We Won! Twice in One Day!
Donate Today to the Southwest Region
Last Thursday we called on you for two urgent
actions on Honduras and Cuba. On the Cuba front, Cuban-American
hardliners in congress tried to pass a bill to limit family travel to
Cuba. The cruelty and unbending Cold War idealogy of the Cuban American
hardline never ceases to shock us. Your calls to President Obama did the
trick. The President used all his influence to get the language cut
from the bill, and in the end Cuba Family Travel was saved, thanks to all of you.
On the same day, last Thursday, Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton was going to consider renewing the almost $200 million
in Millennium Challenge Funds for Honduras. In the last 2 weeks there
have been two high profile political assassinations in Honduras adding
to the over 200 political assassinations since the 2009 coup. Due to the
blatant human rights crisis in Honduras and your calls and pressure on
Secretary Clinton it was very apparent Honduras would be rejected the
Millennium Challenge Funding. In anticipation of the imminent rejection, Honduras withdrew its request for the MCC funds.
We won this time. Our victories are very few when we are up against such powerful forces that put war, profits and tyranny over people’s needs. Let
us pause and celebrate our victories and affirm within our selves that
no matter what prevailing forces exist, to us we will keep hoping, keep
dreaming and keep fighting for a more just world. (and sometimes we
So lets breathe deep, make a toast and put the
proverbial (non-violent) boxing gloves back on in 2012. If the
hardliners in congress get their way there will be a roll back on the
already very limited travel we have with Cuba, repression and impunity
will continue in Honduran and the new Trans Pacific Free Trade Agreement
will be pushed forward. The 21 Free Trade Pacts they already have is
not enough for them. They will not stop until the whole world is a free
trade zone for their profit playground. Enough is enough and the Occupy
movements of the US prove that we have been pushed to our breaking
point. Those of you who met our Colombian speaker, Jani Silva,
heard her speak of a “solidarity economy.” Many students asked her what
that was. She said “a solidarity economy is where everyone takes care
of each other.”
Witness for Peace Southwest continues to keep fighting this fight. This year alone we have shown how hard work and determination has moved congress and we do this from the love and compassion we will always have for our brothers and sisters in Latin America.
We continue this fight on a skeleton budget. We will work even harder next year and we need you with us.
We don’t ask often, but we really need your financial support to continue this work.
Please donate today so
that we can continue sending you congressional action alerts and urgent
actions when human rights defenders come under threat in Latin America.
These alerts can save lives. We also continue to build and educate a US
grassroots movement through our delegations and speaking tours.
You can make an online donation here or by calling in your credit card number to 805-421-9708. You can also mail a donation to:
Witness for Peace Southwest
10432 Amigo Avenue
Northridge, CA 91320
Un gran abrazo solidario ( a big solidarious hug),
Regional Organizer- Witness for Peace Southwest
P.S. See our list of 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Calendar here. (a few of this years highlights are pictured below) Click HERE
to watch video clips of this year's Southwest speakers: Jani Silva of
Colombia, Gerardo Torres and Dr. Luther Castillo of Honduras and
Francisco Romero and Tanya Cole of the Southwest Region.
Witness for Peace Southwest and partners pictured below with
Congressman Henry Waxman. During this meeting Rep. Waxman signed a Dear
Colleague letter condemning human rights abuses in Honduras and he vowed
to oppose the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.
In 2011 the Southwest sponsored 4 delegations to Honduras, Colombia,
Cuba and Ventura County, CA. A total of 55 delegates participated and
the Southwest Region awarded $3,175 in delegation scholarship
assistance. Picture below is the July delegation to the Afro Colombian
communities of Uraba, Colombia.
Honduras: Pictured below is Southwest delegate Sara Kohgadai with former Honduran President Mel Zelaya. In
March the Southwest region hosted Gerardo Torres, leader of the
Honduran Resistance Front, for several speaking events in Southern
California. In September the Southwest region sent a nine-person
delegation to Honduras that visited the campesino movements of the Aguan
Valley, 4 political prisoners, served as international observers for
the Sept 15 Resistance marches and met with the brand new US Ambassador
to Honduras. The Southwest hosted Afro-Honduran Garifuna Doctor Luther
Castillo for a workshop on Honduras at the School of the Americas vigil
in Ft. Benning, Georgia. The Southwest continues to be an active member
of the Honduras Solidarity Network.