Honduras: Open Letter to the American People – Zelaya

Source:  socialistprojectca.ca

Date:  December 22 2017

by   José Manuel Zelaya Rosales

People of the United States:

For the past century, the owners of the fruit companies called our country “Banana Republic” and characterized our politicians as “cheaper than a mule” (as in the infamous Rolston letter).

Honduras, a dignified nation, has had the misfortune of having a ruling class lacking in ethical principles that kowtows to U.S. transnational corporations, condemning our country to backwardness and extreme poverty.

zelata dec 2017.jpgWe have been subject to horrible dictatorships that have enjoyed U.S. support, under the premise that an outlaw is good for us if he serves transnational interests well. We have reached the point that today we are treated as less than a colony to which the U.S. government does not even deign to appoint an ambassador. Your government has installed a dictatorship in the person of Mr. Hernández, who acts as a provincial governor–spineless and obedient toward transnational companies, but a tyrant who uses terror tactics to oppress his own people. Certain sectors of Honduran private industry have also suffered greatly from punitive taxes and persecution.

You, the people of the United States, have been sold the idea that your government defends democracy, transparency, freedom and human rights in Honduras. But the State Department and Heide Fulton, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires who is serving as de facto Ambassador to Honduras, are supporting blatant electoral fraud favoring Mr. Hernández, who has repeatedly violated the Honduran Constitution and (as noted by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) basic human rights. He is responsible for the scandalous looting of USD $350 million from the Honduran Social Security Institute and while he lies to you shamelessly that he is fighting drug cartels, he has destroyed the rule of law by stacking the Supreme Court with justices loyal to him.

The people of the United States have the right to know that in Honduras your taxes are used to finance, train and run institutions that oppress the people, such as the armed forces and the police, both of which are well known to run death squads (like those that grew out of Plan Colombia) and which are also deeply integrated with drug cartels.

People of the United States: the immoral support of your government has been so two-faced that for eight consecutive years the U.S. Millenium Challenge Corporation has determined that the Hernandez regime does not qualify for aid because of the government’s corruption, failing in all measures of transparency. With this record, the Honduran people ask: Why is the U.S. Government willing to recognize as president a man who the Honduran people voted against, and who they wish to see leave office immediately?

People of the United States: We ask you to spread the word, to stand up to your government’s lies about supporting democracy, freedom, human rights and justice, and to demand that your elected representatives immediately end U.S. support for the scandalous electoral fraud against the people of Honduras, who have taken to the streets to demand recognition of the victory of the Alliance Against the Dictatorship and of President-Elect Salvador Alejandro César Nasralla Salúm.

We can tolerate difference and conflict, seeking peaceful solutions as a sovereign people, but your government’s intervention in favor of the dictatorship only exacerbates our differences.

The electoral fraud supported by the U.S. State Department in favor of the dictatorship has forced our people to protest massively throughout the country, despite savage government repression that has taken the lives of more than 34 young people since the election, and in which hundreds of protestors have been criminalized and imprisoned.

We stand in solidarity with the North American people; we share much more with you than the fact that the one percent has bought off the political leaders of both our nations.

As descendents of the Independence hero Morazán, we want to live in peace, with justice and in democracy.

The Honduran people want to have good relations with the United States, but with respect and reciprocity. •

Tegucigalpa, December 21, 2017

José Manuel Zelaya Rosales
Consitutionally Legitimate President of Honduras 2005-2010
Chief Coordinator, Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship

José Manuel Zelaya Rosales is the Consitutionally Legitimate President of Honduras (2005-2010), and Chief Coordinator of the Opposition Alliance Against the Dictatorship.

Lula to Latin America: We Will ‘Defeat Neoliberalism Again’

Source:  TeleSUR
November 16 2017

lula nov 2017Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva declared that the struggle against neoliberalism in Latin America will continue. | Photo: EFE

Thousands of leftists from across Latin America amassed in Uruguay to march “against neoliberalism” and “in defense of democracy.”

“Temer out!” and “Macri out!” were among the demands chanted by thousands of Latin Americans marching in the name of progress through Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, on Thursday.

RELATED:  Mujica: ‘Militant’ Latin America Must Reject Neoliberalism

The mass mobilization, part of the three-day Continental Conference For Democracy And Against Neoliberalism, drew thousands to rally “against neoliberalism” — including free trade agreements — and “in defense of democracy.”

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, in a message broadcast to the assembled crowds, said: “In all our countries we have already defeated the neoliberal project once and I have no doubt that we will be able to defeat it again.”

It was da Silva, along with late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and late Brazilian president Nestor Kirchner, who 12 years ago defeated the U.S.-initiated Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).

Chavez Kirch Lula.jpg

Latin American countries fought together “to defeat the military dictatorships of the continent” and “the disastrous neoliberal governments of the ’80s and ’90s,” da Silva continued.

“Union movements, social movements and progressive parties were building the great popular victories of the last decade. The progressive governments of the region, in close harmony with the popular movements, resolved to promote great economic, social and cultural changes conquering an unprecedented dignity for our peoples.”  Da Silva also noted that the lessons of yesterday are just as relevant today: in particular in Brazil, which experienced “a violent blow to democracy” during last year’s right-wing coup.

The conference is set to continue for the next two days, attempting to interlink “struggles against the offensive of conservative and capitalist sectors in the continent,” according to the official website.

RELATED:  Lula’s Caravan of Hope Reaches Final Destination

Last week, former Uruguay President Jose ‘Pepe’ Mujica called on “militant” Latin American organizations to join the meeting in order to share their knowledge of the various struggles on the continent and how best to win them.

The conference’s organizing group, comprising dozens of leftist organizations from across the continent, first met in November 2015 in the Cuban capital, Havana. In 2016, the same groups organized actions in a number of countries to mark their reorganization

Venezuelan Govt to Hold More Talks with Opposition on September 27

Source:  TeleSUR
September 14 2017

venezuelan gov and opposition talk 1Dominican President Danilo Medina (c), Chancellor Miguel Vargas (l) and the
former president of the Spanish Government Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (d),
one of the mediators of the dialogue in Santo Domingo | Photo: EFE

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and Dominican President Danilo Medina invited both sides to restart dialogue.

The Venezuelan government says talks with the opposition will resume on September 27 following two days of discussions in the Dominican Republic.

A commission of friendly countries, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and Nicaragua, will support the process.

RELATED:  Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Applauded for Countering UN Human Rights Accusations

“We are in the process of transforming an agenda that will lead to a definitive negotiation to the crisis, ” said the president of the Dominican Republic Danilo Medina.

We insist on a dialogue of peace

Jorge Rodriguez, mayor of Caracas’ Libertador municipality and lead negotiator, said “On behalf of the President Nicolas Maduro’s delegation we can say that we are moving forward in important points and that despite the aggression against our economy we insist on a dialogue of peace.”

Rodriguez also thanked everyone for taking part.

He went on to tell reporters that while yesterday’s talks were very good, today’s were even better.

The meetings between both delegations have been held at the Dominican Republic’s Foreign Ministry headquarters.

The opposition was represented by Timoteo Zambrano, Luis Florido, Manuel Rosales, Vicente Diaz, Eudoro Gonzalez, and president of the National Assembly, Julio Borges.

The Venezuelan government was represented by Mayor Jorge Rodriguez, the president of the National Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez, and Roy Chaderton Matos.

RELATED:  Evo Morales Supports Venezuelan Dialogue and Demands the CIA to ‘Stop Conspiring’

National Constituent Assembly President Delcy Rodriguez said of her attendance at the talks in the Dominican Republic, “We have come here with a flag of peace.”

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and Dominican President Medina invited both sides to restart dialogue in the Caribbean nation, while the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has also welcomed the move.

“(We) encourage the Venezuelan political actors to seize this opportunity,” his office said in a statement.

The statement added that Guterres is convinced that “the situation in Venezuela requires a political solution based on dialogue and compromise between the government and the opposition to ensure coexistence among all Venezuelans.”

In 2016, the government of President Nicolas Maduro called for a dialogue with the opposition, which was abandoned on several occasions by their leaders.

‘Let’s make our victory a party for all’ – Angola’s ruling MPLA wins

Source:  Africanews
August 25 2017

Angola’s ruling MPLA have called on its supporters to exhibit decorum and maturity in the wake of their all but certain poll victory.

angola votes aug 2017 2.jpgA voter casts his vote in elections in Luanda, Angola, Aug. 23, 2017. More than 76 percent of Angola’s 9 million registered voters participated in the August 23 polls 

They also called on opposition parties to admit their loss and duly congratulate the winners of the August 23 election.

A series of tweets from their official handle challenged the opposition to create a culture of result acceptance. “It’s time to change our mindset and create a culture of acceptance of the results (this is called change),” the first tweet said.

It’s time to change our mindset and create a culture of acceptance of the results (this is called change).

Subsequent messages read: “It’s time to respect the will of the people, who went to the polls and chose who deserves to rule Angola.

Victory with dignity and respect

“It’s time for winners to take your victory with dignity and respect for those who didn’t win. Let’s make our victory a party. It’s time losers take the defeat and call the winner to congratulate him.”

The party has polled over 60% of votes cast with 97% of the ballots having been tallied by the electoral body. The main opposition UNITA have said they reject the preliminary results but they were going to use legal means to seek redress.

The main highlight of the election is that it draws the curtain on one of Africa’s longest serving eras. President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, 74, steps down after 38 years in charge. He will, however, remain leader of the MPLA.

His potential successor and president-elect, Joao Lourenco, will thus become the third president in the country’s history. The first, Agostinho Neto, died four years after independence in 1975, before dos Santos took over.

Joao Lourenco Angola.jpgJoao Lourenco

Antigua & Barbuda Warn Against Threats to Venezuela – ‘Libya and Iraq Are Lessons’

Source:  TeleSUR
August 25, 2017

antigua says no to interference in venezuela.pngSeveral countries have commissioned statements in defense of the South American nation’s sovereignty. | Photo: Reuters

Gaston Browne Antigua 2.jpgAntigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne says countries should be allowed to work out their domestic problems.

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has criticized efforts against Venezuela’s government, urging nations to avoid interfering in the South American country’s internal affairs.

RELATED: Venezuela’s Maduro Speaks on Chavez, Trump and Opposition

Following recent threats made by U.S. President Donald Trump against Venezuela, Browne recalled the consequences of foreign intervention.

“It is easy to interfere and intervene, but it is most difficult to restore post-intervention peace and stability,” the prime minister said.

“The instability in Libya and Iraq are lessons from which we should learn.”

Venezuelans should “determine their destiny and decide who govern their affairs.”

Having long defended dialogue between diverse sectors of Venezuelan society, Browne said Venezuelans should “determine their destiny and decide who govern their affairs.”

“Countries should be allowed to work out their domestic problems, especially where they do not pose a threat to global and hemispheric peace and tranquility,” Browne said.

“We should resist the urges of intervention and interference in the name of democracy and respect the sovereignty and independence of all states.”

Since Trump announced that he is keeping a “military option” open against Venezuela, several countries have commissioned statements in defense of the South American nation’s sovereignty. Dozens of social movements around the world have also expressed solidarity with President Nicolas Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution.

‘Unacceptable’ for Trump to Threaten Venezuela Says Lula

lula caravan of hope 2.jpg

Lula visits the Brazilian state of Bahia during his “Caravan of Hope” tour. | Photo: @LulapeloBrasil

Source:  TeleSUR
August 21 2017

Lula said that Venezuela’s institutional crisis should be overcome “through dialogue and political negotiation.”

Still on the first leg of his “Caravan of Hope” tour, which will take him through nine Brazilian states in the northeast of the country, Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has denounced military threats made by U.S. President Donald Trump against Venezuela.

RELATED: ‘Brazil Needs Credible Government’: Lula on Presidential Tour

In defense of Venezuela’s sovereignty and the right of its people to determine their country’s fate, Lula stated, “It’s unacceptable that Donald Trump makes military threats on Venezuela or any country, anywhere in the world,” according to Brasil de Fato.

He added that if the country finds itself amid an “institutional crisis, they should seek to overcome it through dialogue and political negotiation, always respecting the officials who were elected by popular vote, within democratic rules, as was the case of President Hugo Chavez and President Nicolas Maduro.”

Lula recalled similar incidents in Venezuela in 2003, during his first term as president of Brazil. To help resolve the crisis, Lula proposed the formation of a group of countries that held the best interest of Venezuela’s sovereignty to help negotiate a peaceful solution.

However, the former head of state admitted that, as of today, Brazil is in no moral position to offer any such assistance to Venezuela’s internal affairs.

“How ridiculous it is for an illegitimate coup government, enemy of its own people, to want to school Venezuela on the terms of democracy,” Lula said, referring the unelected government of Michel Temer.

He said that only when Brazil itself, with democratic participation from all sectors of society, elects a president will it be able to collaborate with countries such as Venezuela to help restore peace and stability.

RELATED:Future of Venezuela Rests in the Hands of the People: Maduro

Meanwhile, Temer has met with Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and both men have reaffirmed that they do not recognize the ANC in Venezuela, which was elected by over eight million Venezuelans on July 30 as a means to achieving peace in the country and intensifying citizen participation.

In a joint communique issued after their meeting, Temer and Cartes also reiterated their support for both the decision of the Mercosur trade bloc to suspend Venezuela and the so-called “Lima Declaration” that twelve regional countries signed on Aug. 8, condemning what they called “the rupture of the Venezuelan democratic order.” These are the same right-wing countries that, led by the United States, were unable to have Venezuela censured in the Organization of American States.

According to Folha de Sao Paulo, Temer’s administration was considering sanctions on the import of Venezuelan oil derivatives of over US$220 million, which constituted more than half of Brazilian imports from Venezuela in 2016. However, the idea has been scrapped due to worries of the adverse effects it will have on the population.

https://videosenglish.telesurtv.net/player/668303/who-is-lula-da-silva/?aspectratio=auto

 

Ecuador’s President Rejects US Interference in Venezuela

lenin moreno aug 2017.jpg

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno. | Photo: EFE

Source:  TeleSUR

August 15 2017

“We express our respect for the self-determination of nations and of non-interference,” said Moreno.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno called for respect of the principle of non-interference in the sovereign affairs of other states, in relation to threats issued by the United States against Venezuela.

RELATED: Ecuador Demands Respect for Venezuela’s Sovereignty

“We express our respect for the self-determination of nations and of non-interference,” said Moreno Monday during the televised address he gives every week.

Moreno’s words follow a threat made Friday by U.S. President Donald Trump that the country was exploring “many options regarding Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”

Dialogue

For his part, Moreno said that “the sustenance of democracy is dialogue,” reiterating calls made to the opposition by the government of President Nicolas Maduro for dialogue, with the intention of maintaining peace in the country.

Maduro has repeatedly called on the opposition to engage in dialogue with the government in order to reach a peaceful solution to the situation in the country, but some sectors of the opposition have instead insisted on violent street protests.

RELATED: The World Reacts to Trump’s Military Threat Against Venezuela

Deep solidarity

Moreno expressed his deep solidarity with the Venezuelan people, lamenting the deaths of more than 120 people during opposition protests.

“Our deepest wish is that soon (Venezuela) will attain peace and that not one more drop of blood is spilt,” he said in the message.

Above ideology

“Above all rights, above any ideology, life is sacred and untouchable,” he concluded.

Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry had previously criticized Trump’s military threat in Venezuela, and rejected “any threat of a possible interference.”

Trump’s announcement also triggered a criticism in other countries in Latin America, including Colombia, as President Juan Manuel Santos said during a meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence he rejected any military interference in Venezuela or any country in the region.