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What AOC and her Critics are Missing About the Border Crisis

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U.S. House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines this week after her visit to migrant detention facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border. AOC pointed out the bad conditions at the facilities, and recently sparked an outcry when she referred to them as “concentration camps.”

Whether you want stricter immigration laws or open borders, there is no denying that the situation on our southern border is a humanitarian crisis. Nobody is wishing death or suffering on these migrants, but what both AOC and her critics are missing in this latest show of political theater is the root cause of the migration problem: U.S. intervention in Latin America.

Most Americans are aware of the role the U.S. government has played in Latin America to uphold its business interests and stop the spread of communism during the cold war. But U.S. politicians seem to be blissfully unaware of the impact that recent U.S. intervention has had on the region and how it directly impacted migrants in these detention facilities.

One of the more recent successful U.S. backed coups in Latin America was in Honduras, under the watch of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With guns drawn on June 28th 2009, Honduran special forces escorted democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya from his house and onto a plane to Costa Rica.

A cable sent to Washington dated July 24th 2009 from the U.S. embassy in Honduras read, “The Embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch.” However, Clinton’s State Department refused to suspend U.S. aid to Honduras, which is required when a democratically-elected government is overthrown.

During a 2016 interview with Democracy Now’s Juan Gonzalez, Clinton agreed with his framing of the situation in Honduras since 2009 when he said, “There’s been a few hundred-people killed by government forces. There’s been all these children fleeing, and mothers, from Honduras over the border into the United States.”

But when Gonzalez asked about the role Clinton played in the coup, she denied the assessment of those in the embassy in 2009, “The Legislature—or the national Legislature in Honduras and the national judiciary actually followed the law in removing President Zelaya.” She went on, “If the United States government declares a coup, you immediately have to shut off all aid, including humanitarian aid.”

Although some of the aid to Honduras may be humanitarian, a lot goes to the military and government. According to the USAID website, the top implementing aid partner for Honduras in 2009 was the “U.S. Government – Department of Defense,” meaning the Pentagon was more involved in Honduras than any other U.S. agency the year of the coup.

On Sunday, a 30-year old Honduran man, Alexis Balderramos-Torres, died in ICE custody at a detention facility in Houston. His cause of death is unknown at this time, but blowback from Hillary Clinton’s coup and “humanitarian aid” could have driven him to make his fateful journey.

Venezuela has become a target for regime change within the Trump administration since he first came into office. President Trump made comments like, “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary,” early on in his presidency.

Unlike the CIA covert style regime change most common in Latin America, the Trump administration’s attempt to oust President Nicolas Maduro has been right out in the open. On January 23rd 2019, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president of Venezuela after a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence.

Both Trump and Pence quickly voiced their support for Guaido. National Security Advisor John Bolton even said on Fox Business News that, “It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”

Maduro’s opposition argues the 2017 elections were illegitimate, a narrative the U.S. state department and mainstream media both accept. Whether or not Maduro was elected legitimately is a debate for the Venezuelan people to have, nobody else. The economy under Maduro has taken a serious crash, rising inflation, lower oil prices, price control and U.S. sanctions all play their part in the dire economic situation.

Since 2017, Trump has increased crippling economic sanctions, making it impossible for the failing Venezuelan economy to recover. The Center for Economic and Policy Research had determined U.S. sanctions were responsible for the deaths of 40,000 Venezuelans in a report they released in April. There is a refugee crisis coming out of Venezuela and Trump’s policy of economic strangulation has done nothing but add fuel to the fire.

When AOC was asked about the situation in Venezuela, the congresswomen said, “I defer to caucus leadership on how we navigate this.” Speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, has expressed her support for Guaido and encouraged the ouster of Maduro. Unfortunately, while AOC is busy using terms like “concentration camps” and taking dramatic photos in front of chain-link fences, she has not found the time to fight the policies that are actually responsible for the crisis.

If the Trump administration continues its support for Guaido and continues its economic warfare on the people of Venezuela, more and more refugees will be fleeing the country. If a civil war is sparked between Juan Guaido’s opposition and the Pro-Maduro military, it could lead to a long brutal war and the United States will see a refugee crisis similar to the one in Europe after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war. This is the reality both Trump and AOC need to come to terms with.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Duane Angell

    July 5, 2019 at 6:42 am

    If we spent a fraction of the time and money that Trump wants to erect his wall on efforts to reduce crime and corruption in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, there wouldn’t be any caravans headed towards our border. Our hands are not clean. Our motives have not been pure. Our methods have not been entirely legal (Iran/Contra comes to mind). Our humanity towards these people has been a disgrace. Part of the solution may be to educate the people of the US, as this article tries to do.

  2. Marcus Davidson

    July 5, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you Dave. So true! Similarly, no one wants to talk about the right wing death squads in El Salvador led by the CIA’s Roberto D’aubisson who murdered thousands of Salvadoran citizens as well as Archbishop Romero and catholic nuns. For our discussion it left a country in complete economic ruin w no infrastructure where a vacuum was filled by armed gangs that took over the country. The same is true for Nicaragua and the arming of the Contras in Nicaragua. US policy is catastrophic in the region, Chile, Brazil. Venezuela and all of Central America

  3. anti_republocrat

    July 5, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    These folks, including AOC, are not stupid. They aren’t “missing” the underlying cause of the migrant crisis at ou southern border. They are “ignoring” it. Big difference. About the only politician not ignoring it is Tulsi Gabbard. She needs your $1 donation to remain in the debates. You can take action at TULSI2020.COM.

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Culture

MUST WATCH: California Restaurant Owner Blocks Health Inspector’s Car, ‘If We Can’t Work, You Can’t Work’

A GoFundMe campaign to support the restaurant has raised over $20,000.

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A heroic California restaurant owner blocked in a Los Angeles County health inspector’s car after he attempted to shut his business down for allowing outdoor dining, asserting that “if we can’t work, you can’t work.”

Carlos Roman, the owner of Bread & Barley in Covina, did not back down even after police arrived.

“He wants to come in here and say that no one can work, so he can’t work either,” Roman told the officer. “He decided to come today and take photos of the people outside and say that he was going to fine us,” he explained.

https://twitter.com/hollandcourtney/status/1343623418910973953

Roman refused to move his truck, telling the officer to go ahead and get her supervisor.

“This is what happens when people get desperate. I’m desperate. Who is going to pay her car payment? Who is going to pay my cook’s rent?” Roman asked the officer. “I want it to be hard on everyone. I want everyone to see how hard this sh-t is.”

The outraged owner demanded to know if the inspector and the officer got paychecks last week, asserting that his employees haven’t.

“You’re just doing your job right, we’re all in this together?” Roman asked the inspector. “When I go to the bank, can I tell the bank the health department said it’s ok and that I don’t have to pay you?”

“What do I tell my employees?” Roman shouted.

Roman is now facing two $500 fines for failure to comply and interfering with the health officer.

A GoFundMe campaign to support the restaurant has raised over $20,000.

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US News

Hunter Biden’s Ex-Wife, Kathleen, Tells Him He is a Better Father Than Joe Biden Was

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In an email to her ex-husband Hunter Biden, Kathleen Biden told her troubled former spouse that he is a better father than Joe Biden was.

The cryptic email was found in a trove of documents currently being reviewed in a joint effort by District Herald and the Nationalist Review, provided to us on Friday by a source who obtained them from former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

 

“I want you to know that you are a great father – a better father than your dad. Your girls love you because you love them for who they are. You haven’t judged them, you have loved them for who they are. You listen and you make them and their problems important to you. You make them great because you allow them to be who they are without unfair expectations. You are patient, caring, and loving,” Kathleen Biden wrote. “I know you and I have struggled but your love for the girls hasn’t waivered. Remember how we use to joke that the girls didn’t have anything to survive to make them strong and interesting? Well, we gave it to them! They did survive it and they are stronger. Through it all they never questioned your love or commitment.”

Kathleen Biden asserted that the former Vice President “wasn’t perfect” as a father.

“I know you love your dad and I do too but he wasn’t perfect,” the mother of Hunter’s children continued. “No one is perfect. At your core, you taught our girls what was important. They are kind, thoughtful, open, curious, funny, compassionate and hard working. You were as much a part of that as I was in helping them grow. Don’t ever question whether you were as good a father as your dad. You were better, in every way.”

In response, Hunter wrote that he worries he has failed them. “Thank you for this it means everything to me. I worry so much that I have failed you all in so many ways,” he said.

Hunter also acknowledged that he will need to earn his children’s trust and respect back, though the reason is unclear.

“I know the girls love me- but I often wonder if they trust and respect me. I know it’s something I have to earn back. And I know that you are the best mother I have ever known. You have raised three incredible young women. We are so lucky to have them, and I am so lucky to have met you 23 years ago. Thank you,” he wrote.

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Education

High School Football Players Suspended for Carrying Thin Blue, Thin Red Line Flags Before 9/11 Game

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High School football players in Florida have been suspended from their team for carrying Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags during their football game on 9/11 to honor the first responders who died during the attack on the World Trade Center.

One of the young men on the Little Miami High School football team is the son of a police officer, another, the son of a firefighter.

“Were you trying to make some kind of a political statement here?” a Local 12 reporter asked Brady Williams, a senior cornerback, who carried the Thin Blue Line flag.

“No,” he answered quickly. “Not at all. I was just doing it to honor the people that lost their lives 19 years ago.”

Jarad Bentley, whose father is a firefighter, carried the Thin Red Line flag.

“I was all for it,” he said. “Because my dad is a firefighter, and if it had been him killed on 9/11, I would have wanted someone to do it for him.”

The young men had asked the school for permission to carry the flags on to the field before the game, and the school refused. They were told that if they did, there would be consequences.

Still, the boys did it anyways.

“Listen,” Williams said. “I don’t care what my consequences are. So long as my message gets across, I’ll be happy.”

Local 12 reports that “Williams and Bentley heard from the athletic director Monday afternoon and received an indefinite suspension.” The station said that they had called the superintendent about the boys a few hours prior.

Superintendent Gregory Power claimed that they denied the boys’ request because they don’t want to “set a precedent” for “political” flags being carried out on the field.

“We did not want to place ourselves in a circumstance where another family might want a different flag to come out of the tunnel, one that may be [one that] many other families may not agree with from a political perspective,” Power claimed.

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