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Immigrant Rights Organizations condemn the Trump administration's policies, that threaten stability in Honduras and harm US immigrants. Trump's State Department advanced military aid to Honduras on November 28, 2017, even as the Central American country faced political chaos and instability in Honduras due to fraudulent activity in its national election. US State Department support for Honduras, including unfounded praise for its human rights record, has emboldened the current regime.
Immigrant Rights Organizations condemn the Trump administration's policies, that threaten stability in Honduras and harm US immigrants. Trump's State Department advanced military aid to Honduras on November 28, 2017, even as the Central American country faced political chaos and instability in Honduras due to fraudulent activity in its national election. US State Department support for Honduras, including unfounded praise for its human rights record, has emboldened the current regime. Experts and advocates warn that the tacit US endorsement of the tainted election and continued support for the illegitimate President Juan Orlando Hernandez will generate instability and chaos in Honduras, driving more Hondurans to seek refuge across their borders.
Within the United States, Trump's anti-immigration policies also generate uncertainty for hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, including vast numbers of Honduran children and families who have migrated here for reasons of safety to the US in recent years. Among other anti-immigrant policies, the imminent threat of cancellation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after July 2018 jeopardizes an essential protection for tens of thousands of Hondurans and their families who have been her for twenty years or more and who cannot and should not be forced to return to a chaotic and unstable, illegal and unconstitutional governmental regime.
Yesterday, December 17th, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) declared current president Juan Orlando Hernandez the winner, amid reports of rampant voting problems and ballot-counting irregularities, including charges of fraud on behalf of the incumbent. The Honduran TSE has operated behind closed doors and refused independent auditing of election results. The Organization of American States and international election observers have decried the lack of transparency of the TSE and have called for an annulment and for elections to be held again. The major opposition party has filed complaints with the TSE and OAS, charging fraud, such as tampering with vote tally sheets. Protests erupted throughout the country, as citizens defied the President's military curfew and claimed their vote was stolen. Peaceful protesters were met with armed military police and military units shooting real bullets at the crowd. To date, there are 24 dead from confrontations with military police and over 1500 arrested.
Immigrant rights groups, CARECEN, NDLON, Familia TQLM, Coalicion Trans Latina, Human Rights Alliance for Child Refugees and Families, and Hondurans dealing with TPS and uncertainty in the US and Latin American scholars call for sanctions of the Honduran government and demand an extension of TPS and asylum for women, children and LGBTQ and Transgender women in ICE detention.
Under the now-ended presidential term of Juan Orlando Hernandez, a mass exodus of Hondurans came to the United States seeking safety and stability. In 2014, of the over 67,000 children at the US Mexico border, 27% were Honduran. Los Angeles is home to over 42,901 Hondurans. An estimated 791,000 live in the US.
Angela Sanbrano, Board President of CARECEN, states, "Central American migrants to the US are a part of the fabric of our community. The Trump administration's broadsided attack on immigrants has caused fear and uncertainty for us all. His inept foreign policies combined with his domestic neglect must not become the norm."
Joe Berra, Clinical Director at UCLA School of Law, states: "Honduras is in the midst of the latest in a series of coups against democracy and constitutional order. The first occurred in 2009 against the democratically elected President Mel Zelaya; the second occurred shortly thereafter against the judiciary when, as President of the National Congress, Juan Orlando illegally removed and hand-picked the majority of the Supreme Court Justices. We are witnessing the third coup, this one against the popular vote rejecting Hernandez' unconstitutional attempt at re-election. We remain hopeful because the honduran people remain steadfast in protecting their democracy and defending human rights. The US should be supporting them."
Pablo Alvarado of National Bay Laborer Organizing Network states: "As we fight to save TPS for Hondurans in the US, we must not forget that humble people in Honduras are fighting for democracy and for human rights and they are being repressed, tortured and killed. These are the relatives of TPS holders. Therefore, we must stand together to call for fair treatment and respect for communities here in the US and in our home countries. We call on Washington to extend TPS for all Central Americans and an end to US interference in the future of Honduran democracy. That is for the Honduran people to decide. We call on the powerful in Honduras to hold new internationally supervised elections as the OAS suggests. If this happens, la Alianza por la democracia en Honduras will send international observers."
Bamby Salcedo of TransLatin@ Coalition states: "Instability in Honduras has caused devastation to the most vulnerable, and the JOH administration has done nothing to protect them. According to CATTRACHAS, between 2012-2017 there have been 57 Transgender murders registered and only 9 have been brought to a court of law."
Jorge Gutierrez, Exec. Dir., Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement: "Transgender youth migration from Central America and particularly from Honduras is at an all-time high, with youth often migrating with little money, threats to their lives and a discriminatory immigration court system in the US. If they are deported they will face certain death in Honduras, particularly under this repressive regime."
Suyapa Portillo, Assistant Professor at Pitzer College, a native Honduran, states: "The current US posture toward Honduras is a continuation of its policy of favoring corrupt elites over the will of the Honduran people, a direct legacy of the US failures going back to the 1980s and before. From the 2009 coup d'etat, to the murder of Berta Caceres, and the inordinate murders of human rights defenders and others, the US has shown that anything goes as long as it favors rich corporate interests and the very wealthy on both sides of our borders. Not surprisingly, Trump and his cronies are continuing this approach."
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"What is the common vision to guide the Global South out of this crisis?" asked the Progressive International. "What is the plan to win it?"
Delegates to the Havana Congress on the New International Economic Order—a gathering organized by the Progressive International and attended by more than 50 scholars and policymakers from 26 countries across all six inhabited continents—agreed over the weekend on a declaration that outlines a "common vision" for building an egalitarian and sustainable society out of the wreckage of five decades of neoliberal capitalism.
"The crisis of the existing world system can either entrench inequalities," the declaration asserts, or it can "embolden" popular movements throughout the Global South to "reclaim" their role as protagonists "in the construction of a new world order based on justice, equity, and peace."
Delegates resolved to focus their initial efforts on strengthening the development and dissemination of lifesaving technologies in low-income nations.
"Delegates agreed that a key priority must be to secure science and technology sovereignty."
This decision comes one year after Cuban officials announced, at a press conference convened by the Progressive International (PI), their plan to deliver 200 million homegrown Covid-19 vaccine doses to impoverished countries abandoned by their wealthy counterparts and Big Pharma—along with tools to enable domestic production and expert support to improve distribution.
It also comes as Cuba assumes the presidency of the Group of 77 (G77), a bloc of 134 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America where "the combined crises of food, energy, and environment" are escalating, PI noted.
"What is the common vision to guide the Global South out of this crisis?" the coalition asked. "What is the plan to win it? What is the New International Economic Order for the 21st century?"
"After two days of detailed discussions about how to transform our shared world, delegates agreed that a key priority must be to secure science and technology sovereignty," PI general coordinator David Adler said Sunday at the conclusion of the Havana Congress. "From pharmaceuticals to green tech, from digital currencies to microchips, too much of humanity is locked out of both benefiting from scientific advances and contributing to new ones. We will, as today's declaration calls for, work to build 'a planetary bloc led by the South and reinforced by the solidarities of the North' to liberate knowledge and peoples."
Speaking at the January 12 ceremony during which Cuba ascended to the G77 presidency, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla emphasized the need for coordinated action across the Global South on science and tech, arguing that "scientific-technical development is today monopolized by a club of countries that monopolize most of the patents, technologies, research centers, and promote the drain of talent from our countries."
The G77 Summit on Science, Technology, and Innovation, scheduled for September in Havana, seeks to "unite, complement each other, integrate our national capacities so as not to be relegated to future pandemics," said Parrilla.
During his speech on the first day of the Havana Congress, meanwhile, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis called for a new non-aligned movement to "end the legalized robbery of people and Earth fueling climate catastrophe."
\u201cAt the Havana Congress on the New International Economic Order, @yanisvaroufakis calls for a New Non-Aligned Movement to "end the legalised robbery of people and Earth fuelling climate catastrophe."\n\nRead his full speech here: https://t.co/P8zdht8FD9\u201d— Progressive International (@Progressive International) 1674836693
Read the full Havana Declaration on the New International Economic Order:
The Havana Congress,
Recalling the role of the Cuban Revolution in the struggle to unite the Southern nations of the world, and the spirit of the 1966 Havana Tricontinental Conference that convened peoples from Asia, Africa, and Latin America to chart a path to collective liberation in the face of severe global crises and sustained imperial subjugation;
Hearing the echoes of that history today, as crises of hunger, disease, and war once again overwhelm the world, compounded by a rapidly changing climate and the droughts, floods, and hurricanes that not only threaten to inflame conflicts between peoples, but also risk the extinction of humanity at large;
Celebrating the legacy of the anti-colonial struggle, and the victories won by combining a program of sovereign development at home, solidarity for national liberation abroad, and a strong Southern bloc to force concessions to its interests, culminating in the adoption of the U.N. Declaration on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order (NIEO);
Acknowledging that the project of decolonization remains incomplete, disrupted by concerted attacks on the unity of the South in the form of wars, coups, sanctions, structural adjustment, and the false promise that sovereign development might be won through integration into a hierarchical world system;
Emphasizing that the result has been the sustained divergence between North and South, characterized by the same dynamics that defined the international economic order five decades prior: the extraction of natural resources, the enclosure of 'intellectual property,' the plunder of structural adjustment, and the exclusion of the multilateral system;
Recognizing that despite these setbacks, the flame of Southern resistance did not die; that the pursuit of sovereign development has yielded unprecedented achievements—from mass literacy and universal healthcare to poverty alleviation and medical innovation—that enable a renewed campaign of Southern cooperation today;
Stressing that this potential for Southern unity is perceived as a threat to Northern powers, which seek once again to preserve their position in the hierarchy of the world system through mechanisms of economic exclusion, political coercion, and military aggression;
Seizing the opportunity of the present historical juncture, when the crisis of the existing world system can either entrench inequalities or embolden the call to reclaim Southern protagonism in the construction of a new world order based on justice, equity, and peace;
The Havana Congress calls to:
"It is imperative that we demand an independent investigation into the police murder of Manuel 'Tortuguita' Paez Terán," said one group. "We join calls for the termination of the lease and for Mayor Dickens' resignation."
A coalition of more than 1,300 climate and racial justice groups from across the United States on Monday joined a call for an independent investigation into the police killing of forest defender Manuel Paez Terán earlier this month, and demanded the resignation of Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens.
Nearly two weeks after the fatal shooting of the 26-year-old activist and medic—known as Tortuguita—Dickens "has still failed to condemn the killing," said the groups, and has instead opted "to condemn protestors and parrot the rhetoric of extreme right-wing governor Brian Kemp."
Tortuguita was shot and killed on January 18 when a joint task force including Atlanta police officers raided an encampment at Weelaunee forest. The forest is the site of a proposed $90 million police training facility known as Cop City.
"His championing of Cop City occurs against the backdrop of a continued investment in the gentrification of Atlanta and a continued disinvestment of affordable housing for a city identified as having the country's highest level of wealth inequality."
Over the weekend Dickens, a Democrat, condemned people who have protested Tortuguita's killing in Atlanta, accusing protesters of traveling to the city to "wreak havoc" at demonstrations that were overwhelmingly peaceful.
"Within a few hours of the shooting, Dickens tweeted support for [an] injured state trooper and completely ignored the death at the hands of a task force which included Atlanta police officers on his watch," wrote the groups, which include People vs. Fossil Fuels, Jewish Voice for Peace, Climate Justice Alliance, and Oil Change International. "As a growing number of Atlanta residents, national and global news outlets, and human rights and environmental organizations worldwide call for an investigation of the police narrative of Tortuguita's death, Dickens has dismissed their concerns. He has refused to bring any scrutiny to the one-sided and unsubstantiated recounting of events. Dickens has yet to offer condolences to the slain protestor's family."
The groups noted that Dickens and the Atlanta City Council have the authority to terminate the land lease for Cop City in the forest and called for the mayor to do so immediately, denouncing his strong support for the Atlanta Police Foundation's proposal.
"His championing of Cop City occurs against the backdrop of a continued investment in the gentrification of Atlanta and a continued disinvestment of affordable housing for a city identified as having the country's highest level of wealth inequality," said the groups. "Mayor Dickens can somehow find $90 million dollars for Cop City, one third of which will come from taxpayer money. Still, he can't find money to keep our already overwhelmed hospitals open or to finance much-needed affordable housing."
Ikiya Collective, a signatory of the letter, noted that the training slated to take place at Cop City "will impact organizing across the country" as police are trained to respond to popular uprisings.
"This is a national issue," said the collective. "Climate justice and police brutality are interconnected, which is why we are joining the Stop Cop City calls to action with the frontline communities in Atlanta."
"It is imperative that we demand an independent investigation into the police murder of Manuel 'Tortuguita' Paez Terán," said Ikiya Collective. "We join calls for the termination of the lease and for Mayor Dickens' resignation."
Brazil's far-right ex-president has applied for a visa to remain in the U.S. amid worsening legal troubles in his home country, where he is facing multiple investigations.
Brazil's far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro has applied for a six-month visitor visa to remain in the United States amid worsening legal troubles in his home country.
U.S. authorities received Bolsonaro's application on Friday, The Financial Timesreported Monday, citing "his lawyer, Felipe Alexandre, who has advised the former president not to leave the country while it is being processed—a period that could last several months."
Bolsonaro is facing multiple investigations in Brazil. That includes longstanding probes into alleged wrongdoing committed during his four-year presidential term as well as the Brazilian Supreme Court's recently launched inquiry aimed at determining whether his incessant lies about electoral fraud are to blame for the coup attempt that his supporters launched in Brasília on January 8.
The close ally of former U.S. President Donald Trump—whose unceasing lies about his loss in the 2020 presidential election sparked a deadly right-wing insurrection in Washington two years ago—retreated to Florida on December 30, two days before the January 1 inauguration of his leftist successor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, commonly known as Lula.
"He has been staying at the Kissimmee home of a former mixed martial arts fighter, José Aldo, where he is often thronged by adoring members of Florida's right-leaning Brazilian expat community," the Times noted. "Bolsonaro had been traveling on an A-1 visa reserved for diplomats and heads of state. It expired the day he left office, with a 30-day grace period."
Earlier this month, several members of U.S. Congress urged the Biden administration to rescind Bolsonaro's visa.
"We must not allow Mr. Bolsonaro or any other former Brazilian officials to take refuge in the United States to escape justice for any crimes they may have committed when in office," stated a letter to the White House signed by 41 Democratic lawmakers.
Alexandre claimed that there is no evidence that Bolsonaro committed any crimes related to the anti-democratic assault in Brasília, when his election-denying supporters ransacked Brazil's presidential palace, Congress, and Supreme Court.
Bolsonaro has tried to distance himself from the rioters, saying that they "crossed the line." In December, however, Bolsonaro broke his post-election silence to tell his backers—many of whom spent weeks after the October 30 runoff calling for a military coup to prevent Lula from taking office—that his political fate rested in their hands.
"Who decides where I go are you," Bolsonaro told a crowd outside the gates of the presidential residence on December 9. "Who decides which way the armed forces go are you."
Days later, hundreds of Bolsonaristas set fire to cars and buses and tried to breach federal police headquarters in Brasília in a preview of the larger January 8 insurrection.
A bigger right-wing mob invaded Brazil's main government buildings earlier this month under the false pretense that Lula's victory in October's election was the result of widespread fraud—a mistaken belief fueled by years of Bolsonaro and his allies' baseless attacks on the integrity of the country's election infrastructure, disinformation that spread rapidly on social media.
The day after the attack, thousands of democracy defenders took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo to demand jail time for those who carried out the violence as well as those who aided and abetted it.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Western Hemisphere panel, said earlier this month that the U.S. should comply if Lula's administration requests Bolsonaro's extradition.
Alexandre, meanwhile, told the Times that Bolsonaro "might eventually decide to petition for a more permanent U.S. visa than the six-month extension he is seeking."