Tuesday, October 16

Shame on US Democrats for using Central America's poor against Republicans! Shame! UPDATED 10/21


Thousands of Hondurans in U.S.-bound migrant caravan head into Mexico; October 21, Reuters


I've stayed outside the political fray in my series about the crisis in small-scale farming, a crisis that affects almost every nation including the United States. But last night I learned that America's Democratic political party is using the crisis in the worst-off Central American countries for its own ends. The Democrats are organizing 'migrant marches' from those countries as a battering ram against U.S. immigration laws and American border patrols along the U.S. southern border. 

The latest migrant march, launched just a few days ago, has  about 3,000 Hondurans marching across Guatemala's border in the effort to get into Mexico and from there into the United States. (See Reuters report, below.)

The political strategy behind the marches is an outrage. It weaponizes some of the most vulnerable people in Latin America, and does so in the name of humanitarianism.

The strategy, as applied to Central Americans, was launched during the Obama regime with President Obama's support. The strategy has carried over to fighting the Trump regime's close adherence to U.S. immigration laws, which is backed by the Republican majority in Congress. But the Honduran March of Migrants looks to me specially designed by Democratic operatives to throw yet another wrench at Republicans ahead of the November 6 congressional elections.   

In any case the funding for the marches, reportedly provided by Democratic-leaning American foundations and notably Soros ones, is a tragic misapplication of millions of dollars. See this May 2018 report "Reports: Soros funding border caravan invasion" and ones quoted by the report. 

Mr Soros' funding of cross-border migrations the world over is well known, but less known is that his agenda is hopelessly out of date.  A year or two ago I reported that big international humanitarian organizations have recognized that in the face of 'climate change,' overpopulated cities and galloping desertification the name of survival in this era is "Stay in Place." 

The World Bank and the United Nations have also come round to this way of thinking, as has the European Commission -- although the latter's idea of helping people stay in place boils down to transforming the world's downtrodden into model European Union bureaucrats. (See the EU-US experiment in Syria's Idlib province.)

I'm sorry to break the news to the EC and US Department of State, but the biggest challenge at this time isn't good governance; it's how small-scale farmers in poor, drought-ridden regions can manage to stay in place. The challenge is giving impetus to what I term the "third wave" in farming modernization. The third wave brings together scientists and engineers from across hundreds of disciplines in what is shaping up to be humankind's greatest knowledge-sharing project to date. 

The basic idea is to develop low-cost solutions to land- and water-use problems that small-scale farmers, even unschooled ones, can implement and maintain largely by themselves -- albeit with startup help from governments, international organizations, and technical advisers. Such help doesn't come cheap but considering the alternative to a few billion people staying in place, it's a bargain.

Right now the best way to help the poorest Central Americans is to teach them how to maintain their farmlands in the face of droughts and to produce enough food to feed themselves and their families. For this task the legions of lawyers, lobbyists, and social justice activists who work for the Democratic party and Mr Soros need not apply. 

This isn't to say there's not plenty of room for lawyers and activists and even lobbyists in this era; it's just that many of them need to revise their priorities. One way this can happen is if Mr Soros' charitable organizations and the Democratic party revise their priorities to fit with the 21st Century. 

None of the above gets Republicans off the hook. Right now the political landscape in the United States harks to the scene in "Jurassic Park" where the family is saved only because a dinosaur appeared in the hotel lobby and started fighting with the other dinosaur.  

Northbound migrant group doubles in size, enters Guatemala
By Jorge Cabrera
October 15, 2018

Guatemalan border police confront Honduran caravan 

Photo: Jorge Cabrera/Reuters, October 15, 2018

AGUA CALIENTE, Guatemala (Reuters) - Up to 3,000 migrants crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on Monday on a trek northward, after a standoff with police in riot gear and warnings from Washington that migrants should not try to enter the United States illegally.

The crowd more than doubled in size from Saturday, when some 1,300 people set off from northern Honduras in what has been dubbed "March of the Migrant," an organizer said. The migrants plan to seek refugee status in Mexico or pass through to the United States.

Reuters could not independently verify the number of participants, but images showed a group carrying backpacks and clogging roads near the border, some waving the Honduran flag.

[Pundita note: Somehow I don't think waving the Honduran flag is the best idea when demanding refuge in the United States.]

The impoverished nations of Central America, from which thousands of migrants have fled in recent years, are under mounting pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to do more to curb mass migration.

"We are seriously concerned about the caravan of migrants traveling north from Honduras, with false promises of entering the United States by those who seek to exploit their compatriots," the U.S. Embassy in Honduras said in a statement on Sunday evening.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence last week called on presidents in the region to tackle the issue, saying Washington would be willing to help with economic development and investment in return.

 [Pundita note: AP reported "The [Honduran] caravan formed just one day after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala to persuade their citizens to stay home."]

Guatemala said in a statement on Sunday that it did not promote or endorse "irregular migration."

Rows of Guatemalan police in black uniforms, some wearing helmets and shields, initially blocked migrants from reaching a customs booth, Reuters images showed. It was not clear how long the standoff lasted, but the group was ultimately able to cross, said march organizer Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran lawmaker.

A police official on site said all Central Americans could pass freely through the region as long as they complied with migration control.

"We're going to drop in on Donald Trump. He has to take us in," said Andrea Fernandez, 24, who left Honduras with a newborn baby, a 5-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son because she said she could not find work and feared for their safety.

Mexico's migration institute said in a statement on Monday that march participants would need to follow immigration rules to enter the country, without specifying the criteria.

"The law does not provide for any permission to enter the country without meeting the requirements, and then go on to a third country," the government agency said.

(Reporting by Jorge Cabrera; Additional reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa; Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Peter Cooney)



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