Transport workers black Honduras dictators’ ships

This video says about itself:


From the International Transport Workers’ Federation (Spanish language version also here; scroll down):

Honduras Ship Action Declared

17 July 2009

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) today called for all its union members to oppose the coup in Honduras by focusing protests on the Honduran merchant fleet.

The global union organisation, which represents 656 unions worldwide with four and a half million members, has made the call as its latest move to defend democracy in the coup-stricken Central American nation, and in support of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) condemnation of the military takeover. The action call is likely to affect the loading and unloading of the 650 ships flying the Honduran flag, which the ITF considers a flag of convenience — a low cost cosmetic ship registration by companies with no link to the country and no intention of employing its citizens onboard.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft stated: “We have to put real pressure on the Honduran military to allow the country to revert to democracy. We are therefore calling on our member unions to consider taking lawful action to defend the rights of the citizens of Honduras. That is likely to include protests that centre on Honduran ships. All such actions will be peaceful, will respect the rights of the seafarers on the ships, but will send a clear message to those in authority — for now — in Honduras, that the outside world does not accept their seizure of power.”

Following the coup the ITF mobilised trade unionists in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, after its member unions within Honduras asked it to help them by organising peaceful demonstrations at its borders with the three neighbouring countries. The Federation has also sent a message to the OAS Secretary General and the President of the Honduran Congress to declare the military’s action illegal and indefensible, and issued an urgent action alert to its member trade unions asking for their support in backing those trying to reestablish democracy in the country. The alert also mobilises the ITF’s worldwide membership to protest against the illegal grab of power and seek the support of their own governments.

ITF Inter-Americas Regional Secretary Antonio Rodriguez Fritz commented: “The situation in Honduras is bad and getting worse, with violent military attacks on demonstrations, two trade unionists killed and others in hiding from arrest. We’re also fearful of the future, based on the experience of the 1970s and 80s, when similar economic and military groupings used death squads to repress dissent and murder trade unionists.”

He continued: “The Organization of American States has made itself clear. It condemned the Coup and called for the reinstallation of democracy and has now suspended Honduras from membership.” …

For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson.
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.

International Transport Workers’ Federation – ITF:
ITF House, 49 – 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871

See also here.

Honduras: Anti-Chavez “Free Speech” Warriors Linked to Coup: here.

Honduras: The hour of the grassroots approaches + interview with President Manuel `Mel’ Zelaya: here.

Nikolas Kozloff: Zelaya, Negroponte, and Controversy at U.S. Air Base of Palmerola: here.

Over 100 people attended a lively emergency picket at the US embassy in London on Wednesday night against the recent illegal coup in Honduras: here.

The Honduran coup against President Manuel Zelaya has been hogging the Latin American airwaves recently, so it would have been easy to miss the latest attempts to undermine Zelaya’s Ecuadorean counterpart President Rafael Correa: here.

Obama’s not-so-new Latin America policy: here.

2 thoughts on “Transport workers black Honduras dictators’ ships

  1. Who had hope under Zelaya? Neglected black Hondurans

    * Story | Zelaya’s vow to return could roil Honduras-Nicaragua border
    * Story | Zelaya return rumors put Honduras on edge
    * Story | Zelaya gives Micheletti deadline to step down as Honduras leader
    * Story | For Honduras mediator Arias, compromise is a familiar role

    By Jim Wyss | Miami Herald

    TEGUCIGALPA — Surrounded by hundreds of protesters shouting for the return of ousted President Manuel “Mel” Zelaya were a dozen black Hondurans swaying to the rhythm of their own drums and singing in their local Garifuna language.

    They weren’t there to support the populist president — ousted more than three weeks ago — but to defend one of his most controversial ideas: revising the constitution.

    “We have no political visibility in this country and that makes us extremely vulnerable,” said Alfredo Lopez, 56, a community activist and one of about 400,000 ethnic Garifunas in Honduras. “The constitutional assembly would have given us a chance to change that.”

    Zelaya was toppled June 28 as he aggressively and, some argue, illegally pursued a national referendum to redraft the constitution. With just six months left in his term, his enemies feared he was bent on abolishing presidential term limits to remain in power.

    But for many Garifunas, the constitutional assembly held the promise of winning long-sought rights, such as proportional representation and legal title to communal and ancestral land.

    “We have been in a continuous struggle for decades to have a voice, to be visible, to have representation,” said Celeo Alvarez Casildo, president of the Organization for the Development of Ethnic Communities. “It’s not that we supported Zelaya — and much less the events that led to his ouster — but we have our own very good reasons for wanting a constitutional assembly.”

    Those hopes were dashed when the army, acting on orders from the supreme court, seized Zelaya from his home at gunpoint and flew him into exile in Costa Rica. It was the same day the referendum would have taken place. Zelaya tried but failed to return to Tegucigalpa on July 5.

    The ousted Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti, who is serving as interim president, were in talks to resolve the crisis until talks broke down last weekend. Both claim to be the legitimate leader of this nation of 7.8 million people.

    Few believe constitutional revisions are still on the table.


    Historians trace the origins of the Garifunas back to the 1600s when escaped black slaves began to mix with Amerindians in St. Vincent. Today, Garifuna communities stretch along the Caribbean coast from Belize to Nicaragua, and there is a sizable diaspora in Miami and New York.

    The Garifunas caught global attention in 2001 when UNESCO proclaimed their language, dance and music “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”

    In Honduras, they are respected for their food, artists and soccer players, said political analyst Miguel Calix. But that hasn’t won them a voice in the national dialogue.

    “There is a very subtle, even subliminal, racism here,” he said. “That’s something that has never been overcome.”

    Ruben Francisco Garcia Martinez is one of just four Garifunas in the Honduran congress. He and his colleagues came into office in 2006. Before them, there had not been a Garifuna voice in the legislature for 75 years, he said.

    While Honduras has socially progressive laws, the nation’s party structure makes it difficult for minorities to work their way into positions of power, said Martinez, who belongs to the Liberal Party of both Micheletti and Zelaya.

    “We’re lacking democracy within our own parties,” he said.


  2. Correa questions Obama’s power

    Ecuador: President Rafael Correa declared on Wednesday that the Honduras coup had almost certainly occurred with the US military’s knowledge and he questioned US President Barack Obama’s control of the US government.

    Mr Correa said that he trusts Mr Obama and thinks he is a good man, but he believes “he is not in control of the US.”

    He said that the coup is a message from Latin American and US “ultraconservatives” to keep progressive governments in line.


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