Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for August 1st, 2010

Honduran dictatorship, Day 206/with update

Posted by Charles II on August 1, 2010

Update: Adrienne Pine, writing inEl Libertador described the machinations of the NGO WOLA that have the effect of supporting the coup, and asks whether WOLA had blinded itself to what was being done to Hondurans. She asks whether years of quiet dealings with Congress and the State Department have prevented WOLA from seeing that the powers which it supports are the human rights violators and assassins of Hondurans.

But El Libertador went well beyond the text and identified in the headline undersecretary of State Maria Otero and and her husband and WOLA founder Joseph Eldridge as working for the CIA [which they don’t do in their own article on Otero, even though they do acidly call her one of the Malinche cadre]. Although I confess to having scanned Adrienne’s article quickly, I don’t think it contains a hint of such an explosive allegation. I think, rather, that El Libertador should rename itself El Libertino for the liberties it took.

As soon as Adrienne posts the English language version, I will link that. [added] Adrienne disavows El Libertador’s version of her article, which appeared in English in Counterpunch.
Some things don’t really need translation.

Mexico has re-established diplomatic relations with Honduras, according to Tiempo. The Honduran government says that another important country will announce the same soon. Chile re-established relations on Friday. The great sell-out of international law continues.

RAJ translated an OpEd by Edmundo Orellana that helps to explain how the regime is dealing with unemployment: they are passing a law called the “half shift labor law” which will make it easier for employers to cut people to half-time. The oligarchy-controlled media says that this will create jobs… if you consider splitting them in half job creation.

RAJ also links to a UN press release in which three Special Rapporteurs attached to the Human Rights Council state that the dismissals of judges who opposed the coup was not legally justified. It would be nice if the UN could do its job in real time.

Also, via RAJ, the OAS has issued a report. I don’t see the kind of sharp lines that would be needed to make a determination that Honduras has repented of its use of violence to control dissent. It does make it clear that prosecution of Zelaya is not an option.

Adrienne has two travelogues, with lots of good photos. A couple of excerpts. First:

I noted how recently three different friends had gotten uncharacteristically angry at me for being late- something that’s hard to avoid when I’m doing fieldwork and reliant on other people’s timeliness and transportation. And each time, their reasoning had not been “you made me wait!” but rather “I had no idea what had happened to you! You could have gotten attacked or kidnapped!”…

She [a friend] had been fundraising among her bourgeois friends to provide supplies for her young graffiti artist friends. Her rich lady friends who identify with the resistance but would never risk themselves in that fashion were delighted to chip in for paint, which she would then buy and deliver to the jovenes. She always made sure to buy sandpaper as well for plausible deniability, in case she were stopped by the police and searched.

And this interesting tidbit:

He [Dr. Castillo] explained how the area had become militarized, “ese retén era tomado por militares, todas esas son tierras de [Miguel] Facussé, bueno son tierras que robó Facussé, son tierras del pueblo”—”this stop was occupied by soldiers, all this is [Miguel] Facussé’s land, I mean- it’s land that Facussé stole, it is the land of the people.”…

And when one speaks of [oligarch Miguel] Facussé one speaks of narcos. To be fair, I brought this topic up, not Luther. And like most Hondurans, he spoke carefully and indirectly about the topic, pointing to the mounds of circumstancial evidence without making direct links to individuals. Like the many small airstrips in the middle of nowhere, and Tocoa’s inexplicable level of development. “La ciudad de Tocoa no produce para que tenga ese desarollo.”

This is a point of which Americans need to take note. There’s excellent reason to think that the drug trade is run by the same oligarchy that runs Honduras. The airstrips being used for smuggling are on the land of Facusse’s agribusiness. So, when the US military assisted a coup in Honduras, and when the State Department countenanced it, they facilitated international drug trafficking (which they blame on Venezuela, even though the drugs come mostly from Colombia, Paraguay, Colombia, Colombia, Colombia). Why?


The situation in Bajo Aguan remains bad. According to Revistazo, the Frente released a list of grievances. Hernán Munguía Pérez was killed on July 24th. The co-ops San Esteban, El Despertar, La Trinidad and San Isidro are receiving death threats and other harassment from Miguel Facussé, Reinaldo Canales and René Morales. The same is true in Guadalupe Carney and Jericó. Colombian paramilitaries are present. The police grabbed a lawyer, Mario Alberto Portillo and farmers Denis Javier Ramos Flores, Alejandro Ayala and Juan Ángel Recinos García. They were headed to Tocoa Colon to attend a meeting between Pretendisten Porfirio Lobo and the farmer’s movement, Movimiento Unificado Campesino del Aguan (MUCA) when in the village of Corocitoa police operative seized from them a pair of 9mm pistols. They were charged with illegally carrying arms. But everyone except Ramos Flores was cut loose the next morning because of lack of evidence.

Brother John has a cool new truck, which I bet helps to deliver people and supplies to where they are needed. But seeing it has caused me to sin with envy. He organized a diocesan workshop on Catholic social teaching, which is one of the few places in the Catholic church where the tree is still green (Luke 23:31). He presents a paper by an anonymous friend on Honduras’ original sin, which is that so many people are excluded from meaningful participation in society.

Posted in Honduras, Latin America | 4 Comments »

Want To Improve Job Prospects? Make It Less Profitable For Bosses To Run Sweatshops

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 1, 2010

Here’s a simple quiz: Why do Republicans love the current immigration situation? Because they and their business patrons can run sweatshops and get away with it.

Think about it: If you’re an unscrupulous employer, and can get away with paying your workers slave wages — and fire them at will, knowing that you won’t suffer any consequences therefor, because your workers didn’t get a green card before they entered the US — of course you love the current immigration situation.

But if you’re a normal human with a conscience, this is horrible.

That’s why the fine folks in the SEIU locals (like SEIU 26) are doing such signally good work.

Posted in immigration, unions | 1 Comment »

%d bloggers like this: