Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Karen Spring, Keith Simmonds December 2nd, 2021

Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded November 27th, 2021

The Honduran presidential election is November 28th and will see Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted former president, Manuel “Mel” Zelaya face Nasry Asfura, right-wing mayor of Tegulcigalpa and close cohort of exiting president, Juan Orlando Hernández. It’s been 12 years since Castro’s pajama-clad husband was spirited out his bed and out of the country in the coup. Canada and the United States were quick then to recognize the coupsters, and have continued to support different iterations of their “democracy restoration” despite ruthless military and police repression, rampant government corruption, and a flourishing drugs trade and gang violence that helped trigger an ongoing migration exodus.

Karen Spring is the Honduras-based Coordinator for the Honduras Solidarity Network. They describe themselves as a, “… decentralized network of approximately 30 organizations from across Canada and the United States […] committed to demonstrating and advocating for solidarity with the Honduran social movement.” Spring is also author of several articles and reports about human rights issues, has testified before Canadian Parliamentary committees about human rights in Honduras, and blogs at aquiabajo.com.

Karen Spring in the first half.

And; as serious an abrogation of first principles Canada’s failure to support true Honduran democracy represents, its utter abandonment of Palestinian children to Israel’s military court system puts the lie to the country’s claim – and self-regard – as international human rights exemplar. ‘Canada Stand Up for Palestinian Children’s Rights’ is a coalition of human rights organizations who are currently engaged in a continuing awareness-raising campaign because our government has failed in its response to the systemic “kidnap, arrest, detainment, abuse, torture, and murder of Palestinian children…”

Keith Simmonds is a United Church of Canada minister who served as a World Council of Churches human rights observer (Ecumenical Accompanier) in Palestine in early 2020. Stationed in Bethlehem he also spent time in Jerusalem, Galilee and Tulkarem. The ‘second career minister’ has too served as a labour and community organizer, volunteer firefighter and ERT team member, and worked as an assistant to provincial cabinet ministers among other things in a varied career.

Keith Simmonds and holding Canada to its word on human rights in Palestine in the second half.

But first, Karen Spring and can Sunday’s election be Honduran’s second chance at real democracy?

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com