America de Pie: 5/25/11: Out of Exile: Exclusive Report on Ousted Honduran President Zelaya’s Return Home 23 Months After U.S.-Backed Coup

INDEX

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Tuesday, Day 184

from The Nation Blogs: Media Fix by Greg Mitchell

“Harvest of Empire”: New Book Exposes Latino History in America as Obama Campaigns For Latino Vote

Obama To Make First Presidential Visit to Puerto Rico Since 1961

Hugo Chávez pledges support to Syria’s Assad against “fascist conspiracy”

from World War 4 Report blogs by Bill Weinberg

Headlines for May 31, 2011

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Tuesday, Day 184

from The Nation Blogs: Media Fix by Greg Mitchell

“Harvest of Empire”: New Book Exposes Latino History in America as Obama Campaigns For Latino Vote

Juan_buttonPresident Obama’s trip to Puerto Rico was announced at a time when he is making a concerted push to win the Latino vote in 2012. Earlier this month, Obama gave a major address to a mostly Latino audience in El Paso, Texas, calling for immigration reform. Juan Gonzalez joins us to discuss the history of Latinos in the United States and how it relates to U.S. political and military intervention in Latin America. Gonzalez, a Democracy Now! co-host and New York Daily News columnist, has just published an updated edition of his book, “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. Originally released in 2000, the book explores the stories of Latinos from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and around the region. We air a few clips from a new documentary in production based on “Harvest of Empire.”

Obama To Make First Presidential Visit to Puerto Rico Since 1961

Puertorico_buttonPresident Barack Obama has announced he will visit Puerto Rico next month, fulfilling his 2008 campaign promise and making him the first U.S. President to visit to the island since John Kennedy’s trip almost 50 years ago. A task force recently called on the United States to resolve the issue of Puerto Rico’s statehood by 2012. “All of the four million people on the island and those in the U.S. are U.S. citizens, but they inhabit a territory that is separate and distinct from the rest of the United States that has its own language, culture, and history,” notes Juan Gonzalez, who writes about the country in his newly revised book, “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America.” “It is this identity problem that really is reflection of the continuing colonial—Puerto Rico is the last major colony of the United States, one of the last remaining colonies in the world.”

Mexico: indigenous group protests mining concessions

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
Some 500 people marched in Guadalajara, capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco, on May 20 to demand that the federal and state governments honor their commitments to protect land that is sacred to the Wixárika (Huichol) indigenous group. The protesters’ main focus was the 22 concessions that the federal Economy Secretariat has given to First Majestic Silver Corp (FMS), a Canadian mining company, to extract gold and silver in some 6,000 hectares around Real de Catorce in the north central state of San Luis Potosí. They say this was done without the consent of affected indigenous groups.

Mexico: government accused of GMO violations

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
The Mexican government is violating its own laws on genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the way it handles experimental corn crops, according to a complaint the Greenpeace organization has filed with federal environmental protection authorities. The group charges that the government has failed to monitor experimental transgenic corn adequately, has allowed the corn to be planted on private farms, and hasn’t ensured that the plants are disposed of properly after cultivation.

Cuba Grants More than 300,000 Self-employment Licenses

from PA Editors Blog by Political Affairs

HAVANA, Cuba, May 21 (acn) Until last April 30, 309,728 Cubans were self-employed, out of which 221,839 had received their licenses from October, 2010.

According to some data from the Cuban Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTSS) published in the Granma newspaper, 22 % of the 221,839 self-employment licenses granted (49,349) were held by small food business owners.

In addition, the number of licenses for hired personnel (38,704) continues increasing due to new regulations approved for expanding and adjusting the hiring of people in all self-employment activities.

Licenses for the transportation of passengers and cargo (13,982) and for producers and sellers of housewares (10,187) have also had great demand.

Out of the total of licenses recently given, 68 % of the new holders were unemployed, whereas retired people and state workers account for 16% each.

Nearly 200,000 people ascribed to the Social Security Special Regime, including license holders from before October, 2010.

Havana is the leading province with the highest number of self-employment licenses granted (66,905), followed by Matanzas (17,943), Villa Clara (15,313), Camagüey (15,926) and Santiago de Cuba (14,354).

Haiti: US extends TPS, deportations continue

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
The US Department of Homeland Security announced the week of May 16 that it was extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians for another 18 months, until Jan. 22, 2013. TPS is a program that allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the US because of temporary conditions in their homelands that would prevent them from returning safely, such as a natural catastrophe. TPS was first granted to Haitians living in the US without documents in January 2010 following an earthquake that devastated much of southern Haiti. (Haïti Libre, Haiti, May 17; Homeland Security announcement, May 19)

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Haiti: cops evict more earthquake survivors

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
Armed with machetes and knives, Haitian national police and local officials destroyed some 200 tents in a homeless camp on a public space in the Delmas 3 neighborhood northeast of downtown Port-au-Prince the morning of May 23. Camp residents, who were living there because they lost their homes in a devastating earthquake in January 2010, ran for cover or protested the action while their temporary shelters were demolished. Wilson Jeudy, the mayor of Delmas, a subsection of the capital, claimed that the operation’s target was not the earthquake victims but criminal gangs he said had been using the camp.

Haiti: new president inaugurated in the dark

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
Popular Haitian singer Michel Martelly (“Sweet Micky”) was sworn in as his country’s 56th president on the morning of May 14 in a ceremony attended by outgoing president René Préval, members of Parliament and a group of foreign dignitaries, including Dominican Leonel Fernández, Honduran president Porfirio Lobo, Surinamese president Desiré Bouterse and former US president Bill Clinton. The event was held in a temporary structure set up in downtown Port-au-Prince for the Parliament after a January 2010 earthquake destroyed much of the capital. The actual administration of the oath of office took place without electric lights or a working sound system because of a brief power outage in the building. (AlterPresse, Haiti, May 14; Radio Kiskeya, Haiti, May 14; Radio Métropole, Haiti, May 14)

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Haiti: aid falls short, and the homeless face evictions

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
As of May 12 a group of Haitians left homeless by a massive January 2010 earthquake were facing possible expulsion from their displaced persons’ camp at the Palais de l’Art, in Delmas 33 in the northeast of Port-au-Prince. A lawyer for the property’s owner said he was asking the Interior Ministry to remove the camp residents within eight days. The residents reported that the owner had already started harassing them: on May 9 they found the doors to the toilets locked, and on May 10 the front gate was locked, trapping them in the camp. More than 150 families have been living at the site, according to the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).

Guatemala arrests ex-Kaibil in Zeta massacre

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
A combined unit of the Guatemalan army and national police arrested a presumed leader of the Zetas narco-paramilitary network May 18, who authorities believe to be commander of the assassination squad that carried out this week’s grisly massacre of 27 farmworkers at a ranch in the northern jungle department of Petén. The detained man is named as Hugo Álvaro Gómez Vásquez, who also goes by “Comandante Bruja” or simply “La Bruja” (The Witch, despite his gender). He was apprehended in Tactic, Alta Verapaz department, following a raid earlier that day on a Petén ranch known as La Mula, just 15 kilometers from Los Cocos ranch where the massacre took place. Authorities say a Zetas encampment was discovered at La Mula, in La Libertad municipality, along with clues on the whereabouts of Gómez Vásquez (see map).

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Exclusive Interview with Manuel Zelaya on the U.S. Role in Honduran Coup, WikiLeaks and Why He Was Ousted

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
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Zelaya_intvShortly after Manuel Zelaya returned to his home this weekend for the first time since the 2009 military coup d’état, he sat down with Democracy Now! for an exclusive interview. He talks about why he believes the United States was behind the coup, and what exactly happened on June 28, 2009, when hooded Honduran soldiers kidnapped him at gunpoint and put him on a plane to Costa Rica, stopping to refuel at Palmerola, the U.S. military base in Honduras. “This coup d’état was made by the right wing of the United States,” Zelaya says. “The U.S. State Department has always denied, and they continue to deny, any ties with the coup d’état. Nevertheless, all of the proof incriminates the U.S. government. And all of the actions that were taken by the de facto regime, or the golpista regime, which are those who carried out the coup, favor the industrial policies and the military policies and the financial policies of the United States in Honduras.” [includes rush transcript]

Zelaya’s Daughter Pichu Recalls the Honduran Military’s Brutal Kidnapping of Her Father in 2009

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
Zelaya_daughterIn the early morning hours of June 28, 2009, masked soldiers raided the Zelaya home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. President Zelaya’s daughter Xiomara Hortensia “Pichu” Zelaya hid under the bed as soldiers fired shots into the home. Following the coup she went into exile and hadn’t seen her home until Saturday. “My dad, when he heard the gunshots, he went out of his room, and he went to my room, told me to get dressed up, because the military are coming,” Pichu Zelaya says. “And I heard the gunshots and everything. So he told me to hide, to find somewhere to hide.” [includes rush transcript]

Zelaya’s Son Héctor: The Honduran Resistance Helped Pave the Way for Our Return

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
Zelaya_sonWe speak with Héctor Zelaya, son of former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, as he accompanies his father home after the military coup d’état that led to his ouster on June 28, 2009. “I [cannot] think of any president that went into exile and defeated the exile in the first two years. I’m grateful for our people and all the resistance in my country,” Héctor Zelaya says. “Because of their fight against the coup and getting their rights and fighting for their rights, we have our president back in his country and back in his house.” [includes rush transcript]

Out of Exile: Exclusive Report on Ousted Honduran President Zelaya’s Return Home 23 Months After U.S.-Backed Coup

from Democracy Now! | Healthcare Reform by mail@democracynow.org (Democracy Now!)
Zelaya_planeIn a Democracy Now! global broadcast exclusive, we take you on the plane of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya as he and his family return home after almost two years in exile. We speak with Zelaya, ousted Honduran foreign minister Patricia Rodas, Honduran exile René Guillermo Amador, and former Colombian senator Piedad Córdoba, one of the many representatives of Latin American countries who accompanied Zelaya home. We also speak to Father Roy Bourgeois of School of the Americas Watch on the role U.S.-trained generals played in the 2009 coup. “This military coup had real connections to the School of the Americas. The two top generals, the key players in this military coup—the head of the air force, the head of the army—were graduates of the School of the Americas,” said Bourgeois. [includes rush transcript]

Honduras: Zelaya returns, resistance responses vary

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
Thousands of Hondurans gathered at Tegucigalpa’s Toncontín International Airport on May 28 to greet former president José Manuel (“Mel”) Zelaya Rosales (2006-2009) as he returned from a 16-month exile. After arriving in a Venezuelan plane proceeding from Managua, Zelaya told the crowd at the airport that he would continue to fight for a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the 1982 Constitution; a similar call for a Constituent Assembly was the pretext for a military coup that removed Zelaya from office on June 28, 2009. “We are going to power with the popular resistance,” he said.

Honduras: “normalization” …of political violence?

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
Former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, ousted by a coup d’etat nearly two years ago, met May 22 with the Central American republic’s current sitting president, Porfirio Lobo, and signed a pact that will allow him to return to the country. The accord also opens the way for Honduras to re-join the Organization of American States (OAS), from which it was suspended after the coup. The meeting took place in Cartagena, Colombia, and the pact was brokered by the governments of Colombia and Venezuela. “This agreement is great news to Latin Americans because it normalizes the situation in the inter-American system,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in a statement after the signing. (BBC NewsCNN, May 22)

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Honduras: violence continues against activists and the media

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
Honduran campesino Henry Roney Díaz was killed on May 7 when soldiers, police and private guards tried to remove campesinos occupying an estate in the Aguán River Valley in the northern department of Colón. Díaz was a member of the El Despertar cooperative, one of the groups forming the Authentic Claimant Movement of Aguán Campesinos (MARCA). Manuel Vásquez, another member of the cooperative, was wounded in the same clash.

Hugo Chávez pledges support to Syria’s Assad against “fascist conspiracy”

from World War 4 Report blogs by Bill Weinberg
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez held a phone conversation with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad on May 22, “to give him a personal message of affection and hope at a time when imperialist forces are violently attacking the Syrian people,” on the words of the official Venezuelan News Agency. The Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed in an official statement that Assad had given Chávez “a thorough report on the real situation affecting the Arab nation, in which a fascist conspiracy is trying to sow chaos and disorder so as to subjugate Syria to Western powers.” The statement reads that “President Hugo Chávez informed his Syrian counterpart of the demonstrations of solidarity made by many Latin American and Caribbean leaders. He also took the opportunity to convey his unconditional political and personal support to President al-Assad, expressing his sincere conviction that the dignity of the Syrian people and government would prevail over imperialist aggressions.” (VenezuelAnalysis, May 22)

Chile: two Mapuche hunger strikers are hospitalized

from World War 4 Report blogs by Weekly News Update
Two Chilean Mapuche prisoners, Ramón Llanquileo Pilquimán and José Huenuche Reimán, were admitted to a hospital in Victoria, Malleco province, Araucanía region, on May 26 after 72 days of a liquids-only hunger strike. Corrections authorities denied that the prisoners’ lives were in danger; Araucanía health secretary Gloria Rodríguez said “the Mapuches are being monitored permanently,” without offering an opinion on their condition.

Ecuador, Bolivia throw in with Peru in maritime border case against Chile

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
A long-standing maritime border dispute between Chile and Peru that is currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague took a new turn last week when a third country, Ecuador, moved to formally demarcate its sea boundaries with the government in Lima. The deal reaffirms the Peru-Ecuador sea border as a straight line that runs west parallel to the equator from the land boundary. But it also contains a clause in which Ecuador confirms that Peru’s 1950s accords with Chile were fishing agreements—not a three-way border agreement. Peru’s government is now hoping to use the agreement with Ecuador as a legal argument to finally settle its dispute with Chile. Lima’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jose Antonio García Belaunde said the signing of the agreement with Quito “is important because it ratifies the premise that Peru has always held up that the agreements of 1954 and 1952 are fishing [accords], and that will strengthen our position at The Hague.”

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Peru: indigenous protesters seize Lake Titicaca border city to oppose mining project

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
Thousands of Aymara indigenous protesters took over the city center of Puno in southeastern Peru May 26, and the city remains shut down. The main roads into the city are blocked by barricades erected by local campesinos demanding that the government revoke concessions recently granted to the Canadian Bear Creek mining company. Looters taking advantage of the unrest ransacked shops and offices as the police retreated, and numerous cars and government buildings were torched. Aymara from the Bolivian side of the border have joined in the roadblocks. With police confined to barracks, the city and environs are effectively in the hands of the protesters.

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Colombia: ecology, indigenous rights in the balance as high court strikes down mineral code

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
Mining projects in Colombia face an uncertain future following a May 11 ruling of the country’s Constitutional Court that struck down a mineral code passed last year—although the regulations will remain in effect for two years to give Congress time to draft and approve a replacement bill. In its 7-1 ruling, the court found that the mineral code was unconstitutional because indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities on potentially impacted lands weren’t consulted. Under the international convention known as ILO 69, approved by Colombia in 1991, indigenous inhabitants have the right to prior consultation on any decisions affecting their territories. However, the ruling is controversial because the code—known as Law 1382—included new environmental restrictions, including a ban on mining in the fragile highland ecosystems known as páramos (alpine grasslands).

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Colombia passes victim compensation law —as armed conflict continues

from World War 4 Report blogs by WW4 Report
The Colombian Senate on May 25 passed the Victims and Land Restitution Law, to provide financial compensation and the return of usurped lands to victims of internal “armed conflicts.” President Juan Manuel Santos called the approval of the law “historic.” But his predecessor Alvaro Uribe bitterly fought the law’s wording, arguing that it equated the state’s actions with those of the illegal armed groups. In compromise wording, the law describes illegal armed groups as “terrorists.” Claimants who have been victimized by armed conflicts since January 1985 are eligible for financial compensation. Those who have had their land seized, or were forced to abandoned their lands, are entitled to restitution of their property. The government estimates that 4 million hectares of land were abandoned and 2 million were seized during the conflicts. Senator Juan Fernando Cristo (Liberal Party) stated that the law ushers in “part two of the history of this country.” The restitution process is expected to take 10 years to complete.

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Brazil lower house passes reforms easing restrictions on deforestation

from World War 4 Report blogs by Jurist
The Brazil House of Deputies passed reforms to the the country’s forest code May 24 that ease restrictions on deforestation and provide amnesty for prior deforestation violations. The amended code would allow small farmers to cut down trees on hilltops and along rivers, two areas that were previously protected. It would also provide farmers with amnesty for violations of the forest code prior to July 22, 2008. The amendments were mainly pushed by Alldo Rebelo, head of the Communist Party of Brazil, who argues that the restrictions are disproportionately hurting small-scale farmers. The amendments still have to be passed by the Senate, where they are expected to meet tough opposition, and be signed by President Dilma Rousseff before taking effect. A group of 10 former environmental ministers sent a letter dated May 23 to the president urging a balanced approach to environmental regulation that will promote both the agricultural industry and environmental sustainability.
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This entry was posted in Background & Analysis, Canada, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Corporations, Counterinsurgency, Cuba, Events, Haiti, Human Rights, Imperialism, Imperialist Interference & Views, Mexico, Obama, US Foreign Policy, Venezuela. Bookmark the permalink.

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