Dallas Peace Center Director Lon Burnam, Teacher Hobie Hukill, Central American activist Ricardo Ventura, Voices for Immigrants President Margarita Alvarez, and Communications Workers activist Nancy HallDallas activists found it easy to hold a bilingual discussion on the situation in Honduras on July 28 at the Progressive Center of Texas. The information exchanged was far beyond what has been available in the commercial media. Lon Burnam explained why he had wanted the Dallas Peace Center to sponsor and publicize the event: "I am here to express my repubnance to the coup d'etat and overturning of democracy anywhere." Union activist Nancy Hall said, "If we are not going to practice some kind of international solidarity, then we are going to lose a generation!"
Ricardo Ventura provided a series of photos that ran as a backdrop throughout the discussion. He outlined the situation in Honduras from the 1982 constitution, which he said was forced on the Honduran people by the United States, to the present. Although he joined the entire panel in appreciating the Obama Administration's insistence on democracy in Honduras, he also charged that American intelligence must have known about the coup in advance.
Hobie Hukill, who travels in Central America a great deal, displayed a map of Honduras to put developments in context. He talked about the importance of these events here in the U.S. He urged people to contact our own government to push for House Resolution 630, which calls for much more U.S. sanctions than have presently been taken. Americans are being asked to call the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121, the White House at 202-456-1111, and the
State Department at 202-647-4000.
Margarita Alvarez gave a stunning description of the consequences of the coup d'etat on the rest of Latin America, which is united in opposing it. She said that immigration problems here are a direct consequence of U.S. policy in Spanish speaking countries. "Talk to your government," she said, "Or you'll spend the rest of your life doing immigration reform!"
Nancy Hall read the statement of AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, who condemned the coup in solidarity with all Honduran unions. She ended with the famous statement of political responsibility, "First they came for the socialists, but I was not a socialist..."
Several activists agreed to meet with Margarita Alvarez on the following Saturday to brainstorm ways to support House Resolution 630. Plans are underway for the North Texas Communist Party club to conduct an educational webinar on Honduras for all Texans.