Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó called for a general uprising in a short video released today. He said members of the armed forces had agreed to back the constitution and participate in what he’s calling "Operation Liberty," reports the Miami Herald.
He was flanked by soldiers, but called on citizens to come out on the streets in a show of non-violent force, a likely indication that he has only obtained the support of a portion of the military, reports the Guardian.
The National Assembly president, considered the country's legitimate ruler by over 50 countries, said the video was shot in the Carlota Air Force Base, where he was with the “the main military units of the Armed Forces." Guaidó has called on supporters to demonstrate against President Nicolás Maduro tomorrow, May 1. (Efecto Cocuyo)
(Guardian live updates as the story develops today.)
Guaidó was accompanied in the video, by opposition leader Leopoldo López, who was apparently released today from house arrest on a presidential pardon by Guaidó, reports EFE.
Honduran police repress protests in Tegucigalpa
Protests in Tegucigalpa started Friday, along with strikes in schools and hospitals -- after lawmakers passed bills demonstrators said amounted to privatization of health and education, and will result in thousands of layoffs. Yesterday's mobilizations stopped Congress from ratifying the new restructuring law. (AFP, La Prensa, La Prensa again and La Tribuna)
Police used tear gas against the demonstrations yesterday. And hooded protesters reportedly threw rocks and Molotov cocktails. At least four buildings were set on fire, including the Tegucigalpa mayor’s office. About 250 people were evacuated from the municipal seat yesterday. (Reuters, Proceso, La Prensa and El Heraldo)
Social leaders identified 70 protest points around the country,
In light of the unrest, the Partido Liberal de Honduras and the Partido Alianza Patriótica called to backtrack on the reforms in search of consensus. Debate over the reforms last week pitted the governing Partido Nacional against Libre in a heated discussion. (Proceso and El Heraldo)
Two journalists said they were attacked by protesters in the city center. (Proceso)
The Colegio Médico de Honduras, one of the protest leaders, promised to continue demonstrations today. (Proceso) Schools in Tegucigalpa were suspended for today in order to protect students. (Proceso)
- Mexican senators unanimously approved a labor overhaul required by U.S. lawmakers in order to ratify the renegotiated Nafta treaty. (Animal Político)The timeframe aims to give the U.S. congress time to discuss U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, before their August recess, reports Bloomberg. The reform empowers workers to choose labor leaders, and eliminates government discretion in registering unions. (See April 12's briefs.)
- The new National Guard can begin operations in Mexico already, but until complementary laws regulating the new security force's recruitment and training are passed, it will only be able to function with military transfers. (Animal Político)
- Two Salvadoran police officers were wounded by an MS-13 car-bomb attack that lured security forces near with a fake body. (Associated Press)
- Human Rights Watch said that Bolivia has undermined judicial independence by arbitrarily dismissing nearly 100 judges since 2017 and it asked the Organization of American States to address the issue. Judges are dismissed without justification by Bolivia’s Magistrates Council, a challenge to judicial independence said HRW. (Associated Press)
- Haitian citizens demonstrated this Friday outside the Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes to demand the publication of the final report on the embezzlement of funds received through Venezuela’s PetroCaribe program, reports EFE.
- The US embassy in Haiti reported gunfire yesterday near its diplomatic compound in Port-au-Prince. (AFP)
- The Haitian parliament’s Justice and Security Commission is investigating a series of phone calls between a prominent senator and a notorious gang leader, reports Voice of America.
- Nearly a decade after Haiti's Notre Dame cathedral was partially destroyed by the 2010 earthquake, its citizens seem less able than ever to contribute to its rebuilding. And unlike the Paris cathedral, there is little international interest. Nor is it clear that it should even be a priority given the country's pressing problems, writes Amy Wilentz in The Atlantic. "Maybe Haiti’s Notre-Dame de l’Assomption should get, as reparations from France, part of the millions raised for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris. If Haitians don’t have to pay to rebuild it, using money better spent elsewhere, then the cathedral, as a symbol, is probably worth rebuilding. A new cathedral isn’t all that France owes the Haitians, by any means, but it would be a beginning."
- A total of 19 Latin American countries -- with the recent inclusion of Peru -- are now a part of China's Belt and Road initiative, an ambitious multi-billion dollar global infrastructure and investment plan. (EFE)
- Ecuador's indigenous Waorani community won a landmark case against three government bodies for conducting a faulty consultation process with the community before putting their territory up for sale in an international oil auction. The ruling, which sets an important precedent, immediately suspends any possibility of selling the community's land for oil exploration, reports Al Jazeera.
- Ecuador's government said it will appeal the ruling. (AFP)
- Panama's electoral authorities determined that former President Ricardo Martinelli, who is awaiting trial on wiretapping charges, cannot run in next month’s elections, reports Reuters.
- Colombian social activists have increasingly become targets in the years since the FARC peace deal, a situation that will only continue if the government maintains its opposition to the peace accord, reports PRI.
- Colombian photographer Ivan Valencia captures trafficked animals in a New York Times photo-essay.
- Brazil's Labor Inspection Secretariat, responsible for the fight against slavery and labor infractions, is severely underfunded, which has hampered its ability to save victims, reports Reuters.
- Former Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner appears to have launched her candidacy for this year's presidential race with the release of an instant best-seller memoir -- Sinceramente. She will present it at the Buenos Aires book fair next week. (Associated Press)
- A greater Santiago commune mayor is experimenting with a pharmacy that sells goods at accessible prices -- a socialist laboratory, reports The Dig.
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ...