Communist Party statement on the situation in Honduras

 
July 29, 2009

Manuel Zelaya, the legitimate president of Honduras, has made a specific request to the Obama administration to increase pressure on the illegal regime of Roberto Micheletti, which was installed after a coup detat on the morning of June 28 of this year. Zelaya has asked the Obama administration to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on the illegitimate regime by taking actions targeting the main culprits. This happens at a critical moment when the talks mediated by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias have not progressed due to the intransigence of the coup regime, and when mass protest in Honduras has reached a peak with a general strike and with a growing mass movement in the streets to restore Mr. Zelaya, who is encamped on the Honduras-Nicaragua border, to the presidency.

The coup regime is isolated worldwide, but hangs on because it expects to be able to draw on material resources from the US, in spite of President Obamas strong statement against the coup. The US ultra-right, led by figures such as Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Congressman Connie Mack (R-FL), and supported by strong business, political media and military networks in the United States, are doing all they can to throw a lifeline to the illegal Micheletti regime. Their hope seems to be to keep the regime in power long enough that the scheduled November elections in Honduras (which Micheletti may move up) can take place under repressive conditions in which supporters of Zelayas program of progressive social and labor reforms can not openly campaign without risking jail or violence, and thus can not possibly win. Meanwhile, Michelettis de-facto government is increasing repression against labor, peasant, student and other opponents, with reports of several new deaths in the last two days.

The CPUSA agrees that it is necessary to ratchet up the pressure on the de-facto regime, and calls for the following actions:

We should contact the White House and the State Department to demand that the US government respond to President Zelayas request by taking the following immediate steps:

*Cancel US visas for the top military and political leaders of the coup.

*Freeze bank accounts in the US belonging to coup leaders as requested by Zelaya.

*Remove US personnel from the military base at Soto Cano, cease all coordination with the coup governments armed forces, and expel Honduran officers currently being trained at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning Georgia.

*We should demand an end to the activities in support of the coup government by the International Republican Institute and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in the United States who have a heavy responsibility for the current situation.

Further, we should be contacting our members of Congress to ask that they sign on as co sponsors and work for the passage of House Resolution 630, which denounces the coup detat and asks the government to take measures to restore the constitutional order in Honduras. This resolution, introduced by Congressman Bill DeLaHunt (D-MA) has 40 cosponsors; this number has to be greatly increased.

Finally, the AFL-CIO, US Steelworkers and Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have led the way in calling for the restoral of Zelaya and the constitutional order in Honduras. We should build on these initiatives by getting statements and actions in support from other unions, faith based organizations, and civic and community organizations of every description so as to build a massive solidarity movement with the Honduran people here in the United States.

Here is the contact information:

Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121

White House: 202-456-1111

State Department: 202-647-4000

To follow the progress of HR 630, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/ and type HR630 in the webpage search engine. Choose ‘Bill Number’ as the search option.

APPENDED:

La Jornada coverage of letter from Zelaya to Obama (translation into English)

ZELAYA ASKS THE UNTIED STATES [TO TAKE] CONCRETE MEASURES TO RE-ESTABLISH ORDER IN HONDURAS (La Jornada online, July 26 2009, translation by Emile Schepers)

Rights violations and killings, reasons to increase pressure, says the head of state.

FROM THE EDITORIAL [BOARD]

The President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, today asked the US head of state, Barack Obama, to adopt concrete measures to restore the constitutional order in the Central American country. The leader, who was expelled by a coup detat, asked that the United States prohibit bank transactions and cancel US visas of those directly responsible for my kidnapping and the interruption of the legal order in my country.

On Friday, the US State Department criticized the brief return of Zelaya to Honduras by calling it reckless and premature.

Zelaya sent Obama a list of names of individuals to whom he asked the United States to apply such restrictions. They are: General Romeo Vasquez Velasquez, head of the armed forces; Miguel Angel Garcia Padget, commander in chief of the army, and Juan Pablo Rodriguez, commander of the navy. Also included are the de facto president and former president of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti, the attorney general Luis Alberto Rubi and the chief prosecutor Rosa America Miranda.

Zelaya claims that those persons had key roles in planning and execution of the coup detat of June 28 and later ignored the calls of the international community for the constitutional head of state to be restored to office.

The letter to Obama indicates that the deterioration of human rights in Honduras, which has resulted in the extrajudicial murder of several leaders of peoples movements who were opposed to the coup, is a reason for the United States and other countries to increase pressure on the de-facto regime.

We believe that the measures we are asking for from the US administration will exercise direct pressure on the executors of the coup without having a negative impact on the people of Honduras said Enrique Reina, Minister of Communications in Zelayas government and the new ambassador to the United States designated by the constitutional president.

Statement by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on the Coup in Honduras

June 30, 2009

The AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with our sister organizations of Honduras, the national trade union centrals — the Unitary Central of Honduran Workers (CUTH), the Confederation of Honduran Workers (CTH) and the General Workers Central (CGT) — as well as with the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), representing over 45 million workers of this hemisphere, in condemning the military coup that resulted in the illegal ouster of democratically-elected President Manuel Zelaya.

The AFL-CIO denounces this unconscionable attack on the fundamental rights and liberties of the Honduran people. The recent internal conflict relating to the proposed constitutional referendum cannot in any way justify the extra-constitutional measures undertaken by the armed forces, which were later ratified by the Honduran congress when it voted to depose President Zelaya and install Congressman Roberto Micheletti immediately following the coup. These measures are a flagrant violation of the most basic democratic principles and of the rule of law.

The AFL-CIO calls on the United States government and the international community, particularly the Organization of American States and the United Nations, not only to condemn the coup and withhold recognition of the current government, but to make every effort to help achieve the restitution of constitutional order and the reinstatement of the democratically elected president.

We have already received eyewitness reports that the thousands of people from civil society organizations, including trade unions, who assembled to demand that democratic order be restored and the president returned, have been tear-gassed by the armed forces. Several have been injured and dozens have been arrested. We call on the United States Government to also take all measures within its diplomatic powers to ensure that all Honduran civilians, and particularly trade unionists and social activists denouncing the coup, are safe and secure and will not be victimized by violence and repression.

Statement of WORKERS UNITING on Honduras

Workers Uniting Statement Condemning Coup in Honduras

Workers Uniting, representing 3.5 million workers in North America, the UK and Ireland, unequivocally condemns the military coup and kidnapping of the democratically elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya. President Zelaya was working to free his country from decades of hunger and poverty until he was abruptly thwarted in these efforts by the Honduran military.
This military coup is an illegal attempt to use armed force to overturn the course of democracy and social progress chosen by the Honduran people at the polls, and we call upon the nations of the world, and especially the U.S., UK and Canada, to officially declare the seizure of power by the military in Honduras a military coup and to act accordingly. In the case of the U.S., this means withholding all military assistance unless and until President Zelaya is returned to power.

Meanwhile, the military and coup conspirators are trying to suppress popular demonstrations by unions and other social groups by violence and arrests; are illegally shutting down critical news outlets; establishing a blanket military presence and setting illegal curfews. We condemn these acts as well, and call upon the Honduran military to respect the human rights of all, including those demonstrating for a peaceful return to civilian and constitutional rule.
We join the OAS and UN in condemning the military seizure of power in Honduras as a giant step backward for the Western Hemisphere, and an act which simply cannot be tolerated. We therefore call upon our respective governments to take all peaceful, diplomatic measures to ensure the return of President Zelaya to his rightful place as President of Honduras. We further support the efforts of the OAS, UN and other Latin American leaders to accompany President Zelaya back to Honduras on Thursday, July 2, 2009, and call upon others to join them in this effort.

Leo W. Gerard, USW International President
Ken Neumann, USW Canadian National Director
Derek Simpson, Unite the Union Joint General Secretary
Tony Woodley, United the Union Joint General Secretary

Statements of Latin American Working Group, Washington Office on Latin America and School of the Americas Watch on Honduras can be found at their websites at:

Lawg.org
Wola.org
Soaw.org

Statement in Spanish

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