Canadian Labour Congress urges Canada to sever diplomatic ties with Honduras.

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Canadian Labour Congress
Congrès du travail du Canada

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON

Dear Prime Minister:

On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), I am writing to urge the Canadian government act immediately to sever all diplomatic and economic ties with the unconstitutional government of Honduras, until democratically-elected Manuel Zelaya is reinstated to his rightful position as President of the country.

We are very concerned with Canada’s equivocal response to the overthrow of democracy in one of the poorest nations in the Americas. On June 28, while governments throughout the world expressed outrage at the coup d’etat conducted by the military in Honduras, Canada was the only government in the Americas to not demand President Zelaya’s immediate and unconditional reinstatement. Instead, at the Organization of American States (OAS), Canada suggested President Zelaya delay his return. Also, Canada did not withdraw its ambassador, as did the majority of all other goverments in the Americas. Nor did Canada follow the example of the World Bank and the Government of the United States, by cutting loans and some aid.

The Canadian Labour Congress, along with our partner organizations in Honduras and in the hemisphere, is closely monitoring events in Honduras and we look forward to seeing improvements in Canada’s actions on this file. Specifically, we are requesting Canada make a clear statement that it does not recognize the unconstitutional government backed by the military, by cutting off diplomatic ties with Honduras. We request the government cut all bilateral aid to Honduras and the Export Corporation loans to Canadian companies operating there. You must make it clear to those companies that it cannot be “business as usual” with this disruption of democracy. The military overthrow of a democratically-elected government must not be allowed to stand, as it could set a dangerous precedent.

Canada should follow the position of the rest of the members of the OAS, insisting the mediated talks lead to a restoration of Manuel Zelaya’s presidency. Once this takes place and democracy is restored, and those who have committed crimes are brought to justice, Honduras will need support of all governments and civil societies in the region to begin a process of national reconciliation. Ideally, this will identify mechanisms to ensure that the hopes and aspirations of all Hondurans are addressed in a peaceful, respectful and democratic manner in the future.


Kenneth V. Georgetti

cc. CLC Executive Council
Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Opposition
The Honourable Jack Layton, Leader of the New Democratic Party
The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
José Manuel Insulza, Secretary General, Organization of American States
ITUC - Human and Trade Union Rights
TUCA - Human and Trade Union Rights

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