“These images are eerily reminiscent of the internment camps for U.S. citizens and noncitizens of Japanese descent during World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.”
-Laura Bush, Wife of George W Bush who pursued a campaign of extreme violence in Iraq which has led to the death of over a million Iraqis and the rise of ISIS, kidnapping and rendition to blacksite CIA prisons and rehabilitated torture as an international norm.
As the US descends further down the rabbit hole of nationalist politics the conservatives in the United States are showing their love for family values by ripping away children as young as 4 from their mothers and fathers.
“What the US is doing now, there is no equivalent,” said Michael Flynn, executive director of the Geneva-based Global Detention Project, a non-profit group focused on the rights of detained immigrants. “There’s nothing like this anywhere”.
The United States has long considered Latin America it’s “backyard”. It has run military coups, supported the most retrograde elements of society and assassinated leaders so the US could keep the world safe for it’s process of capital appropriation and capital accumulation.
In 2014 the Huffington Post ran an article detailing the history of Latin America and why 57,000 children had arrived at the borders of the United States that year.
“In 2009, the Honduran military, with the backing of the Supreme Court, illegally overthrew the elected government of President Manuel Zelaya, a populist reformer. In contrast to the governments of Latin America — many of whose histories are marred by U.S.-backed coups — the American government balked at using the term “coup” in this case, and made little effort to get Zelaya returned to power, instead pressuring Honduras’ neighbors to recognize the new government.
The de facto government in Honduras used the military to quell protests and re-establish order in the capital. Drug cartels stepped in along the Honduras-Guatemala border, exploiting the power vacuum, according to a report published in June by the International Crisis Group.
“Local law enforcement, always weak, fell into disarray,” the report says. “The U.S., concerned about providing assistance to an unaccountable and illegitimate regime, suspended non-humanitarian aid, including counter-narcotics assistance. The result was a ‘cocaine gold rush,’ as traffickers hurried to secure routes through the region.”
They succeeded. A 2012 State Department report estimated that as much as 90 percent of the 700 metric tons of cocaine shipped from Colombia to the U.S. every year passes through Central America.
A sharp escalation of violence accompanied the 2009 coup and the expansion of cartel operations. The Honduran homicide rate spiked from an already high 61 per 100,000 in 2008 to 90 per 100,000 in 2012 — the world’s highest murder rate, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.”
What they miss (but later released by Wikileaks) is the support by Hillary Clinton’s State Department for this coup.
“Grandin, who wrote about Clinton’s response to the 2009 coup in The Nation last week, told HuffPost that her work on Honduras should be a campaign issue and that the assassination of Cáceres should force a “reckoning with history.”
“They legitimated this coup regime,” Grandin said. “The U.S. could have adopted a real multilateral position and joined with Brazil, for instance, in demanding the restoration of Zelaya.”
Instead, the U.S. opted to sideline Zelaya and back elections that brought in a conservative government. “That’s fairly clear between her emails and her own concession in Hard Choices. She took credit for that. Before she was called on it, she was holding it up as a signature achievement,” he said.”
As the US ratchets up it’s economic war on Venezuela to “make the economy scream” it is important to remember just how many governments the US has overthrown, destabilised and thrown into turmoil to make Latin America safe for global capital. And these companies go in and force people off the land and take huge swaths of land which used to grow beans and rice and feed the people.
But now grow Soy/palm oil, sugarcane and beef for export markets.
So what you see in these countries is the GDP grow but the people are starving.
“Agribusiness was the biggest driver of violence as supermarket demand for soy, palm oil, sugarcane and beef provided a financial incentive for plantations and ranches to push deeper into indigenous territory and other communal land.”
The United States has overseen an empire that extracts from Latin America and whenever the Latin Americans have seen to redress this by democratically electing a leader that goes against United States wishes the US has overthrown that democracy.
1. President Arbenz in Guatemala (1954) A CIA-organized coup overthrew the democratically elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz. The real reason for U.S. involvement came from pressure from the United Fruit Company, whose land was expropriated by Arbenz’s progressive land reforms.
2. To British Guiana (1953–1964) CIA and British Intelligence funded anti-communist unions in order to strengthen opposition to democratically elected Dr. Cheddi Jagan. When this failed, the Churchill government simply removed him from office due to his socialist leanings. In 1957, Jagan was re-elected, and in response the U.S. Information Service launched an anti-communist (anti-Jagan) media campaign. Despite this, Jagan was re-elected again in 1961, which moved the British government to organize strikes in the unions that they had previously funded. The British government used these strikes as a sign of incompetence on the part of Jagan and changed the constitution to remove him from power.
3. To Cuba (1959 — present) After the Cuban revolution in 1959, the U.S. did everything in its power to prevent its government from succeeding. The U.S. performed air raids and even mobilized Cuban exiles to attack Cuba in the infamous CIA-orchestrated Bay of Pigs. The U.S. also enacted trade and credit embargos, sabotaged goods destined for Cuba, made multiple assassination attempts on Castro, his brother Raul, and Che Guevara.
4. To Ecuador(1960–63) The CIA infiltrated the Ecuadorian government, set up news agencies and radio stations, bombed right-wing agencies and churches and blamed the left, all to force democratically elected Velasco Ibarra from office. When his replacement, Carlos Arosemara, refused to break relations with Cuba, the CIA-funded military took over the country, outlawed communism, and cancelled the 1964 elections.
5. To (Brazil 1961–64): After democratically elected Janio da Silva Quadros of the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB) resigned, citing military and U.S. pressure as the reasons, his successor, Joao Goulart, was overthrown by a U.S.-supported military coup in 1964. Critics argue that this is because Goulart promoted social and economic reforms, limited the profits of multinationals, nationalized a subsidiary of U.S.-owned International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT), and refused to break relations with Cuba and other socialist countries. He was replaced by two decades of a brutal military regime. There would not be another Labor Party president until the election of Lula da Silva in 2002.
6. Peru mid-1960’s: The CIA set up military training camps and provided arms to the Peruvian government to combat guerilla forces.
7. Dominican Republic 1963–65: In 1963, Juan Bosch took office as the first democratically elected president of the Dominican Republic since 1924. He was a true liberal and called for land reform, low-rent housing, modest nationalization of business, and restrictions on foreign investment. Seven months after being elected, the U.S. allowed a right wing military coup to take over the government. Nineteen months later, a popular revolution broke out which attempted to reinstate Bosch. The U.S. reacted by sending in troops to stop the Bosch revolutionaries. Meanwhile, the CIA and U.S. Information Agency (USIA) conducted an intensive propaganda campaign against Bosch. U.S. troops stayed in the Dominican Republic until September 1966, when, thanks in part to the anti-Bosch media campaign, Juan Bosch lost the election to Joaquin Balaguer.
8. Uruguay 1964–1970: The CIA and the Agency for International Development (AID) set up the Office of Public Safety (OPS) mission in Montevideo to train police in the art of torture in order to suppress rebel activity. The torture and killing was mainly directed at the Tupamaros, guerrillas who embarrassed public officials and exposed corporate corruption.
9. Chile 1964–1973: After the CIA unsucessfully prevented Salvador Allende from winning the Chilean presidency by spreading propaganda and funding the opposition, it concentrated its efforts on getting Allende overthrown. The campaign, which involved bribing officers and spreading misinformation, was eventually successful and brutal dictator General Augusto Pinochet overthrew Allende in 1973. Allende died during the overthrow and seventeen years of repressive military rule followed.
10. Bolivia 1964–75: In 1952, an armed popular revolt defeated the military, displaced the oligarchy, nationalized the mines, instituted land reform, set up a new government, and reduced the military to an impotent force. Yet under the training (School of Americas) and financial support of the CIA and Pentagon, the military was built up again and overthrew President Victor Paz in 1964 because of his refusal to support Washington’s Cuba policies. (Note: this was nothing new for Bolivia, which has experienced the passing of governments more frequently than the passing of years.)
In January 2006, as Evo Morales was sworn in as Bolivia’s first indigenous president, he predicted a future of indigenous rule, saying, “We are here to say enough of the 500 years of Indian resistance. From 500 years of resistance, we pass to another 500 years in power.” Later that year, Morales sent Bolivian troops to occupy 56 gas installations and demanded all foreign energy-firms sign new contracts giving Bolivia majority ownership and as much as 82% of revenues, which they did.
11. Nicaragua 1978–1990: When the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in 1979, the U.S. was frightened by what they thought could be another Cuba. President Jimmy Carter tried to sabotage the revolution through economic and diplomatic forms, and later Reagan used violence. For eight years, Nicaragua faced military attacks by the U.S. funded Contras (Reagan’s “freedom fighters). In 1990, the U.S. interfered in national elections, and the Sandinistas were defeated. According to Oxfam, the international development organization, Nicaragua under the Sandinistas was “exceptional in the strength of that government’s commitment…to improving the condition of the people and encouraging [an] active development process.” Now, Nicaragua is one of the poorest nations in the hemisphere, with widespread illiteracy and malnutrition.
12. Honduras 1980’s: Honduras was basically a colony of the U.S. during the Contra war in Nicaragua. Thousands of U.S. troops were housed there and it was used as a supply center and refuge for the Contras. The U.S. funded the Contras by covertly and illegally selling arms to Iran (known as the Iran-Contra Affair).
13. Grenada 1979–1983: A 1979 coup took control of this small island country and attempted to install socialist reforms. The Reagan administration used destabilization tactics and eventually invaded in 1983, resulting in U.S. as well as Grenadian and Cuban casualties.
14. El Salvador 1980–92: After the U.S. helped fix an election to repress dissidents in El Salvador, the rebels turned to violence and a civil war ensued. Although the U.S. claimed to be only involved on an advisory basis 20 U.S. soldiers were killed in combat missions. The U.S. spent six billion dollars repressing this popular revolution.
15. Haiti 1987–94: After supporting the Duvalier family dictatorship for 30 years and opposing Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the U.S. claimed to support the elections that returned Aristide to power after he was ousted by a 1991 military coup. Meanwhile, they warned Aristide that they would only allow him to rule if he implemented free market policies. Aristide did not remain in power for long, however, and in a subsequent interview he attributed his removal from power to his refusal to privatize Haiti’s state-owned enterprises.
The 2004 coup was orchestrated by the leaders of the FRAPH, or Haitian Front for Advancement and Progress, a CIA-backed organization that carried out state terror against opponents of the military regime that ruled the country from 1991 to 1994. Another leader in the armed coup against Aristide was Guy Philippe, a former member of the Haitian military who received training from US Special Forces in Ecuador in the 1990s. After these forces pushed Aristide into exile, the U.S. stepped in to restore stability in Haiti, now under new rule. Since Aristide’s removal from power, his supporters have been targeted by the UN forces now tasked with “peace keeping,” killing many innocents from Haiti’s poorest neighborhoods in the process.
16. Panama 1989: Just weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the U.S. invaded Panama, killing thousands and leaving many more wounded and homeless in order to capture Manuel Noriega, a previous ally of the U.S.
17. Mexico, Peru, and Colombia 1990’s to present: Under the guise of the drug war, the U.S. has given military aid to these countries despite their poor human rights records. This aid is used to fight rebel forces.
18. Venezuela (Present): Recent U.S. intervention in Venezuela manifests itself as millions of dollars in contributions to political opponents of leftist President Hugo Chavez. The short-lived 2002 coup d’etat that kidnapped the democratically elected president was orchestrated by groups who had received funding from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED). When the opposition took power, they dissolved all of Venezuela’s democratic institutions, including the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, the Constitution, the General Attorney, and the Public Defender’s office. Meanwhile, their plan promised a return to free market economic policies. The coup only lasted two days before a popular resistance reinstated Chavez.
(William Blum, Killing Hope.)
The world is smaller in these times and no more can the US leave a continent of broken little nations oppressed by US arms and money so the fortune 500 can grow ever richer.
Those in Latin America are not going to stay put under threats of extreme violence perpetuated by the super power to the north that has gone to these lengths of violence in the name of profit and capital accumulation. They will instead go to the areas of the world which are safe from imperialism. To add another level or sordidness to American society is a border agent mocking the children.
“Mami!” one child can be heard crying in the seven-minute audio.
“Papá!” another screams.
“Well, we have an orchestra here,” says a man identified as a Border Patrol agent. “What’s missing is a conductor.”
It is of course no surprise that the Americans response, to a humanitarian crisis they created, be the disgusting internment camps reminiscent of World war 2.
The thousands of people turning up to the borders of the United States are the refugees from capitalism and a violent foreign policy led by the leaders of the United States (democrats or republicans).
Therefore that border is not worthy of respect.
R S Ahthion is a geopolitical analyst living in the UK. The author’s work focuses on questions of social and international justice whose work has appeared in The Greanville Post. Never fails to be disgusted by capitalism. Spends his free time writing fiction, studying history, politics, ideology and philosophy.