Honduran resistance and Latin America
Published Nov 19, 2009 9:14 PM
Excerpts from a talk by Berta Joubert-Ceci of Philadelphia to the WWP National Conference, Nov.
I want to ask you to please stand up. Let us give homage to the courageous
people of Honduras. That resistance that today, for 140 days, has been in the
streets, demanding the restitution of their president, José Manuel Zelaya
Rosales, and the celebration of a Constitutional Assembly that will end
injustice and inequality.
From the second plenary session on jobs and human needs - not banks, racism and imperialist war. Speaker: Berta Joubert-Ceci.
Let us applaud their courage and their fierce determination to end the criminal
military coup perpetrated by the oligarchy and the U.S. This resistance that is
armed only with their dignity face day by day military and police armed to the
teeth by the U.S.
Let us not observe a moment of silence, comrades, but a moment of applause for
the martyrs whose blood has instilled more strength into the people. For the
resistance let us applaud.
This is a struggle between two classes—those who exploit: the oligarchy,
the transnational corporations—and those who are exploited: the workers
and peasants, the poor in Honduras. Two classes whose interests are totally
contradictory. It might have not begun as such, but it has developed into
The constant demonstrations, the meetings to organize and to discuss the
crisis, the interaction among unions, youth, peasants, Afro-Hondurans and
women, have tremendously increased political consciousness. There has been a
remarkable jump from quantity into quality. They see all the wealth that they
have produced. First in the fields—remember Honduras was the
“Banana Republic” of Chiquita—and now in the maquilas, the
Adidas, the Nikes and so many others. They see all the wealth they make go into
the hands of the rich families in Honduras and to the U.S. corporations.
Their struggle now is not only to reinstate Zelaya but for control of the
resources, the economy and the country, to take it away from the hands of the
oligarchy and the corporations. That is what the struggle for a Constitutional
Assembly represents. That is why it is so important, because the current
constitution paved the way to privatizations and the transfer of wealth from
the working class to the rich and the corporations.
President Zelaya’s increasing the minimum wage was the lightning rod. The
oligarchy and U.S. corporations initiated the road to the June 28 coup. They
would not allow a wage raise or a change of their valuable constitution. But
this was also a lesson for the masses: how not even a slight increase on their
share of the profits would be tolerated by the rich! And the repression by the
state has only pushed the struggle forward.
The struggle in Honduras is part of the tremendous popular developments in
Latin America, where the people are trying to take control of their destiny
away from U.S. imperialist domination. It is a struggle for the control of
society between the workers and the peasants on one side, and the oligarchy and
the U.S. corporations on the other. It is happening in Venezuela, Bolivia,
Ecuador and Nicaragua. Progressive governments in those countries are allied
with the masses and are trying to integrate their countries into a powerful
bloc that stands up against imperialism. That is what ALBA represents.
But there are many other struggles in the region. For example, in Puerto Rico
there is a workers’ movement against the layoffs by the pro-U.S.
government of Luis Fortuño that has organized work stoppages and is
planning a general strike. In Mexico, the movement is growing with militant
actions after the layoffs of 46,000 workers from the electricity industry by
President Felipe Calderón, a close U.S. ally. In Colombia, the criminal
pro-U.S. Uribe paramilitary regime has continued to be fought by an armed
insurgency and a popular movement, the former with weapons and the social
movement with demonstrations.
Washington is preparing to mount a new military offensive in Latin America to
break these progressive developments. The coup in Honduras has been a warning
to these countries that imperialism will not stand quietly by and let the
people choose their destiny.
That is why the U.S. will accept the result of the Honduran elections with or
without President Zelaya restored to office. That is why the U.S. has just
signed an agreement with Colombia for the use of seven military bases, which
gives the U.S. military almost unlimited access to that country’s
facilities and guarantees impunity for any criminal act by U.S. forces and that
explicitly states the need to wage action against countries that the U.S.
considers “enemies,” like Venezuela.
There is also the IV Fleet, which can even go into the rivers of the countries
in Latin America, and the possibility of four new bases in Panama. And besides
the direct military threats, there are the CIA operations to destabilize
governments with the help of the opposition forces in those countries. The
danger is real.
But the U.S. always discounts the peoples’ powerful will to struggle and
We, the working class of the world have a social connection. We have the same
interests as the workers in Honduras, in Mexico and everywhere else. If their
interests are threatened, so are ours. And so we must respond, with
And for us, here in the U.S., it is crucial that we be the most
internationalist, because this is the center of imperialism, we then MUST be
internationalists to the core!
¡Viva la Resistencia hondureña!
Long live the workers’ struggle!
¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!
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