Francisco, CA

 

diputadas Honduras-military policeSaturday Nov 22, 2014 330-430pm
220 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA

 

In the past year Witness for Peace Southwest has sent 37 delegates on fact finding solidarity delegations to Venezuela and Honduras. Join us to hear this eyewitness testimony as we build solidarity with resistance movements in Honduras challenging US funded repression and as we stand for sovereignty of the Venezuelan people as they face US sanctions. In addition you will learn about travel opportunities to Cuba, Venezuela, and other Latin American countries similarly affected by US policies, in 2015, as we continue the struggle for an end to the US blockade on Cuba and Freedom for the Cuban Five and the sovereignty of all peoples

Venezuela: Three delegations traveled to Venezuela in May, June and July this 2014 in the aftermath of violent opposition led street protests and one year after the passing of Venezuela’s beloved President Hugo Chavez. Delegates learned about the Afro-Venezuelan movement and identity, met with Venezuelan doctors practicing universal healthcare, mingled with Venezuelan students attending free universities, and conversed with campesinos and urban farmers maintaining their country’s food security.

Honduras: WFPSW sent election monitors to Honduras in November of 2013 for Honduras’ historic elections and another delegation in August of 2014 to accompany communities facing violence at the height of the child migration crisis. Delegates heard first hand testimony of the roots of the migration crisis. Delegates will report on the fraud that took place during the elections and the violent repression of Honduras’ new resistance party in the elections aftermath. We will hear delegate reports from the Afro-Honduran, Indigenous and campesino communities fighting for land rights against international mega-projects, oligarchs and drug traffickers.

San Francisco Panelists:

Venezuela Delegates
-Jeanette Charles- May delegation leader and Telesur English writer
-Claudia Chaufan- June delegation co-leader and Associate Professor UCSF
-Tanya Cole- May delegation and Witness for Peace Southwest organizer
-Tim Tendick -July delegation and Travel blogger

Honduras Delegates
-Tanya Cole-Election observer, August delegation and Honduras Solidarity Network member

Cuba
-Malia Everette- Cuba travel coordinator for Altruvistas and WFPSW

Los Angeles Panelists:
-Jeanette Charles- Venezuela delegation leader and Writer for Telesur English
-Rachel Bruhnke- Delegate to Cuba Solar Conference Havana, Cuba
-Tanya Cole- Honduras Delegation Leader

Enjoy music, refreshments and good company!

sponsored by Witness for Peace Southwest.

SF event Endorsed by Altruvistas, Taskforce on the Americas, Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition (BALASC), Honduras Solidarity Network, Alliance for Global Justice.

LA Event Endorsed by the Honduras Solidarity Network and the Alliance for Global Justice.

SF Facebook event

LA Facebook event

More info contact: 805-669-VIVA or southwestwfp@gmail.com. Www.wfpsw.org

http://www.facebook.com/wfpsw


 

Informes de Venezuela, Honduras y Cuba.

Jueves, 20 de noviembre de 2014
7:30pm-9:30pm
518 Valencia St San Francisco, CA

sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2014 3:30pm-5:30pm
Multicultural Artists United (MCAU)
220 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Bajen volantes:

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español LA evento nov 22, 2014

El año pasado Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste ha enviado a 37 delegados en las delegaciones de solidaridad a Venezuela y Honduras. Únase a nosotros para escuchar este testimonio de los delegados como crear solidaridad con los movimientos de resistencia en Honduras y como defendemos la soberanía del pueblo Venezolano. Además usted aprenderá acerca de oportunidades de viajar a Cuba, Venezuela y otros países latinoamericanos, igualmente afectados por las políticas de Estados Unidos.

Venezuela: Tres delegaciones viajaron a Venezuela en mayo, junio y julio este 2014 durante las protestas violentas de la oposicíon y un año después de la muerte de amado presidente Hugo Chávez. Delegados aprendieron acerca del movimiento Afro-venezolano, reunieron con los médicos venezolanos practicando atención médica universal, se mezclaron con los estudiantes venezolanos que asisten a las universidades gratis y conversaron con campesinos y agricultores urbanos que están mantenimiento la seguridad alimentaria de su país.

Honduras: WFPSW envió observadores electorales a Honduras en noviembre de 2013 para que las históricas elecciones de Honduras y una otra delegación en agosto de 2014 para acompañar a las comunidades enfrentando a la violencia del estado y de grandes terratenientes. Delegados escucharon testimonios de las raíces de la crisis de la migración. Los delegados presentará un informe sobre el fraude que llevó a cabo durante las elecciones y la violenta represión de nuevo partido de resistencia Honduras tras las elecciones. Escucharemos delegados con informes de los Afro-Hondureños, las comunidades indígenas y campesinas que luchan por el derecho a la tierra contra la mega-proyectos internacionales, los oligarcas y los traficantes de drogas.

Cuba- informe sobre la protección del medio ambiente y energía en Cuba. También aprendan sobre las oportunidades de viajar a Cuba en 2015.

San Francisco Panelistas:

Delegados de Venezuela
-Jeanette Charles- Líder de la delegación en mayo y escritora de Telesur Inglés
-Claudia Chaufan-co líder de la delegación de junio y profesor asociado de UCSF
-Tanya Cole-delegación en mayo y organizadora de WFPSW
-Tim Tendick-delegación de julio y blogger de viajes

Delegados de Honduras
-Tanya Cole-Observadora electoral en 2013,co-líder de la delegación en agosto y miembro de la Red de solidaridad con Honduras (HSN)

Cuba
-Malia Everette – Directora de Altruvistas y WFPSW y coordinadora de viajes a Cuba y Venezuela

Los Angeles Panelistas confirmadas:
-Jeanette Charles- Líder de delegaciones a Venezuela Y escritora para Telesur Inglés

-Rachel Bruhnke- Delegada a Conferencia de Cuba Solar en Habana

-Tanya Cole- Honduras Delegation Leader

Disfrute de música, refrescos y buena compañía!

SF Facebook evento

LA Facebook evento
Más info contacto: 805-669-VIVA o southwestwfp@gmail.com. http://Www.wfpsw.org, http://www.Facebook.com/ wfpsw

San Francisco Patrocinado por Witness for Peace Southwest/Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste (WFPSW). Apoyado por Altruvistas, Grupo de trabajo sobre las Américas (MITF), BALASC, Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN, Alianza para la Justicia Global (AFGJ).

Los Angeles Patrocinado por Witness for Peace Southwest/Acción Permanente por la Paz Sudoeste (WFPSW). Apoyado por Red de Solidaridad con Honduras (HSN, Alianza para la Justicia Global (AFGJ).

Cuba: New Year’s in Havana

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Cuba: New Year’s in Havana

December 27, 2014- January 4th, 2015

Deadline to apply Friday Nov 7, 2014

Community Engagement and Sustainable Development in Cuba For more information and an application please contact Tanya at tanya@wfpsw.org or Malia@altruvistas.com. Malia Phone: 415-735-5407 or Tanya 805-669-VIVA Greetings to you! We wanted to extend a special invitation to you to join us in Cuba to learn about the Cuban reality today while celebrating New Years with your social justice community. This special journey explores the the innovation Cuba has demonstrated in all fields of sustainable human and environmental development. Learn about the “fruits of the Revolution” as you visit social institutions like schools and hospitals. Engage with organic farmers, community organizers, architects, social workers, educators and more. Explore what the US embargo has meant to the Cuban people and what US/Cuban relations might look like in the future. Examine how Cuba organizes its social, political and economic system. Develop a deeper understanding of social and economic changes in Cuba today as you hear from the Cubans what there hopes and aspirations are for the future as you travel from Havana to outside provinces, and explore both urban and rural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. And, yes, celebrate New Years in Havana from a rooftop with live salsa band! The delegation cost starts from $2475-2675 (for a group of 15-18 and 10-14) and includes Cuba Visa, Compulsory Cuban Health Insurance, Double Room Accommodations in 3 star hotels, Two Meals a day, Transport by AC motor coach, a Full Time Cuban guide and translator, Full Program, Entrance and Program Fees, Honoraria, Donations and a rooftop New Years Eve party with live salsa band!. The price does NOT include airfare, one meal a day, gratuities, travel insurance or personal expenses related to travel. Airfare from Miami to Havana roundtrip including the $65 Cuban visa is available for $550. Single rooms are available for an additional $350. Contact us for a tentative itinerary or for a list of FAQ’s. This is a legally licensed people to peole travel delegation to Cuba. This journey is powered by Altruvistas and organized by Obtenga World, a licensed Travel Service Provider. Witness for Peace Southwest is an advocacy organization that is actively working to end the US embargo and travel ban against Cuba. Anyone interested in learning about Cuba is welcome! Draft Itinerary: Dec 27 Arrival into Havana We will be staying at the Hotel Capri, it has a great location. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g147271-d6353319-Reviews-NH_Capri_La_Habana-Havana_Cuba.html It just was renovated. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/havana-mob-hotel-capri-reopens-after-renovation Orientation meeting and welcome cocktail. Welcome dinner and Evening meeting at the home of the renown photographer, Robert Salas for a pictorial overview of the Cuban Revolution. Dec. 28th. AM Briefing and exchange with architect, Miguel Coyula. Here you will learn about the history, development and future trajectory of Cuba’s Capital, Havana. Am Guided walking tour of old Havana and many of its beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will journey through history and visit the four main colonial plazas and meet with Cubans from artists to entrepreneurs that inhabit these bustling streets. Lunch la imprenta Visit to community project benefiting from tourism like Convento de Belen (social, education and health care development project serving elders and children). Here we will learn about community development and meet with locals. City tour continues. PM Exchange with the Muraleando community at a special development arts project, and learn about how art and social enterprise have transformed a neighborhood. Eve -Free for cultural activities ( Casa de Musica in Miramar for salsa dancing). Dec. 29th. Am Meeting with the FMC the Federation of Cuban Women to learn about the advancements of gender equity in Cuba today. AM Travel to the community of Alamar-exchange with Miguel, the founder of a wonderful urban agriculture farm at Vivero and meet with other local farmers. Learn about urban agriculture, organics and modern food security issues and how local food production benefited the urban population. PM Visit to the Forteleza, Che’s command center and then the Museum of the Revolution. Dinner EVE Free for Cultural options ( Palacio de la Rumba traditional cuban music) Dec. 30th. AM Visit with FANJ-Fundacion de Antionio Nunez a wonderful NGO in Cuba dedicated to sustainable development and environmental protection. Here will will learn about sustainable community development in Cuba. Optional visit to learn about contemporary Cuban Artes at the Bellas Artes Musuem Lunch at the Casa de Amistad PM Briefing by ICAP, the Cuban Institute for the People for a discussion of current US/Cuban international relations. Discuss the impacts of the US embargo and travel restrictions on Cuban society and its national development. PM Enjoy a private rooftop concert as we enjoy a musical overview (Grupo MEZCLA reserved ) Dinner at a local paladar and Eve free for cultural activities Dec. 31st AM Literacy Museum and meeting with a representative from CENEXEX to discuss literacy advances, gender rights, LGBYT community rights, and the future of Civil Rights in the Cuban revolution. City Tour of Havana continues by bus to important sites like the Revolution Square, the University of Havana, and other sites. Free time in Old Havana or to rest for the evening. Eve NYRS Dinner and Celebration! Rooftop party with live salsa band and lots of Cuban friends! Jan. 1st AM check out of hotel to leave for the Zapata Peninsula a UNESCO bioreserve, located in Matanzas. Depart for Playa Girón. We will visit an environmental reserve, Bermejas Preserve, which took the brunt of Hurricane Michelle in November 2001. Local conservationists have been assisting the natural recovery process here under park supervision. PM We will check in to a local hotel on Playa Larga. We will receive a lecture outlining the history of the reserve and current projects and after they will have an opportunity to share in small group discussion with volunteers working on the reserve. Jan. 2nd Am Optional morning biodiversity hike for birdwatching. Perhaps you might see the smallest bird in the world, the bee humming bird. Exchange with local naturalists from CITMA. Am Visit to the Play Giron Bay of Pigs Museum and learn about this important historic event from the Cuban perspective. PM Visit to the Caleta Buena and enjoy the marine ecology. EVE Meeting with a local CDR-the Commites for the Defense of the Revolution Jan. 3rd. AM Visit to “Central Australia” and the Memorial Library “50th Anniversary of the Carbonera Dinner with Fidel”, in Batey Soplillar, with an exact replica of the huts where the President of Cuba, Fidel Castro Ruz, shared the dinner (on Christmas Evening ) December 24th Day 1959, with the Charcoal cookers area. AM Return to La Havana. Check back into the hotel. PM Meeting with a specialist on Climate Change in Cuba. Dialogue about sustainable trends, resource conservation and the impacts of climate changes in Cuba with The National Centre for Protected Areas and how this will impact Cuba’s economic future and coastal populations. Farewell Dinner at La Torre with invited speakers on Youth in Cuba. EVE Free for optional cultural activities . Jan. 4th AM Breakfast. Wrap up meeting For more information and an application please contact Tanya at tanya@wfpsw.org or Malia@altruvistas.com. Malia Phone: 415-735-5407 or Tanya 805-669-VIVA

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1440830556180863/

FAQS: https://wfpsw.org/faqs-about-travel-to-cuba/

Venezuela: Witness Participatory Democracy in Action

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Venezuela: Witness Participatory Democracy in Action

November 9th to 17th, 2014

In the past 15 years, the people of Venezuela have participated in 19 free, fair, and democratic elections. After the untimely 2013 passing of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelans elected Nicolas Maduro to replace him and ratified the ruling socialist party in nationwide municipal elections. But Venezuela’s experiment with participatory democracy isn’t just about voting often. This year, with no election in sight, thousands upon thousands of organized communities decided it was time to form Communes, consolidating their grassroots Communal Councils into larger, more complex, democratic spaces. 795 Communes are now registered with the National Government, and the goal is to build 3,000 by 2019. Meanwhile, the Venezuelan opposition openly rejects the growing “Communal State” and blames the Bolivarian Government for inflation, the scarcity of basic goods, and violence. Deadly protests earlier this year demonstrate that a better understanding of Venezuela’s social, economic, and political transformations is urgently needed.

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This trip will familiarize participants with the ways and means of Venezuelan democracy, providing a unique opportunity to witness the coming together of popular public policies and grassroots organization. Delegates will learn about, and visit, a range of social programs known as the Misiones or Missions – the National Government’s way of implementing the universal right to food, housing, health, education, gainful employment, information, and leisure. Participants will also meet with members of the country’s opposition, including students and journalists, allowing for an integral understanding of Venezuela’s ongoing struggle to heal wounds of the past.

GC Seguimos en Resistencia

Cost: $1,150 which includes full program in Venezuela, airport pick up and drop off, in country transportation, bi-lingual trip leaders and interpretation, 2 meals a day, background reading materials, donations to Venezuelan organizations, and lodging. $150 deposit due by October 12th, 2014. Airfare to Caracas NOT INCLUDED.

 

Contact: Witness for Peace Southwest |  tanya@wfpsw.org |  805-669-VIVA | www.wfpsw.org |

Honduras Today: 5 Years and 5 Actions to Take for Honduras

 

Honduras Today: 5 Years and 5 Actions to Take for Honduras

student protests after elections Honduras

June 28, 2014 (declaración en español abajo)

STATEMENT AGAINST VIOLENCE AND FOR THE DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN HONDURAS

FNRP-Libertad Y Refundación, LIBRE Party Department 19/US-Canada and the Honduras Solidarity Network USA/Canada

 

We Honduran immigrants, residents in USA-CANADA organized in Collectives of the FNRP / LIBRE Party, and we, members of the Honduras Solidarity Network in the US and Canada on this June 28, 2014, the fifth anniversary of the military coup in Honduras, reaffirm our commitment to continue fighting, hand in hand with our brothers and sisters in Honduras who struggle for the fundamental, urgent and necessary changes in Honduran society.

 

This June 28 we also pay tribute to the martyrs of the resistance, brave men and women, who have offered their lives to defend the right to be a free, sovereign and socialist county. We are here to tell the bloody oligarchy of Honduras, that Morazán walks with the Honduran people  and that the country will be liberated.

 

Since the brutal military coup of 2009, the suffering of the Honduran people has been exacerbated by the continuing violations of human rights, killings, state repression, mass exodus of migration (including children), theft of public funds and impunity. Honduras tops the list of the most violent countries in the world where 22 Honduran citizens are murdered every 24 hours.

 

Thousands of Hondurans have left the country in search of better opportunities, fleeing violence and inhumane living conditions, even at the risk of being killed or being mutilated by the train known as the Beast in the crossing. According to public statistics, since 2013, Honduras is the Central American country with the highest numbers of migrants and sadly also the country with the largest number of deportees from the United States.

 

This June 28, we condemn the murders of leaders and members of FNRP / LIBRE Party, the social movements and Honduran society in general and the abuses by the army and military police against the Congressmen and Women at the National Congress of Honduras on May 13.

 

We urge the National Resistance conformed by all sectors of Honduran society (unions, peasants, women, youth, students, LGBT Community, indigenous groups, Human Rights Defense organizations, Social groups, Garífuna, political parties, immigrants, intellectuals and media) to close ranks and fight together against the want-to-be dictatorship of Juan Orlando Hernández, puppet of the Honduran assassin oligarchy and international power groups conjoined with the international right.  We hold the current fraudulent regime (a continuation of the military coup) accountable for the widespread violence in the country; we demand an end to the violations of human rights, justice for the victims and punishment for the guilty.  

 

As residents of the United States and Canada we condemn the policies of those governments that have in the past and continue in the present to support dictatorship in Honduras and which, along with corporations from those countries impose their anti-people and anti-environment agendas with violence and corruption. We support the right of the Honduran people to struggle against oppression and abuse and we stand in solidarity with  them and with their organizations. 

We resist and we shall overcome!

 

5 Actions you can take for Honduras.

1. Get Educated
2. Educate Others
3. Become and eyewitness in Honduras
4. Pressure the US Government
5. Take it to the Streets

1. Get Educated- Get yourself informed on the situation in Honduras. Join a live video webinar on Honduras this Sunday June 29th at 5pm EST. Also Email us for our resource list on Honduras including articles, websites, books, films, listserves and recommended Facebook pages.

2. Educate Others- Host an event at your home, school, community center, or faith community. You don’t have to be an expert on Honduras to host an event. Show one of our recommended films or videos on Honduras followed by a discussion or contact us for a list of Honduras speakers available in your area.

3. Become an eyewitness in HondurasJoin a travel delegation to Honduras this August 11-20, 2014. Learn first hand from Hondurans about their struggles and resistance. Click here for the delegation description, application, and a list of FAQs.

4. Pressure the US Government- Just this month an unprecedented 108 members of the House of Representatives signed a Dear Colleague letter on human rights in Honduras. Because of the continuing record of human rights abuses by the Honduras military and police, members of congress have repeatedly called for a cessation of US funding to Honduran security forces.
Contact your Representatives to thank them for their signature on the June Schakowsky Dear Colleague letter or ask them to join the growing movement in congress for an end to US military and police aid to Honduras.

Click here to see the list of signers and to send a message to your representative.

5. Take it to the Streets: You can organize or participate in a public vigil, protest or memorial for the victims of the Honduran coup. Contact us for a list of victims names and photos for a memorial display or funeral procession. Go to the Honduras Solidarity Network’s website for a list of June 28th actions across the country. (www.hondurassolidarity.org).

 

FNRP-Partido Libertad y Refundación, LIBRE
Departamento 19/EE.UU—Canadá y la RED de Solidaridad con Honduras

COMUNICADO CONTRA LA VIOLENCIA Y LA DEFENSA A LOS DERECHOS HUMANOS EN HONDURAS

28 de junio de 2014

Los inmigrantes hondureños/as residentes en EEUU-CANADA organizados en Colectivos del FNRP/Partido Libre y la RED de Solidaridad con Honduras, este 28 de junio de 2014, quinto aniversario del golpe de Estado en Honduras, reafirmamos nuestro compromiso de seguir luchando de la mano de nuestros/as hermanos/as hondureños/as por los cambios fundamentales, urgentes y necesarios que requiere la sociedad hondureña.

Este 28 de junio también rendimos homenaje a los mártires hombres y mujeres valientes, que han ofrendado su vida por defender el derecho a ser un pueblo libre, soberano y socialista. Estamos aquí para decirle a la oligarquía sanguinaria, que Morazán camina con el pueblo hondureño y que el país será liberado.

Desde el fatídico golpe de Estado del 2009, el sufrimiento del pueblo Hondureño se ha agudizado, por las permanentes violaciones a los derechos humanos, asesinatos, represión estatal, éxodo masivo de migración (incluido niños/as), robo del erario público e impunidad. Honduras encabeza la lista de los países más violentos del mundo en donde 22 ciudadanos/as hondureños/as son asesinados/as cada 24 horas.

Miles de hondureños han abandonado el país en busca de mejores horizontes, huyendo de la violencia y las condiciones inhumanas de vida, aun arriesgándose a morir o quedar mutilados en la travesía por el tren conocido como La Bestia. Según estadísticas públicas, desde el año 2013, Honduras es el país de Centro América con mayor número de migrantes y tristemente también es el país con mayor número de deportados desde los Estados Unidos.

Este 28 de junio, condenamos los asesinatos cometidos contra dirigentes y miembros del FNRP/Partido Libre y la sociedad hondureña en general y los atropellos por parte del ejército y la policía militar contra los Diputados del Congreso Nacional de Honduras el pasado 13 de mayo.

Exhortamos a la Resistencia Nacional conformada por todos los sectores de la sociedad hondureña (sindicatos, campesinos, mujeres, juventud, estudiantes, profesionales, comunidad LGBT, grupos originarios, organizaciones defensoras de derechos humanos, grupos sociales, garífunas, partidos políticos, inmigrantes, intelectuales y medios de comunicación) a cerrar filas y luchar unidos frente al aprendiz de dictador, Juan Orlando Hernández, títere de la oligarquía asesina hondureña y los grupos de poder confabulados con la derecha internacional. Responsabilizamos al régimen fraudulento actual (continuador del golpe de Estado) por la violencia generalizada, corrupción e impunidad que vive el país, demandamos un alto a la violación de los derechos humanos y exigimos justicia para las víctimas y castigo a los culpables.

Como residentes de los Estados Unidos y Canadá, condenamos las políticas de los gobiernos que en el pasado han apoyado y en el presente continúan apoyando a la dictadura en Honduras y que, junto con las empresas de esos países imponen sus agendas antipopulares y anti-medio ambientales con la violencia y la corrupción.
Apoyamos el derecho del pueblo hondureño a luchar contra la represión y el abuso y nos solidarizamos con sus organizaciones.
¡Resistimos y Venceremos!

 

Honduras Delegation August 11-20, 2014 “Accompanying Communities in Resistance”

 

Honduras Delegation August 11-20, 2014

Accompanying Communities in Resistance”

Caribbean coast

Caribbean coast

Witness for Peace Southwest, US-El Salvador Sister Cities and School of the Americas Watch will be hosting a trip to Honduras, from August 11th to the 20th.

This delegation aims to continue the spirit of international solidarity between Honduras and the United States, and in this case with several Salvadorans that will be on the delegation as well. This triangular model of solidarity allows us all to learn from each other and support each other in the struggle against injustice in Honduras.

Since the 2009 coup d’etat in Honduras that ousted elected President Mel Zelaya, communities and movements seeking democracy and human rights in Honduras have come under attack. Hundreds have been assassinated, received death threats, evicted from their communities and beaten by Honduran military and police. Yet during this time a massive movement of resistance has grown from the Indigenous communities of Intibuca, to students movements in Tegucipalpa, to LBGQT movements in San Pedro Sula and campesinos movements in the Aguan Valley. The resistances movements formed the first ever popular leftist political party in Honduras and in only 2 years managed to gain 28 seats in congress and dozens of local level posts in the November 2013 elections. Since the contested November Presidential elections in 2013, right wing National Party leader Juan Orlando Hernandez has taken up the new Presidency, which has continued to see assassinations of journalists and the May 2014 beatings of opposition congress members inside the National Honduras Congress. Continued international solidarity is critical at this time to maintain pressure on the Honduran state to respect human rights and communities fighting for dignity and the right to live. International observers are needed to document human rights abuses, to accompany communities in resistance and to pressure the US and Honduran governments to respect and adhere to international human rights law.

This delegation program will include:

  • Qualified on the ground trip leaders experienced in leading delegations in Honduras.

  • A visit to the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa to meet with youth resistance organizations, the LBGQT movement, members of the Honduran congress and to advocate with the new US Ambassador to Honduras.

  • Travel to the beautiful mountainous region of Intibuca where the Lenca indigenous peoples have existed for centuries. We will stay 1-2 nights with the Lenca community of Rio Blanco where the community has been actively defending their river from being privatized and sold off to a private hydroelectric damn company.

  • We will visit the Northern cities of San Pedro Sula and El Progreso to learn about the plight of journalists in Honduras, where more journalists have been assassinated than any other country of the world.

  • Witness the beautiful northern Caribbean coast to hear from the Afro-Honduran Garifuna peoples as they fight to keep their lands from international tourism developers.

  • Spend 3-4 nights staying with campesino communities of the Aguan Valley where campesino organizations are fighting for land rights. Hear testimonies of resistance from campesino leaders and families as they go up against multi-million dollar agro-business companies dominating the landscape with African Palm oil production.

Deadline to apply: July 11th

Delegation Price: $950 not including airfare (includes all in-country transport, most meals, lodging, preparation materials and translation services). **Some scholarships available**

Apply online here.

For more information and for applications, please contact Tanya at southwestwfp@gmail.com or Cori at cori.sistercities@gmail.com or brigitte@soaw.org

see our list of Frequently Asked Questions about Travel to Honduras

Aguan Valley documenting testimonies

Aguan Valley documenting testimonies

San Pedro Sula speaking with the media

San Pedro Sula speaking with the media

Rio Blanco

Rio Blanco

 

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

 

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.