Posts Tagged ‘US embassy’

Dominicans on the defensive after priest says treatment of Haitian workers violates DR-CAFTA

Thursday, April 26th, 2012


((Hartley with two Haitian sugar cane workers.))

[Translations of three articles, one by the Spanish news agency EFE as published in El Nuevo Diario of Santo Domingo on April 24, 2012, two from Listín Diario of Santo Domingo for April 24 and 25. See originals here, here and here. Christopher Hartley is featured in the film “The Price of Sugar;” for more information, go here.]

US investigates priest’s claims of slave labor

Santo Domingo – The United States Department of Labor has opened an investigation in the Dominican Republic into charges by the priest Christopher Hartley, who claims sugar producers are subjecting workers in the industry to conditions of slavery, the US embassy reports. Hartley is currently outside the Dominican Republic but from 1997 to 2006 he worked in the bateyes, workers’ villages set up on sugar plantations, in the San José de los Llanos parish, in the eastern province of San Pedro de Macorís.

The Anglo-Spanish priest has for years made denunciations on the treatment of workers who cut sugar cane, most of whom are Haitian, by large companies.

He has accused them of human trafficking, child labor, racial discrimination and failure to provide health care, as well as of exploitation, fraud and labor abuse. (more…)

Argentina: Undeclared weapons and drugs found on US military plane

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Página/12 photo

[Translation of an article from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for February 13, 2011. See original article here and related article here.]

By Horacio Verbitsky

The federal government has blocked the entry of secret “sensitive cargo” that arrived at the Ezeiza international airport aboard a United States air force flight with no satisfactory explanation of what it would be used for.

The expression “sensitive cargo” was used last Monday by [United States] embassy management counselor Dorothy Sarro when she requested authorization to have a truck with an attached trailer enter the operations area. The enormous C17, a Boeing Globemaster III cargo plane, larger than the well known Hercules, arrived on Thursday afternoon with an arsenal of powerful weapons aboard for a course on management of crisis and hostage taking offered by the United States government to the federal police Grupo de Operaciones Especiales Federal (GEOF – Federal Special Operations Group), which was to be held through the entire months of February and March. The government estimates that the total cost for transportation and for conducting the course approaches two million dollars. The course was authorized by the Argentine govnernment, but when personnel checked the content of the cargo against a list submitted beforehand, machine gun and rifle barrels and a strange suitcase were discovered which had not been included on the manifest. (more…)

Honduras: Wikileaks cables reveal US mistrust of Micheletti

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Embassy reported Micheletti took advantage of political crisis to sign lucrative contracts

[Translation of an article from El País of Madrid, Spain, for January 29. See original article here and leaked cables, in English, here, here, here, here, here and here.]

Roberto Micheletti

By Francisco Peregil

In the 250,000 Wikileaks documents, the expression “banana republic” appears 51 times. Diplomats from countries like Turkey, Russia, Morocco and Spain (Miguel Ángel Moratinos in March, 2004) made clear to their counterparts from the United States that their countries were not banana republics. And yet in the most recent case of a coup d’état in Latin America, the concept is just below the surface in many telegrams but it does not appear at all.

The cables drafted in the United States embassy in Honduras after the June 28, 2009, coup against President Manuel Zelaya display everything that is usually associated with a country with no reliable institutions and under the shadow of the United States: a politician, Roberto Micheletti, who occupied the presidency in the name of honesty and in his despotism had to be threatened with revocation of his visa before he would surrender his position. Until the last minute, Micheletti, according the the embassy, took advantgage of the crisis the coup d’état had provoked to arrange crooked contracts. (more…)

Honduras renews relations “with countries that matter” as Porfirio Lobo celebrates

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for July 7, 2010.]

by Arturo Cano

Tegucigalpa, July 6 – “Minute 94. God is Honduran,” say the t-shirts still for sale in Valle de Angeles [a wealthy city 30 kilometers northeast of Tegucigalpa, popular with tourists], referring to a last-minute goal which last year helped Honduras qualify for the World Cup in South Africa. The rest was done by the United States team when it beat Costa Rica. Maybe that’s why the souvenir stores also sell US flags, displayed next to the t-shirts. Crowds of Christian gringos, who come here to proselytize and to see the sights buy them while flocks of musicians playing Mexican music follow them around.

In the capital and in San Pedro Sula, almost all the private schools have “school” [in English] in their names. In Comayagua, the city next to the United States airbase, the directions signs on the streets say “one way” [in English]. Busses traveling on them, which used to carry United States kids to their schools, now make up the bulk of public transportation in this country. On Sundays it it hard to find a place where you don’t hear hymns or loudspeakers spewing strict sermons by preachers, many representing  churches whose sees are far to the north. On those days it is hard to take a ten-minute walk without running into three or four Mormons in white short-sleeved shirts and wide ties. (more…)