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Tue Apr 21, 2020, 02:47 PM

Hondurans Protest as Elites Attempt to Use Pandemic to Enrich Themselves

With virtually no government assistance, laid-off Honduran factory workers have had no choice but to defy extreme lockdown measures and take to the streets.

APRIL 21, 2020
by Karen Spring and Judy Ancel

Residents of Choloma, an industrial town in northern Honduras, blocked the main highway connecting the city of San Pedro Sula to the Port of Cortes on April 10. Choloma and nearby towns are the center of sweatshop production for U.S. brands in factories called maquilas. They are also the epicenter of COVID-19 in Honduras.

The workers blocking the road that morning burned tires, put up barricades, and demanded the government give them the food they had been promised. A worker demonstrating in Choluteca in southern Honduras told the Honduran media outlet UNE-TV, “They told us they’d be here at seven this morning with food, but no one came. We’re hungry. There are 70 villages waiting for food.”

Since mid-March hundreds of thousands of workers in these towns have been laid off as clothing manufacturers Hanes, Gildan, and Fruit of the Loom and auto parts maker Empire Electronics, among others, announced two- to four-month shutdowns. A few maquilas are calling some workers back to make medical equipment.

In some unionized factories, workers got two weeks’ pay as severance. Other workers got their accumulated vacation pay and nothing more.


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Reply Hondurans Protest as Elites Attempt to Use Pandemic to Enrich Themselves (Original post)
Judi Lynn Apr 2020 OP
Judi Lynn Apr 2020 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Apr 21, 2020, 02:54 PM

1. Progressive members of D.U. recall distinctly how the coup materialized,

and witnessed efforts made by right-wing trolls to justify the filthy overthrow of the elected President Zelaya.

From the article, description of the condition in which the helpless citizens find themselves:

Since post-coup President Pepe Lobo announced Honduras was open for business in 2011, a torrent of voracious multinationals have set up low-wage shops, hydroelectric dams, and mining projects. The 2013 general election and the unconstitutional 2017 re-election of President Juan Orlando Hernandez, commonly called JOH, were both stolen.

Since then Honduras has devolved into a complete narco-state. JOH’s brother, Tony, was convicted last year in a New York City court of large-scale narco-trafficking and JOH is an unindicted co-conspirator. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the Trump administration from maintaining full support for the corrupt administration.

The result today: 63 percent of Hondurans live in poverty (up from 47 percent before the 2009 coup), half of them in extreme poverty. Seventy percent of Hondurans depend on the informal economy — such as farmers markets and driving mini-cabs — to make ends meet.

The notorious caravans of Hondurans fleeing north to the U.S. in the last few years were a direct result of the economic devastation of working people, the corruption, and the terror of living in a narco-state.

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