Sandra Cuffe: Military resorts to killing, numbers in streets double – even opponents of Zelaya join in.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Honduras brought to standstill
Sunday 09 August 2009
by Paul Haste
Mass strikes against the coup in Honduras have continued to sweep the Latin American nation.
A statement from the Frente Nacional de Resistencia – Resistance Front Against the Coup d’Etat – that was released to Caracas-based Telesur news revealed that all the country’s airports were now closed after ground crews joined other airport workers in walking out.
As a result, the Honduran national airline TACA has been forced to suspend all national and international flights, Telesur stated.
The airport workers are the latest to join an indefinite general strike that is taking hold against the de facto regime led by Roberto Micheletti.
Teachers who have been on strike for eight days and hospital workers who have refused to work for the last four days were also joined by electricity workers downing tools at the weekend.
Union leader Ramon Garcia declared that “we are now on an indefinite strike until the democracy that was interrupted by the coup d’etat is restored.”
The strikes are a clear sign that the regime led by Mr Micheletti, who was installed as an “interim” leader by the Honduran military after President Manuel Zelaya was arrested and exiled on June 28, has not succeeded in imposing his authority on the country.
Mr Zelaya, a wealthy rancher who was elected as the candidate of the centre-right Liberal party four years ago, had moved to the left during his presidency to embrace the Venezuelan-led Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas economic bloc and prioritise the fight against poverty and illiteracy.
Such steps alienated the traditionally corrupt conservative elite that had kept Honduras‘s poverty rate one of the highest in Latin America. But rather than wait for the next presidential elections in November – in which Mr Zelaya was constitutionally not permitted to stand for a second term – the military deposed him.
Mr Micheletti claims that he is now consolidating his control of Honduras and his deputy foreign minister Martha Lorena Alvarado insists that “the more time that goes by, the stronger we become.”
But one of the leaders of the Frente Nacional, Juan Barahona, countered the regime‘s claims to assert that the mass strikes taking hold across Honduras “shows that the popular resistance against the de facto regime is gaining strength and continues to grow.”
Also from The Morning Star:
President Barack Obama may have condemned the recent Honduras coup, but it’s emerged that before President Manuel Zelaya was ousted, a Honduran right-wing coalition had been receiving US money.
The Democratic Civil Union of Honduras, a group formed of business interests and political parties, was a driving force behind the coup.
Most of the union’s members have been the beneficiaries of the more than $50 million annually disbursed by the United States Agency for International Development and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) for “democracy promotion” in Honduras.
The benign-sounding NED was founded in 1983 by the Reagan administration and, says the Cato Institute’s Barbara Conry, was “designed to assist democratic movements abroad in ways that were beyond the reach of established federal programmes.”
The NED would “operate more freely and, at the same time, escape the stigma attached to US foreign aid in many parts of the world.”
To begin with, all NED funding came from the federal budget, but since 1994 private donations, including from the major oil companies, have been accepted.
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) condemns the overthrow of democracy by the military in Honduras and supports the call of the Organization of American States (OAS) for the immediate, safe and unconditional return of its democratically-elected constitutional president, Manuel Zelaya: here.
11 August: International Day of Solidarity with Honduras: here.
Honduras coup: Dress rehearsal for imperial coups across Latin America: here.
Honduran Workers Fight for Return of Democracy: here.
Rosamaria Valeriano Flores was returning home from a visit to a public health clinic and found herself in a crowd of people dispersing from a demonstration in support of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. As she crossed the central square of the Honduran capital, a group of soldiers and police officers pushed her to the ground and beat her with their truncheons: here.
Honduras: Interview with Juan Barahona, leader of the National Resistance Front Against the Coup: here.
Honduras – 100 days of Repression and Resistance: here.