Nike y Adidas reclaman a EEUU que apoye a Zelaya
Las multinacionales de accesorios deportivos escriben a Clinton
pidiendo que se cumplan las resoluciones de la ONU, la OEA y la UE.
Las fábricas textiles están paradas en Honduras
El presidente expulsado de Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, habla por teléfono
desde Ocotal, en Nicaragua.
JUAN CARLOS RIVERA TORRES – SAN PEDRO SULA (HONDURAS) – 30/07/2009 07:41
Las ricas familias de empresarios hondureños que apoyaron el golpe de
Estado contra Manuel Zelaya calcularon mal la reacción exterior. Las
condenas de gobiernos y organismos internacionales al régimen de
Roberto Micheletti se han visto reforzadas por un aliado insólito: las
grandes multinacionales de prendas deportivas, con inversiones
millonarias en el país centroamericano. Nike, Adidas, Gap y Knights
Apparel han enviado una carta a la secretaria de Estado de EEUU,
Hillary Clinton, reclamando la restitución de Zelaya en la
“Creemos necesario unirnos al llamamiento de restauración de la
democracia hecho por el presidente de EEUU, la Organización de Estados
Americanos, la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas y la Unión
Europea”, escribieron las empresas multinacionales, sumándose al
clamor mundial que niega legitimidad al Ejecutivo de Micheletti y
exige el regreso de Zelaya.
“Llamamos a la restauración de la democracia”, dice la misiva
Las grandes compañías transnacionales se muestran “muy preocupadas por
la situación en el país”. Y piden a Clinton que las diferencias entre
las partes “se resuelvan mediante un diálogo pacífico y democrático, y
no a través de la acción militar”.
Cancelación de pedidos
Las multinacionales firmantes son los principales clientes de las
maquilas centroamericanas. Contratan a más de 60.000 trabajadores en
la región y facturan alrededor de 3.000 millones de dólares anuales,
según un informe de Oxfam. Por ese motivo, tienen una gran influencia
en el tejido empresarial hondureño y sus acciones sin duda debilitarán
el apoyo, hasta ahora unánime, de la industria a los golpistas.
Las grandes firmas han anunciado que rescindirán contratos y pedidos
Según la presidenta de la Federación Sindical de Trabajadores
Democráticos (FSTD) de Honduras, Fabia Gutiérrez, las multinacionales
han amenazado con cancelar pedidos y rescindir contratos con maquilas
en las próximas semanas.
“Esas empresas ya anunciaron que no enviarán más materiales para que
sean ensamblados en Honduras, porque también ellas están recibiendo la
presión de sus clientes, entre ellos, estudiantes de universidades de
Estados Unidos”, dijo aPúblico Gutiérrez.
La presidenta de la FSTD añade que las grandes empresas contratistas
se han percatado de que los propietarios de las maquilas hondureñas
obligan a los empleados a participar en las manifestaciones “por la
paz y democracia” que montan a favor del Gobierno de Micheletti.
Las maquilas de Honduras dependen de las compañías estadounidenses
“Los gerentes de las maquilas obligan a los trabajadores a subir a
autobuses y participar en las movilizaciones de camiseta blanca
(pro-Micheletti). Algunos empresarios, como Arturo Corán, han
despedido a trabajadores que se han negado a ir”, denuncia por
teléfono Israel Salinas, secretario general de la Confederación
Unitaria de Trabajadores de Honduras.
Una portavoz de Nike explica que su comunicado ha estado motivado por
la vulneración de derechos fundamentales: “No hemos notado aún ningún
impacto en la producción. Nuestra empresa está preocupada por los
derechos de los trabajadores. Estamos inquietos por la situación y la
democracia en Honduras”.
Sin embargo, y aunque Nike lo niegue, en Honduras destacan que la
producción ha disminuido notablemente desde el golpe de Estado del 28
de junio y las compañías tienen grandes dificultades para sacar las
prendas deportivas del país.
Los empresarios hondureños obligan a los obreros a ir a marchas golpistas
Dos días de huelga general
“Cada jueves y viernes hay huelga nacional. En Honduras no se trabaja
y eso está generando grandes pérdidas a las empresas. Es cierto que en
las maquilas no se ha detenido la producción totalmente, sino de forma
parcial, pero los paros cada vez tienen más fuerza; en las maquilas
también”, señala Salinas.
Junto a la movilización sindical, el toque de queda impuesto por el
Gobierno golpista ha contribuido a romper el ritmo habitual de
Cada jueves y viernes hay huelga general y se para la producción
“Las maquilas que producen para las multinacionales de EEUU trabajan
las 24 horas del día ininterrumpidamente. Sus trabajadores hacen
turnos de 12 horas. Pero con la imposición del toque de queda los
trabajadores no pueden llegar a las fábricas”, cuenta por teléfono
desde El Salvador el representante para Centroamérica del Comité
Laboral Nacional, Sergio Chávez.
La falta de trabajadores obliga a parar máquinas e impide fletar los
camiones para distribuir las mercancías. Además, el bloqueo de las
principales carreteras del país que mantienen los partidarios de
Zelaya retrasa aún más su exportación a EEUU.
Pese a la condena de las multinacionales textiles al régimen de
Micheletti, hasta ahora la clase empresarial ha permanecido fiel.
“Zelaya había tomado medidas que iban en contra de sus intereses, como
imponer un salario mínimo y, sobre todo, acercarse a la Alianza
Bolivariana para las Américas (ALBA) y preparar leyes favorables a los
campesinos y las cooperativas. Querían impedir eso a toda costa”,
Por eso, dueños de maquilas como Jesús Canahuati y Jacobo Kattán han
viajado un par de veces a Washington en busca de apoyos al golpe. La
reacción de las grandes firmas de EEUU es la puntilla para su empeño.
Diez familias financiaron el golpe
La mayor experta en temas militares de Honduras, la investigadora de
la Universidad Nacional Leticia Salomón, destapó los entresijos del
golpe de Estado. Y lo explicó como un detalle sin importancia ante una
concurrida audiencia presente en una mesa redonda: “Fue planeado por
un grupo empresarial liderado por Carlos Roberto Facussé, ex
presidente de Honduras (1988-2002) y dueño del periódico ‘La Tribuna’,
que junto con ‘La Prensa’, ‘El Heraldo’, los canales de TV 2, 3, 5 y 9
fueron el pilar fundamental del golpe”.
El grupo al que se refería Salomón se completa con Jaime Rosenthal y
Gilberto Goldstein, dirigentes el Grupo Continental, el emporio que
monopoliza la banca hondureña, la agroindustria y medios de
comunicación como ‘El Tiempo’ y ‘Canal 11′. El resto de las familias
que apoyaron el golpe contra Zelaya y que controlan el 90% de la
riqueza que produce el país son: José Rafael Ferrari, Juan Canahuati,
el financiero Camilo Atala, el maderero José Lamas, el empresario
energético Fredy Násser, Jacobo Kattán, el industrial azucarero
Guillermo Lippman y el constructor Rafael Flores.
Un personaje fundamental en esta conspiración fue el magnate Miguel
Facussé, condecorado por el Senado colombiano en 2004 con la Orden
Mérito a la Democracia, y quien hoy monopoliza el negocio de la palma
aceitera y en 1992 apoyó la compra de tierras a los campesinos a menos
del 10% de su valor real.
VENEZUELA DESINFORMACIÓN TENDENCIOSA
The piece below may be of interest to you. We in the Venezuela
Solidarity Campaign would be very keen for this piece to be as widely
publicised as it is possible since the Chavez government has been
subjected to atrocious media misrepresentation.
It refers to a grave assertion made in The Economist’s July 18 (2009)
edition that “Venezuelan troops helped quell a rebellion centred on
the airport at Santa Cruz in the east in 2007” and on which the
magazine has been forced to back down, demonstrating that it misled
its readers. See full details in article below
Please feel free to post it on your website, circulate it among your
contacts, and distribute as widely as you can.
Dr Francisco Dominguez
Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Campaign
Economist backs down over misleading readers on Venezuela
On its July 18, 2009, edition The Economist on article on Bolivia
(“Bolivia’s divisive president. The Permanent Campaign”, July 18),
asserted that “Venezuelan troops helped quell a rebellion centred on
the airport at Santa Cruz in the east in 2007.” The article did not
bother to substantiate such a serious charge against Venezuela and is
buried as one of several unjustified and unsubstantiated allegations
against the president and government of Bolivia,
The piece “Bolivia’s divisive president. The Permanent Campaign” does
not even pretend to be ‘even-handed’ or ‘balanced.’ Some of the
statements in it are simply unalloyed anti-Morales propaganda. Putting
the blame squarely on Evo Morales, for example, for the diplomatic
difficulties Bolivia has been having with the US (without informing
the readers that Bush unilaterally had ended Bolivia’s export
preferential treatment on some exports or that Bolivia expelled US
ambassador Mr Phillip Goldberg because he had been actively supporting
secessionist efforts in Santa Cruz), and with Peru (without telling
readers that Peru gave asylum to Bolivian Cabinet minister indicted
for civilian deaths resulting from military repression of protests six
years ago during the government of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada), but
explaining them as a deliberate Morales drive to isolate Bolivia
because, according to The Economist, “Many in the government dream of
an economic autarky, powered by gas.” The article goes even further by
quoting government’s opponents in Santa Cruz, who describe Morales as
an “indigenous fascist” with The Economist accepting such a highly
inflammatory label with no qualification whatsoever. And, if there was
any doubt as to where The Economist stands on the Morales government,
the piece ends by sympathetically paraphrasing one pundit who says
“Bolivia is suffering a classic bout of Latin American populism:
personalised politics, mild paranoia, bad economic policy and a weak
opposition.” No journalistic objectivity or even the pretension of it.
Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Kingdom, HE Samuel Moncada,
responded to the allegation regarding the participation of Venezuelan
troops in the suppression of a rebellion in Santa Cruz in 2007, with
letter to Michael Reid, The Economist’s Latin American editor, in
which he stated that “Unfortunately, dangerous and negative
consequences in the region may arise due to this blunder published in
your magazine. I would therefore demand a correction of such fallacy”.
(The Ambassador’s letter can be found in full at
Subsequently Ambassador Moncada wrote again to Michael Reid who had
responded to the first letter by saying that The Economist stood by
their story. In his second letter Ambassador Moncada wrote: “As we
believe that the videos in your possession are absolutely false, this
matter can only be settled with evidence. Therefore, either you
publish your data in order to prove your point, or our request in the
first letter stands. Then, you will have no choice but to correct the
statement in your article issued on the 18th of July.”
A campaign of letter writing to Michael Reid was initiated so that he
published the video material in his possession and proved his story or
correct the false statement made about Venezuelan troops having
participated in quelling a rebellion in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
On its July 25, 2009, edition, The Economist did publish a
‘correction’ on its story “Clarification: Bolivia and Venezuela”
See also the video footage on which the allegation was based:
The full text of the ‘correction’ is:
Clarification: Bolivia and Venezuela
Jul 30th 2009
From The Economist print edition
In our recent story on Bolivia (“The permanent campaign”, July 18th),
we stated that “Venezuelan troops helped quell a rebellion centred on
the airport at Santa Cruz in the east in 2007”. Both the Venezuelan
and Bolivian governments deny this (see Letters), and Venezuela’s
government has publicly asked us to retract this assertion. We based
our statement on television footage aired at the time which shows a
Venezuelan air force plane and uniformed Venezuelan personnel at Santa
Cruz airport shortly after it had been seized by the Bolivian
government from the local authorities. No official explanation has
been given for their presence. However, we are happy to clarify that
this footage does not prove Venezuelan troops played an active role in
quelling the rebellion. We have placed the television footage on our
The explanation, “we are happy to clarify that this footage does not
prove Venezuelan troops played an active role in quelling the
rebellion”, not only TOTALLY contradicts the assertion made in the
July 18 story -defended by Latin American editor, Michael Reid in
correspondence with Venezuela’s ambassador-, but also shows the type
of bias The Economist tends engage in when it comes to covering
developments in Venezuela in particular but also in Latin America in
The fact is that the assertion that “Venezuelan troops helped quell a
rebellion centred on the airport at Santa Cruz in the east in 2007”
was based on the flimsiest of ‘evidences’ which no serious editor
should use to make such a grave assertion. Furthermore, the facts
themselves, as presented by The Economist ‘correction’ speak for
themselves. The footage which Latin American editor Michael Reid was
forced to made public NOWHERE shows anything of any kind whatsoever
that could be construed as “Venezuelan troops [having] helped quell a
rebellion” in Bolivia in 2007 as affirmed in the July 18 article.
The footage comes from a TV channel which is clearly opposed to
President Evo Morales, at a time when the Bolivian government faced a
serious destabilisation threat from a radical opposition to the
Bolivian government whose epicentre was/is the Department of Santa
Cruz and the capital city of the same name. The Half Moon ‘autonomist’
movement in Bolivia has strenuously tried to demonstrate in its
propaganda that Morales is a puppet of Hugo Chavez and falsely claim
that it is Venezuelan ‘domination’ they have been fighting against.
The Economist ‘explanation’ as to why it had asserted that there had
been Venezuelan military participation in the quelling of an
anti-government rebellion at the Santa Cruz airport is that the TV
“footage aired at the time […] shows a Venezuelan air force plane
and uniformed Venezuelan personnel at Santa Cruz airport shortly after
it had been seized by the Bolivian government from the local
authorities”, adding, “No official explanation has been given for
their presence”. None was asked. Mr Reid, as the Latin American
editor, ought ot have corroborated the story by requesting
confirmation or otherwise from the Bolivian and Venezuelan authorities
as to the alleged participation of Venezuelan troops in repressive
activities against Bolivian citizens on Bolivian soil. It is just
incredible that such grave assertion could have been made on the bases
of the video footage published in The Economist and without this
elementary safeguard of sound journalism.
Secretary Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
Honduras, why Honduras? Observations from Venezuela
Observations from Venezuela.
I would submit that events in Honduras are not isolated, but rather
part of a right wing counterattack taking shape in Latin America. I
have been arguing for some time that the right is rebuilding in Latin
America; hosting conferences, sharing experiences, refining their
message, working with the media, and building ties with allies in the
United States. This is not the lunatic right fringe, but rather the
mainstream right with powerful allies in the middle class that used to
consider themselves center, but have been frightened by recent left
electoral victories and the rise of social movements. With Obama in
the White House and Clinton in the State Department they have now
decided to act. Bush/Cheney and company did not give them any
coverage and had become of little use to them. A “liberal” in the
White House, gives conservative forces the kind of coverage they had
hoped for. It is no coincidence that Venezuelan right wing
commentators applauded the naming of Clinton to the State Department
claiming that they now had an ally in the administration. The old
cold-warrior axiom that the best antidote against the left is a
liberal government in Washington gains new meaning under Obama with
Clinton at the State Department.
Coup leaders in Honduras and their allies continue to play for time.
Washington’s apparent vacillation is allowing them to exhaust this
option, but so are Colombia, Mexico, Panama and others. After all,
this coup is not just about Honduras but also about left success in
Latin America, of which Honduras was the weakest link.
It is increasingly becoming obvious that there is no scenario under
which they will accept Zelaya back. I do not think that they have a
plan “B” on this matter and this speaks to the kind of advise they are
getting from forces in the U.S. and the region. If Zelaya comes back,
the Supreme Court, the Congress, the military and the church all-lose
credibility and it opens the door for the social and political
movements in Honduras to push for more radical change that these
forces would find more difficult to resist.
But Honduras is only part of the equation. Colombia’s decision to
accept at least 3 new U.S. military bases or Forward Operating
Locations, (including Palanquero), dramatically expand the U.S. role
in the country and throughout the region. The U.S. military has been
eyeing Palanquero with its complex infrastructure and extensive runway
for some time. This is a very troubling sign and speaks volumes about
how the Obama administration plans to respond to change in Latin
America. A possible base on the coast would also offer the recently
reactivated US Fourth Fleet, a convenient harbor on the on the South
American mainland. In short, Venezuela would be literally encircled.
However, Venezuela is not the only objective. It also places the
Brazilian Amazon and all its resources within striking distance of the
U.S. military, as well as the much sought after Guarani watershed.
The recent media war launched by Alvaro Uribe against Ecuador and
Correa once again claiming financing of the FARC and the more recent
offensive against Venezuela concerning 30 year old Swedish missiles,
that like, the Reyes computers, cannot be verified, have filled the
airwaves in Venezuela, Colombia and the region. The current Colombian
media campaign was preceded by Washington’s own efforts to condemn
Venezuela for supposed non-compliance in the war against drug
Lost in all this, is the fact that Uribe is still considering a third
term in office and his party has indicated it will push for a
constitutional reform. So conflicts with Ecuador and Venezuela serves
to silence critics in Colombia and keep Uribe’s electoral competitors
at bay. All we need now is for Uribe to ask the Interpol to verify the
missiles origins and director Ron Noble to give another press
conference in Bogota. Déjà vu all over again!
The right and its allies in the U.S. are also emboldened by the
electoral victory in Panama and the very real prospects of leftist
defeats this year in Chile and even Uruguay. Obviously they are also
encouraged by the humiliating defeat of the Fernández / Kirchner’s in
Argentina. These developments could begin to redraw the political map
of the region. Bolivia will undoubtedly come under intense pressure
as they are also preparing for an election later this year.
All this is occurring with an increased U.S. military commitment in
Mexico with Plan Mérida which seeks to build on the lessons of
Colombia; maintain in power a president whose economic and social
policy are highly unpopular, but who relies on conflict, in this case
the so-called war on the drug cartels, to maintain popularity. Parts
of Mexico are literally under siege including, Michoacán, Ciudad
Juarez, and Tijuana. The backdrop for this is a divided left, the PRD
was the biggest looser in recent midterm elections, and social
movements remains localized and unable to mount a national challenge.
None of these developments are forgone conclusions, but rather speak
to a concerted counter attack by the right wing in Latin America and
its allies in the U.S.
Supporters of Manuel Zelaya hold an undercover police officer they discovered infiltrating their march, showing his badge and weapon, in Tegucigalpa on July 1, 2009. (ELMER MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images) #
August 9, 2009, 2:00 am
<!– — Updated: 3:48 pm –>
Woodward Dream Cruise: BeginningsBy Paul Stenquist
The Dream Cruise, Detroit’s mammoth automotive celebration, could take place only on Woodward Avenue, the street that has been inseparably linked to the automobile business for more than a century.
It was on Woodward that the birth of the American auto industry was announced in 1896, when Charles Brady King drove the street in his horseless carriage. Hundreds of spectators watched King cruise Woodward from Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit to Grand Boulevard, where he was ticketed for disturbing the peace. Henry Ford, who reportedly followed King on a bicycle, cruised the same avenue in his own car a few months later.
Woodward soon became the showplace for Detroit iron. Auto company executives used the street to show off their newest hardware, proudly demonstrating the machinery and gauging public reaction. In 1909, a one-mile stretch of the avenue became a concrete-paved road. In the 1920s, Woodward was widened from its southern end near the Detroit River to its northern terminus more than 20 miles to the north in Pontiac.
The 1950s were the golden age of the American car business, and Detroit was flush with dollars. New model introductions were celebrated. If you were old enough to drive, you had a car. And if you had a car, you showed it off on Woodward.
From one drive-in restaurant to the next, from the Totem Pole in Royal Oak to Suzy Q’s, the Varsity, Big Boy and Ted’s, young Detroiters in their hot iron cruised nine miles of Woodward. It was the place to see and be seen, a place to hang out with your friends and embrace the good times. If you were a hard-core street racer, it was also a place where you could engage in stoplight-to-stoplight drag races. Late at night, the competition became more serious. And the competitors weren’t just teenage thrill-seekers.
“Some big-three battles of the 1960s were fought just east of Woodward on Square Lake Road,” said Floyd Allen, Chrysler’s former vice president for power train product engineering. “A number of our engineers built their own high-performance street machines, as did the Ford and G.M. guys. Once a week, factory engineers from all over the area would gather after midnight. They had a portable Christmas tree and timing equipment. Pair after pair, they’d blast off side-by-side down Square Lake, recording numbers well into the triple digits at the quarter-mile finish line. It was a battle of warring states, a ritual defense of one’s honor.”
Today, you won’t see much real racing on Woodward, and the Detroit Three are fighting their battles in other arenas. You will see some machinery that is obviously built more for go than show, and quiet negotiations are sometimes conducted at the side of the road. But if races take place, they’re probably held in some obscure and distant place.
For most Detroiters, Woodward is more about entertainment than competition. And perhaps more about the past and the future than the moment. Today, Woodward is the cruise, the party, the celebration and the affirmation. It’s a place where car folk can go to dream about the way things were and hope for better days. It’s the beating heart of the American automobile business.