On October 29, President Trump ordered 5200 U.S. troops to the Mexican border in an attempted show of force with a caravan of refugees moving north from Honduras through Mexico. Trump has since threatened thousands more troops. The troop total could end up being more than the U.S. troops continuing the war in Afghanistan.
The caravan, composed largely of Hondurans fleeing gang violence and violent political repression, has seen as many as 7000 people. That figure has dropped to nearly 3500 because some 1700 have been said to have applied for documentation in Mexico. Regardless of the causes and the nature of the thousands of refugees seeking asylum, work and safety, Trump has rallied his rabid white racist base by unleashing the U.S. military to the border. The 5200 U.S. troops would be added to the existing 16,500 Border Patrol Agents and the extra 3500 National Guardsmen that Trump mobilized earlier this year.
The Tucson Anti-War Committee completely condemns this racist and militaristic move by Trump and calls for their immediate removal of ALL troops from the border. We are fully aware of the history of U.S. imperialism’s role in Central America that has led to the destruction of many countries like El Salvador. Presently, the nations of Central America today live among the concrete conditions laid in the wake of government overthrows, assassinations and military dictatorships. Moreover, the U.S. has only once admitted any culpability to their crimes in Central America. It has not contributed any reparations for the lives lost and damage done even though, in 1986, the International Court of Justice ruled the U.S. guilty of illegal support for the Contras and ordered the US pay reparations to Nicaragua.
More recently, in 2009, as the Pink Tide of leftist policies in Latin America was rising in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua, the U.S. and Honduran elites worked together to remove progressive President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras in a military coup. This coup was supported by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama. Since then, Honduras has seen a massive rightward shift of control, rife with brutal repression, and government collaboration with gangs. The result for the Honduran people has been the highest murder rate in the Western Hemisphere, increased poverty, privatization of public services, political assassinations and massive migration. The Anti-War Committee holds the U.S. government responsible for the lives journeying through Mexico and facing a now further militarized U.S. border.
Furthermore, the heavy U.S. military presence in Central America and the Caribbean is part of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), a combat command center that plans and implements covert and overt military operations throughout Latin America. Meanwhile, the U.S. 4th Naval Fleet stalks the shores of Central American countries like Nicaragua in order to enforce the agenda of Washington. Despite having been in the U.S. imperial crosshairs many times, including this spring and summer, Nicaragua’s Sandinista government programs have led to strengthening of economic and social stability, reduction in crime, and towards self-sufficiency. Compared to its northern neighbor Honduras, which suffered a U.S.-backed coup, Nicaragua has not contributed to mass migration.
Further south, the U.S. has used their influence over Colombia to operate bases that coordinate the war against the FARC and make Colombia a ‘global partner’ of NATO. As the neighbor of Venezuela, Colombia could now house nuclear weapons as the U.S. continues to seek regime change against President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela. It is clear that the U.S. continues to seek to impose its will on the peoples of Latin America.
The Anti-War Committee joins all popular forces in demanding that President Trump remove the troops from the border and give asylum to Central American refugees.
Troops Off the Border!
U.S. Out of Latin America!
Asylum for All Refugees!