Saturday, 27 October 2018

Who’s Funding the Caravan and Who Could be Hiding Among the Hondurans?

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As a Honduran horde approaches the southern border of the United States, questions of the source of the funding and the sincerity of those among the thousands allegedly seeking asylum need urgent answers.

A report published by the New York Post identifies Bartolo Fuentes, a former Honduran legislator and vocal supporter of Hugo Chavez, as the instigator of the seemingly sudden exodus from the Central American country.

The Daily Beast printed an exposé of the ex-politician and radio show host who was once himself a refugee from his home country and who currently and constantly touts the benefit of open borders. Here’s the relevant information revealed in the Daily Beast’s article:

About a month ago, when Fuentes first became aware of small groups dispersed throughout Honduras that were organizing among themselves to make the trek north, he decided to help out, just as he had done with a previous migrant caravan last April — and indeed throughout his life.

At the time, all the groups combined numbered no more than 200 people, Fuentes says. As someone who had helped repatriate the bodies of many migrants who died in the journey al Norte, he was acutely aware of the dangers and wanted to help ensure the people’s safety.

“No one expected this human avalanche,” he told The Daily Beast in a phone call from the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.

But then a report on the country’s most-watched cable news channel, HCH, painted a picture of the caravan that changed everything. The anchors interviewed a woman who was supposedly part of the caravan. The woman talked about safety in numbers, called Fuentes the organizer and mentioned foreign assistance. The anchors, without any supporting evidence, then said that Fuentes would pay for the migrants’ food and transportation.

Fuentes denies being the benefactor of the so-called “caravan” (the reported population of which now numbers around 7,000 people), although he admits to supporting the evacuation of a country whose government he claims is corrupt beyond repair and currently cracking down on those it considers enemies of the state.

While crossing into Guatemala with the caravan, Fuentes was apprehended and deported back to Honduras, where he was welcomed as a hero by many, but not by the increasingly unstable government.

“I’m worried about my security,” Fuentes told The Daily Beast. “There’s an image of Honduras that the government wants to put forward for political reasons. But that’s just not reality."

While the debate continues in the United States as to the proper legal and moral response to the prospective flood of immigrants, the government of Mexico inexplicably deviated from its own strict and often severe anti-immigration posture.

While the multitude of migrants travels toward Texas, reports out of Mexico filed by citizens of that country reveal that a substantial amount of garbage has been strewn through the streets of Mexico City by the crowds crossing through the Mexican capital.

Mexican media played videos recorded by residents after the swarm swept through town. The story claims:

In a recent video posted on Facebook, a Mexico [City] resident recorded the immense trail of trash left by the caravan.

“The migrants are gone — they left us the trash,” said the user. “And as we said before, such a waste of food when they say they don’t even have enough to eat.”

Clothes scattered throughout the street could be seen in the video.

It’s truly unfair that in a hospitable place, they leave all this garbage dump. And the clothes that they are kindly given, they also threw it away.”

The user ends on a serious note asking his viewers, “[I]s this really people in need? Well-mannered, quiet people? Clean people? Or is there anything else behind this caravan?”

While many observers in the United States and around the world are criticizing President Donald Trump’s plan to prevent the migrants from crossing the border into Texas (or any other state) as anti-immigrant, a very prominent citizen of Mexico is questioning his own country’s inhospitable immigration policies.

During an interview at an international film festival in Morelia, Mexico, Academy Award-winning director Alfonso Cuaron reminded the audience that Mexicans are guilty of the same “racist” attitude toward the caravan as they accuse President Trump of having toward them.

“The attitude of Trump when he said Mexicans were all ‘criminals,’ ‘rapists,’ and ‘murderers,’ is exactly the comments people are making about the migrant caravan,” Cuaron told the festival attendees.

“In Mexico,” he added, “we believe we’re inclusive and we get very offended by the racist attitudes of people in other countries, but we have the tendency to not accept something that is so obvious that is visible in the street every day: the immense racism that exists in this country.” 

“It is culturally very difficult for us to accept the enormous problem that racism is in this country,” Cuaron continued.

Remarkably, when the throng of thousands moved through Mexico, that country’s racism and the rejection Cuaron criticized seem to have been put on hold long enough for the horde to head for the northern border.

Mexico’s policy pause is only one of many questionable aspects of this seemingly sudden swarm of Central Americans heading for a haven in the north.

First, it strains credulity to believe that Bartolo Fuentes is anything more than a voice in the choir calling for Hondurans and others to flee the alleged political persecution of their own homeland. The conductor of that chorus has to be someone with the organizational and financial resources required to keep such a heterogenous horde motivated and moving en masse to a destination thousands of miles away.

Some, including President Trump, have hinted that deep Progressive pockets are paying for the peripatetic passage of the nameless and nearly innumerable caravan to the United States.

While not identifying any investor by name, during a rally in Montana, the president posited that the caravan is not a random group of refugees who happened to head out of Honduras at the same time.

“A lot of money has been passing through people to come up and try and get to the border by Election Day because they think that’s a negative for us,” the president told supporters at the campaign stop.

Next, it is hard to believe that such a reported diaspora of disparate refugees would be willing to walk thousands of miles without there being some enticement for their exodus.

Many, including the president and vice-president, suspect that many of those migrants come from the Middle East, rather than Central America.

“It is inconceivable that there are not people of Middle Eastern descent in a crowd of more than 7,000 people advancing toward our border,” Vice-President Mike Pence said.

President Trump echoed his vice president’s theory: “Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy [sic]. Must change laws!” the president tweeted on October 22.

Although neither Pence nor Trump mentioned it, the possibility that there may be Middle Easterners among the thousands moving toward the states could have been increased by the potential for blowback created by the American foreign policy that for decades has targeted alleged terrorists in the Middle East, killing thousands of innocents in the process.

Blowback is defined as violent counter-attacks carried out as revenge for covert operations carried out in the region, particularly as part of the ongoing drone war.

With the Trump administration continuing to fund Saudi Arabia’s devastating bombing raids on Yemen, young men from that small shell-shocked country may have taken advantage of the opportunity the caravan created for them to sneak into the United States undetected.

Such a plan has been predicted by intelligence community insiders.

The former CIA Pakistan station chief Robert Grenier warned of such a scenario when he spoke to The Guardian in 2012:

That brings you to a place where young men, who are typically armed, are in the same area and may hold these militants in a certain form of high regard. If you strike them indiscriminately you are running the risk of creating a terrific amount of popular anger. They have tribes and clans and large families. Now all of a sudden you have a big problem.... I am very concerned about the creation of a larger terrorist safe haven in Yemen.

We have gone a long way down the road of creating a situation where we are creating more enemies than we are removing from the battlefield. We are already there with regards to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Regardless of the reasons behind the mass migration and whether the population is part of a plan by Yemenis or others to infiltrate the country they view as the facilitator of the Saudi obliteration of their homeland, the horde is nearly here and American property owners along the border with Mexico must be permitted to protect their property and their families without being told to stand down and cede their defense to the military as some have suggested.

Nothing is more fundamental to the American political philosophy than the right of all men to use and protect their property from unwanted ingress, whether the trespassers come from close to home or from Honduras.

Finally, on Thursday, October 25, President Trump tweeted that he was “ bringing out the military for this National Emergency,” adding that the refugees “will be stopped!” 

The Defense Department reportedly will deploy between 800 and 1,000 troops to the border. This deployment, when added to the 2,100 sent south by Trump earlier this year, will bring the total U.S. military presence to about 3,000 soldiers.

Photo: jwblinn/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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