• Canadian mining undermines democracy in Central America

    Published on 24 August by TeleSUR

    mining guatemala

    Canadian mining companies account for 75 percent of the world’s extractive corporations. Canada is literally digging up the globe.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Ed Fast says, “Canada’s mining sector … leads the world in responsible mining practices, and we are proud of the prosperity that this sector is creating at home and in every corner of the globe.”

    However, the political, social and environmental costs are far greater than the Canadian government or mining corporations would have you believe.

    In Latin America,Canada and its extractive industry are viewed as the new conquistadors; they are thirsty for land and minerals and hungry for power. Canadian mining companies are often positioned at the epicenter of community conflicts in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, and linked with violence, environmental degradation, corruption and murder. Research produced by Canada’s own Prospectors and Development Association of Canada (PDAC) found that Canadian mining companies accounted for the most human and environmental rights abuses globally. Harrowing examples in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras further erode Canada’s claims of bringing “good” to the world.

    Canadian mining companies’ environmental and human rights abuses have been well documented by affected communities, NGOs and transnational solidarity groups. Such injustices are tangible examples of deep structural violence that Canadian extractives are inextricably linked with. Their actions, under the guise of “development,” have undermined governance in countries where democracy can be described as “uneven.” Legal scholar Debbie Johnston writes:

    “Canada’s extractive industry routinely seeks out unexploited natural resources located in underdeveloped nations that feature weak, failing or often oppressive governments that, in turn, rely on foreign investment of capital and technology to exploit their resources, to prosper, and in some cases to stay in power.” Canadian companies actively choose to operate in Central American countries with corrupt governments and often limited public support.

  • Cuban doctors save over 250,000 lives in Honduras

    Published on 8 November 2015 by Telesur English


    Cuban doctors have served over 29 million Hondurans and saved at least 250,800 Honduran lives over the past 17 years, according to local media.

    Since arriving in the Central American country in 1998, Cuban doctors have focused on serving rural areas with little or no access to healthcare, the Cuban Medical Brigade leader Orlando Alvarez told Honduras’ La Prensa.

    The Cuban Medical Brigade was initially sent to Honduras in 1998 by former Cuban President Fidel Castro to help respond to the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. The tropical storm impacted all of Central America but hit Honduras the hardest, killing at least 7,000 Hondurans and leaving at least 1.5 million more homeless.

    Honduras and Cuba later agreed to lengthen the stay of Cuban health professionals in the country to provide healthcare to underserved regions.

  • Hillary Clinton needs to answer for “Regime Change” in Honduras

    First published on 13 April 2016 by Huffington Post


    The past week has not been a good one for the Clintons, in terms of foot-in-mouth disease. First Bill Clinton accused Black Lives Matter protesters of supporting murderers. This is something you might expect to erupt from the foul mouth of a Donald Trump or a Rush Limbaugh. Did Bill Clinton really say this? Yes — and then went on to whitesplain to them how “Black lives matter” in Africa, too.

    Then Hillary had an meeting with the New York Daily News editorial board in which — for the first time in this campaign or possibly ever — she was asked by a journalist about her role in Honduras following the 2009 military coup. Her response was embarrassing. First, she seemed to defend the coup by saying that the Honduran judiciary and legislature “followed the law” in removing the president.

    For those who don’t remember, this was a coup in which the military kidnapped the democratically elected president, in his pajamas, and flew him out of the country. It’s hard to see how anyone “followed the law” here — even if the judiciary and legislature didn’t give the order to the military, they certainly supported it. The rest of the world sure saw it as an illegal military coup, including Hillary’s top advisors.

    Hillary’s own director of policy planning, Anne-Marie Slaughter urged her to “find that [the] coup was a ‘military coup’ under U.S. law and revoke the visas of more de facto regime members;” she worried in the same email that “high level people from both the business and the NGO community say that even our friends are beginning to think we are not really committed to the norm of constitutional democracy.”

  • Honduran electoral crisis

    Published 28 January 2018 by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!


    After weeks of protests, a general strike against the result of the manipulated elections of 26 November began on 21 January. Called by the Opposition Alliance Against The Dictatorship, organised by ex-president Zelaya, it continued for a week until 27 January when it blockaded roads around the capital’s national stadium where Hernández was reinstalled as President for an unprecedented second term. Tear gas drifted across flaming barricades in clashes between police and angry protesters. The opposition boycotted Hernandez's inauguration, and held a symbolic swearing-in for its presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla on the same day.

    So far 33 people have been killed during the continued protests since the elections. ‘This was armed robbery,’ Nasralla said of Hernández’s election ‘victory’. The UN and IACHR experts reported that even before Christmas more than 1,500 people had been detained abused and maltreated. The new parliament began its first session on 25 January with the opposition protesting vociferously inside the chamber at the swearing in of new ministers.