As we read about the visits of Vice President Harris to Central America attempting to stem the tide of immigrants fleeing north to escape the poverty, corruption and violence of their societies, it is significant that her efforts are occurring close to the 12th anniversary of the right wing coup in Honduras on June 28 of 2009. The complicity of the United States in supporting the right-wing usurpers was seen as particularly galling in light of the then-recent election of Barack Obama as President and his clear signal in a speech barely a month earlier that the kinds of policies that revealed US disregard for Central American sovereignty and desperate need for development, would now be radically changed. We need to be reminded that not only that betrayal, but the earlier years of counter-insurgency “low intensity warfare” waged by the US using politically conservative Central American elites and their military stooges as a surrogate army was the principal reason why we are now witnessing a mass exodus of people from their home countries. They have lost all hope of ever finding a way to eliminate the violence, exploitation, corruption and abject poverty that emerged in the wake of those wars.
The utter tragedy of the situation is lost on smug, blind-sided north Americans who for some reason actually think that these people really want to come here, leave their homes, their families, their language, their customs, their food, their work, their land to live among cold hearted strangers whose ways, when not hatefully hostile and racially denigrating, they will never understand or ever come to love. How totally despairing must one be to choose to be treated like some invading insect just to make a life without violence and misery for one’s children.
The hypocrisy of Harris’ openly insinuating to the North American media that that entire problem is local corruption, as if it wasn’t the decades-long US insistence on imposing a control that made north Americans feel comfortable, is infuriating. US support for its right-wing toadies was totally corrupting of Central American society. If you are going to make believe you respect people, you will have to be a better actor than those who embraced Clinton’s classic reversal of Obama’s naïve reaction the day after the coup. And now Harris — blame the victim! Another classic! They’re already trained to think of themselves as insects. We know they won’t argue.
What does it take to understand that you cannot do this to people and expect that the wind you sowed will not return in the form of a whirlwind you cannot control? The law of karma, after all, is only cause and effect.