Luis Barboza, president of the Sandinista Labour Central – Jose Benito Escobar (CST-JBE) discussed last week with Italian reporter Giorgio Trucchi how worker rights have improved under the government of President Daniel Ortega.
The first batch of recently released secret and confidencial US State Department documents obtained by Wikileaks include over a dozen dispatches from the US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, evidencing espionage against the Chavez administration, use of opposition media and politicians as informants and insulting remarks about the country.
Observers of the Haiti earthquake could be forgiven for thinking international aid agencies were alone in tackling the devastation that killed 250,000 people and left nearly 1.5 million homeless. In fact, Cuban healthcare workers have been in Haiti since 1998, so when the earthquake struck the 350-strong team jumped into action. And amid the fanfare and publicity surrounding the arrival of help from the US and the UK, hundreds more Cuban doctors, nurses and therapists arrived with barely a mention. Most countries were gone within two months, again leaving the Cubans and Médecins Sans Frontières as the principal healthcare providers for the impoverished Caribbean island.
The ITUC, together with its affiliated organisations in Guatemala and the national health workers’ union SNTSG, has firmly condemned the killing of a member of the health sector trade union at the opening of 2011.
According to the information received by the ITUC, Eswin Carol Gálvez, a doctor at the Retalhuleu hosipal and a member of the SNTSG, which is affiliated to Public Services International (PSI), the Central American Joint Trade Union Platform (Plataforma Sindical Común Centroamericana) and the national front for the defence of public services and natural resources FNL, was murdered as he was about to enter his home. The gunman fled after shooting him dead, making no attempt to rob anything. Various other members of the health workers’ union were killed at the end of December 2010.
In a letter to the Guatemalan authorities, the ITUC called on President Álvaro Colom, the Interior Ministry, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the judicial authorities and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) to launch a full and immediate investigation into this new murder and to ensure that all those responsible are brought to justice. “Respect for the core ILO Conventions ratified by Guatemala is crucial to the construction of a strong democracy in the country, and to putting an end to impunity,” insisted ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.
Original article from the ITUC