Aterciopelados at UN concert ©AI
The Colombian rock group Aterciopelados performed last week at the UN Day Concert: A Tribute to Peacekeeping, as they performed their hit song ‘The Price of Silence’ at the ceremony in New York this past Friday, October 23rd. The UN Day Concert event was put together by the non-profit organization, Culture Project to commemorate the anniversary of the United Nations charter, focusing on its most crucial purpose of peacekeeping. The event featured live music performances and documentary clips, appearances by the Aterciopelados, CNN’s Isha Sesay, Roberta Flack, Lang Lang, Harry Belafonte, , Angelique Kidjo, former child soldier Emmanuel Jal, and Sister Fa. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made an introductory statement at the event and then stayed for the show.
Aterciopelados were invited because of their contribution and participation with Amnesty International campaigns, since late 2008. They participated in a collaborative performance with singers from all over the world for a human rights anthem ‘The price of silence’, inspired by an Aterciopelados song called “Protest Song” from their album Oye, Latin Grammy winner.
As always, it is those with no resources that lose out first. Despite of the acute international pressure, protests, threats of violence and the possibility of a civil war, the arrogant power struggle the Honduran Government has been playing at, has led to a critical consequence: the European Union has officially suspended millions in aid to Honduras, as Washington suspends 18 million in military and development assistance, warning the facto Government of more “consequences” to come.
The European Union’s decision to suspend 65.5 million Euros in aid comes after failed attempts to negotiate talks for the resolution of the political crisis in the country, the worst political crisis in Central America in two decades. Recently negotiation talks were mediated by the Costa Rican president and Nobel Peace prize winner Oscar Arias, who proposed a six-point plan that first and foremost requests the reinstatement of Manuel Zelaya to finish his term until late January. Delegates speaking on behalf of the interim government said that Zelaya will be arrested if he returns to his country, a statement that ignores the claims of the United Nations and the international community. Among the other proposals put forth by President Arias is: to form a coalition government, to declare amnesty for political crimes, push for advancing elections and the resignation of Zelaya to a referendum, among other things.
It is a devastating problem for a country like Honduras to lose humanitarian aid and support of entities like the Organization of American States, the United Nations, the European Union and United States. For the members of the Honduran Congress who opted for not only an illegal, but a rebellious solution to resolve an issue in their administration, the loss of millions of Euros, may not be much. Though, the loss of foreign aid has a direct and instantaneous effect for the millions of Hondurans in need living in this impoverished nation. The Honduran government should react as soon as possible before we see more violations of human rights, or more acts of violence and attacks on democracy in Central America that already hangs by a thread.
Deposed President Zelaya took a few steps into Honduran territory on Friday, immediately turning back without being confronted. As of Sunday night, Manuel Zelaya remains on the Nicaraguan border with Honduras, where he has vowed to stay until allowed to enter the country.