Jesse Freeston's stories
This mini-documentary looks at the critical journalists in Honduras that continue working, continue asking tough questions, despite having lost 15 colleagues in less than two years. Produced by Jesse Freeston.
Café Guancasco, a favorite of the coup resistance movement, sees concert attacked by police and military
Cuba5 Pt2: City where terrorists walk free, the govt. pays journalists, and bad trials are good politics
Cuban Five From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Cuban Five, also known as the Miami Five (Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, and René González) are five Cuban intelligence officers convicted of espionage, conspiracy to commit murder, and other illegal activities in the United States. The Five were in the United States to observe and infiltrate the Cuban-American groups Alpha 66, the F4 Commandos, the Cuban American National Foundation, and Brothers to the Rescue. At their trial, evidence was presented that the Five infiltrated Brothers to the Rescue, obtained employment at the Key West Naval Air Station in order to send the Cuban government reports about the base, and had attempted to penetrate the Miami facility of US Southern Command. On February 24, 1996, two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft were shot down by Cuban military jets in international airspace while flying away from Cuban airspace, killing the four US citizens aboard. One of the Five, Gerardo Hernández, was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder for supplying information to the Cuban government which according to the prosecution led to the shootdown. The Court of Appeals has, however, reversed the conviction on the conspiracy to commit murder, since there is no evidence that Hernández knew the shootdown would occur in international airspace. The Five appealed their convictions and the alleged lack of fairness in their trial has received substantial international criticism. In June 2009 the US Supreme Court declined to review the case. In Cuba, the Five are viewed as national heroes and portrayed…
Historic summit closes in Bolivia, while government grapples with it’s global leadership on environmental issues. Bolivia’s social spending is largely due to destructive exploitation projects. A problem faced by many countries, Bolivia has an answer, it’s called climate debt. Produced by Jesse Freeston
In Part two of two on the land conflict in the Aguán Valley, we look at the roots of the conflict, and the motivation for the campesinos to begin the land occupation that eventually won them 11,000 hectares. We also look at what the experience in Aguán means for other conflicts in a country where the power struggle that gave rise to the June 2009 coup is far from over. Including interviews with Father Ismael "Melo" Moreno, Rosemary Joyce, and reporting from the land occupation in question. Produced by Jesse Freeston.
A tentative and controversial resolution has been reached in a long-standing land conflict in Honduras. The controversy lies in the mobilization of the military, in the form of at least 2,000 soldiers, to pressure the campesinos into signing the latest negotiated deal. The group of 3,500 campesino families has agreed to accept a total of 11,000 hectares from the Lobo government. The previously landless workers continue to occupy a series of African palm plantations in the fertile Northern Honduran valley of Aguán, until their access to the land is assured. Produced by Jesse Freeston.
While State Department attempts to sell the world that the inauguration of a new president in Honduras has brought an end to the country’s crisis, the continuing assassinations of anti-coup activists and their children stands as sharp evidence to the contrary. Video includes interviews with Father Ismael "Melo" Moreno, director of Honduras’ Radio Progreso, and Adrienne Pine, anthropologist from American University and Honduras expert. Produced by Jesse Freeston.
Danny Glover, Peter Hallward, and Anthony Fenton contribute to breaking down the media avoidance of Haiti’s history of foreign intervention. According to Hallward, Haiti’s poverty can be explained as a series of foreign responses to the independence and strength of the Haitian people, but since the media doesn’t acknowledge this, they are forced to propose weakness and bad luck as the sources of Haiti’s poverty. Glover adds that without the history, we are prone to misunderstanding and the blaming of the victim, which in some cases serves to absolve us of our own responsibility for the situation. Fenton reminds that it’s not only the US that has taken part in undermining democracy in Haiti, in recent years Canada has played a very significant role, among others. Produced by Jesse Freeston.
As aid starts to trickle in, and the extent of the horror becomes known, decisions are already being made that will affect the Haiti that emerges from this. Ansel Herz reports live from Port-Au-Prince on the role that the deployed US troops are playing, while author Peter Hallward weighs in on the role that the US has played in Haiti’s recent history and shares his concerns that post-earthquake Haiti will further cement the domination of the Haitian people by foreigners.
"There is wide agreement that last week’s presidential election in Honduras…" begins an editorial in Saturday’s New York Times, "…was clean and fair." The editorial gives no hint as to whom all these people are that are in agreement, except for the ‘official’ data from the same regime that overthrew the elected president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, at gunpoint. The Times joins governments, commentators and editorial pages around the world that have fallen victim to the ‘official’ coup data. But, as this video shows, the proof of the fraud was sitting out in the open the whole time. Produced by Jesse Freeston, on location in Honduras.
Honduran coup government continues repressive tactics on election day (Report from San Pedro Sula) as the resistance vows to continue to fight for a new constitution and people’s rights.
On June 28, 2009, the elected President of Honduras, Manuel "Mel" Zelaya, was removed from office. The day was significant because it was to be the first day that all the people of Honduras would be asked their opinion by the government. They were to vote on whether or not they wished to see a question on the upcoming general election ballot regarding re-writing the country’s constitution, a document which severely limits public participation. Five months later, the election is going ahead, but Mel Zelaya is pinned in the Brazilian embassy and the resistance movement that rose up by the hundreds of thousands in the days following the coup is almost invisible after more than 4,000 documented human rights abuses including: assassination, rape, torture, illegal detention, and repeated attacks on anti-coup media outlets. The regime is looking to renew itself through Sunday’s elections, and is preparing to lock the country down militarily in order to do so. But while the movement is not as visible as it was before, this report shows that it is very much alive in the minds of the capital’s inhabitants who are boycotting the elections.
Five representatives of five organizations in El Salvador that form part of the National Coalition Against Mining, known as La Mesa, were in Washington, DC last month to accept the Letelier-Moffitt International Human Rights Award. The recognition comes at an interesting time as the group’s successes in blocking mining exploitation in their small country, have brought about a unique legal situation. Namely, a Canadian mining company is suing the government of El Salvador for $100 million, through a US subsidiary under the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The Real News followed the group of activists around Washington, DC, and interviewed the CEO and president of the company behind the suit, Pacific Rim. Produced by Jesse Freeston.
Note: At 08:39 the subtitle quotes Shannon as saying "Honduran democracy is NOT in the hands of Hondurans. It should read is NOW in the hands of Hondurans.
For the past four months, ever since the military coup that removed President Manuel Zelaya from power in Honduras, the oligarchy has been accused of purposefully delaying to make it to the scheduled election of November 29. But now, with only one month to go, it looks likely that no more than a handful of countries will recognize the elections unless Zelaya is immediately returned to power. Al Giordano, who has been extensively covering Honduras since the coup for Narco News, shares his belief that the latest attempt to negotiate Zelaya’s return will not work, and that there are some inside the coup resistance in Honduras that are hoping to take advantage of election day to do more than just boycott the vote.