The U.S. and the Center American Exodus

The migration of Center Americans, mainly toward the United States has won visibility thanks to the current caravan crossing Mexico, but this is an old phenomenon.

In 2017 the UN agency International Organization for Migration informed that 450 thousand migrants, mainly Central Americans, cross Mexico yearly heading for the United States. This phenomenon boomed in the 80’s of the last century as a consequence of Washington’s massive support to the armies and repressive forces of El Salvador and Guatemala in their bloody war against the liberating movements in those countries which, next to Honduras, were deeply affected. The war originated, mainly in El Salvador, a great flow of refugees, among them thousands of young orphans.

It was not the first, neither the last time when the North American imperialism intervened in Central American countries. Since early in the XX century Washington sent several times marines to impose its wishes in that region of our America. It’s well known the heroic deeds of Agusto Cesar Sandino and his “small crazy army” against the Yankee military intervention early on the XX century in Nicaragua.

Decades later, that country and the Sandinista Liberation Front government would suffer an implacable and bloody aggression by Ronald Reagan’s government. An counterrevolutionary army organized and armed illegally by United States was supplied by air from Honduras in a CIA operation, the Iran-Contras, implemented from there by terrorists of Cuban origin. The airplanes came loaded with weapons from North American territory and returned with drugs to that country. At the same time, that agency created the Death Squads which, causing serious human rights violations, kept in line the Honduran revolutionaries. In 1989, George Bush father ordered the deadly Panama invasion with a total of 3000 killed.

In 2009, from the Military Base of Soto Cano, in Honduras, where the Bravo Task Force of the South Command of the United States, this triggered the coup d’état against president Manuel Zelaya. That action is closely related to the facts that have led to the massive migration of Central Americans. Zelaya entered ALBA and established a flowing cooperation relationship with Venezuela with Chavez in power. He was able to get OAS to lift the exclusion of Cuba in a general assembly of that organization and he was attempting to organize a constituent assembly to transfer to the Honduran people control over their national sovereignty as well as their natural resources. None of this was tolerable for Washington that not only ordered the coup but did everything in its power to consolidate it. Ever since every election in Honduras have been a fraud, including the one that elected the current president Juan Orlando Hernández. Zelaya, allied to the Daniel Ortega's Nicaragua would have been an obstacle for the plans of looting and territorial expansion through mining transnational and the so-called Special Economic Zones.

The sparks of the current and unstoppable migratory movement was the stanch application in Central America of the neoliberal politics designed by the so-called Washington Consent which has become more and more bloody and unsustainable. The people of Latin America and the Caribbean are being subjected to a second conquest and colonization, through transnational companies and the militarization displayed by the United States which includes the presence of military bases in our countries. Satellites governments of the imperialism offer every possibility to transnational companies in their expansion plans of accelerated use of natural resources and overexploitation of the labor force. All of it through the spoiling of lands and waters from indigenous communities, afro descendants and peasants, repressed, when they rebel, not only by the security bodies. Also, frequently, by the so-called organized crime well-paid in return. Also the breaking of productive chains that has led to the deindustrialization and loss of dozens of thousands of jobs.

This neoliberal aggression to the previous ways of capitalist productive organization, dragging unemployment and collapse of the social fabric is the main cause of the growing migration and forced exodus of millions of people toward the United States. The unstoppable peak of criminal organizations and brutal violence against peoples and communities makes it worse. The performance map is superimposed to that of the megaprojects of neoliberalism 3.0.

It’s not in Caracas, it’s in Washington, where for some time now is looming the migratory tragedy of Center America and Mexico.

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Migrant Caravan Infiltrated By "Middle Easterners," Alleges Donald Trump

Huixtla, Mexico: Thousands of mainly Honduran migrants heading to the United States -- a caravan President Donald Trump has called an "assault on our country" -- stopped to rest Tuesday after walking for two days into Mexican territory.

Sleeping on cardboard boxes or plastic bags, the migrants set up a massive, impromptu camp in the southern town of Huixtla, 70 kilometers (45 miles) from the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Many nursed bleeding feet mangled by days of walking in plastic shoes or flip-flops.

"They're exhausted," said migrant rights activist Rodrigo Abeja, of the group Pueblos Sin Fronteras (People Without Borders), which is accompanying the caravan.

"They're going to rest here today and tonight," and then continue their journey north, he told AFP.

The caravan has become a politically loaded issue, with only two weeks to go before the United States votes in key midterm elections, in which Trump is seeking to protect the Republican majority on Capitol Hill.

Trump has taken to attacking the caravan regularly -- both on Twitter and on the campaign trail -- firing up his conservative base with the anti-immigration rhetoric that helped get him elected in 2016.

On Monday, Trump said the US would start cutting aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador for failing to stop the migrants, called the caravan a national emergency and alleged it was infiltrated by "Middle Easterners" and members of the ultra-violent gang MS-13.

Mexican Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete vowed his country would not bow to "any government that intends to provoke a hostile reaction in Mexico."

However, activists accused Mexico of violating the migrants' rights by detaining anyone who tried to apply for asylum.

Swelling Numbers

More than 7,000 people have now joined the caravan, according to the United Nations, including some Central Americans who were already in Mexico.

Many of the migrants are fleeing poverty and insecurity in Honduras, where powerful street gangs rule their turf with brutal violence.

Late Monday, Mexico allowed another group of about 400 migrants to enter the country after they spent days packed onto a bridge over the Suchiate River, which forms Mexico's southern border with Guatemala.

The caravan had stormed through a series of border barriers Friday and flooded onto the bridge, but hundreds of Mexican riot police blocked their passage.

Most of the migrants then swam or took rafts across the river, but one group had remained camped out on the bridge.

"The (Mexican) foreign ministry argued we shouldn't leave them there exposed to the elements," national migration commissioner Gerardo Garcia told AFP.

Another group of about 1,000 Hondurans has meanwhile started a separate march across Guatemala, headed for Mexico and then the United States.

Dangerous Journey

The Honduran ambassador in Mexico, Alden Rivera, said the main caravan planned to make its way across Chiapas -- the southern state where it was Tuesday -- to Oaxaca, Veracruz and Tamaulipas, where it would try to cross the US border at McAllen, Texas.

That is the shortest possible route, he said -- about 2,700 kilometers.

But "it's possible that, depending on the reaction from the National Migration Institute and federal police (in Mexico), they could go elsewhere," he told a Mexican radio station.

The migrants -- who set out on October 13 from San Pedro Sula, Honduras -- have been traveling on foot or hitching rides on passing cars and trucks, often crowding onto them with little to hold onto.

One 25-year-old migrant was killed Monday, apparently when he fell off a vehicle that had let him hitch a ride, said state authorities in Chiapas.

Honduras reported another migrant died Saturday when he fell off a vehicle while crossing Guatemala.

Caravan members also face the threat of being robbed, kidnapped or killed by Mexican gangs that extort migrants on their journey.

Caravan Of Children

Humanitarian organizations estimate that one-fourth of the caravan's members are children, a representative of Save the Children told AFP.

Guadalupe Del Carmen, 29, who is traveling with her nine-year-old son, recounted the difficulty of the journey -- such as the moment her son started to cry, "Mommy, I don't want to do this anymore" while crossing the Suchiate River on a raft made of inner tubes.

"He wanted to go back to Honduras. But I explained we can't go back, that the situation in our country is too difficult and that's why we had to run away," she said quietly.

With a homicide rate of 43 per 100,000 citizens, Honduras is one of the most violent countries in the world, according to a Honduran university study.

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‘Extremely dangerous’: Hurricane Willa bears down on Mexico as it nears category 5

Hurricane Willa, a huge and life threatening storm that’s approaching category 5 status, could devastate Mexico’s western coast, forecasters warn.

The hurricane has grown rapidly as it made its way across the Pacific Ocean, its winds increasing from 40mph to 155mph in 48 hours. The US National Hurricane Center has warned that the storm system and could “produce life threatening storm surge, wind and rainfall” in Mexico on Tuesday.

@RyanMaue Hurricane Willa in the Pacific off of Mexico is still rapidly intensifying on its way to Category 5. It will turn NNE into the coast of Mexico and may landfall on Tuesday as a Major Hurricane.

@NWS From 40 mph Tropical Storm to 155 mph Hurricane in 48hrs, Willa is another example of rapid intensification in a tropical cyclone. Wind shear will weaken the storm slightly before landfall Tue, but Willa will bring life-threatening storm surge and winds to the Mexico coast.

READ MORE: Before & after PHOTOS show horrifying devastation of Hurricane Michael

Willa is expected to reach category 5 status on Monday – the highest classification for hurricanes. Forecasters predict it will make landfall between the resort towns of Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

READ MORE: Migrant caravan using women & children as human shields to break into Mexico – Pompeo

Some areas could see up to 18 inches of rainfall, likely triggering flash flooding and landslides in mountainous areas. A hurricane warning has also been issued for Mexico’s western coast between San Blas and Mazatlan.

@weatherchannel rapidly intensified and is expected to strike Mexico as a this week. Tropical Storm will also pose a threat of flooding:

Meanwhile, tropical storm Vicente, forecast to strike the south of Mexico, is expected to be reduced to a tropical depression by Monday night or early Tuesday. It will still produce heavy rainfall and flooding in parts of the south and southeast.
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Trump Offers Mexico US$20 Million to Stop Migrant Caravan

Mexico refused Trump's offer, but sent anti-riot police to repress the caravan anyway.

After Mexican authorities used public force to stop the migrant caravan from entering Mexico from the Guatemalan border, Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior Alfonso Navarrete revealed that US President Donald Trump offered them US$20 million to stop undocumented migration.

RELATED: Mexico, Guatemala Police Suppress Migrant Caravan at Border

In interview with Radio Formula, Navarrete said Mexico’s relationship with Trump’s government has been harsh “because they’re demanding things that the country, of course, won’t accept … like stopping the migrant caravans and carry out massive deportations.”

“We were offered US$20 million to stop the migrant caravan because their arrival would be on the same dates as the day of the elections in the US. We’re not a wall for immigrants,” declared Navarrete in reference to the November 6 mid-term elections.

The secretary said Trump offered money from ‘private funds,’ not public, but the Mexican government clearly said it won’t accept “a cent of a dollar” for that purpose and won’t fall for their “dirty game.”

He also explained the government is doing efforts to incorporate immigrants to regularization programs and safeguard them from possible dangers during their journey through Mexico.

“We have delivered 80 thousand registry numbers to illegal immigrants, but limiting their stay in the country,” he said.

Even though images of security officers beating up immigrants trying to cross the border made the news worldwide, Navarrete said they were given the order to never harm them and carry out only defense actions.

Trump’s government suggested a similar offering to Mexico in exchange for deporting 17 thousand undocumented immigrants as part of an effort to “address the crisis in our southern border,” according to Katie Waldman, national security spokeswoman.

But the Mexican government didn’t accept the money to be Trump’s wall against immigrants anyway. After security forces violently prevented hundreds of immigrants from the Honduran caravan to enter the country, President Donald Trump praised Mexico’s actions and said its southern neighbor had acted in such a way because they “respect US leadership.”

“And I want to thank Mexico! Mexico has been so incredible! And the leaders of Mexico! You know why? Because now Mexico respects the leadership of the United States!” said Trump.

The US is trying to establish Mexico as a ‘safe third country,’ a filter that would be in charge of handling asylum petitions for Central American immigrants. Doing so would retain a considerable number of them, possibly fostering the appearance of refugee camps at its borders.

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Large Cuban Participation in Mexico's Book Fair

A large selection of Cuban books, music and plastic arts is currently present at the Zocalo Book Fair, which will run until October 21.

Editora Abril (Abril Publishing House), Collage Ediciones Vigía (Vigía Publishing House) and Citmatel represent the stand of the Cuban Book Chamber at the literary event.

A selection of contemporary Cuban fiction, a varied catalogue of Ernesto Che Guevara's texts and children's literature characterize Casa Editora Abril's options.

'We want Mexican readers not only to acquire good literary works, but also to learn the essence of Cuban culture,' Mayra Garcia Cardentey, representative of the Abril publishing house, told Prensa Latina.

Garcia stressed that the Cuban program for the Zocalo Fair also includes book presentations and meetings with the Mexican Movement of Solidarity with Cuba.

They will also give conferences at universities and youth educational centers in the Mexican capital.

Collage Ediciones adds novelties of Cuban visual arts with a varied sample of art catalogs and specialized volumes.

For its part, Ediciones Vigia proposes peculiar handmade books, with a sustainable conception of literary production.

Renowned Cuban authors such as Roberto Manzano, Carilda Oliver Labra, Edel Morales, among others, are part of the options from this publishing house that is committed to using recycled materials.

Citmatel' digital novelties complete Cuban cultural options at the Zocalo Book Fair.

A diverse catalogue of Cuban cuisine, Afro-Cuban religion, scientific literature and national films make up the options from this publishing house, which develops digital media.

  • Published in Culture

Trump Threatens To Close US-Mexico Border Over Migrant "Onslaught"

Washington: US President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to send the military to close its southern border if Mexico fails to stem the "onslaught" of migrants from Central America, in a series of tweets that blamed Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

The attack comes with Trump's Republicans fighting to retain control of Congress in the November 6 vote, and as thousands of migrants from impoverished Honduras were marching north through Guatemala toward the United States.

"I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS," Trump said.

"In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!"

The tweets came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepared to embark on a tour of the region that will see him visit Mexico ahead of its December inauguration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as well as Panama.

Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration and building a wall that stretches the length of the 1,954-mile (3,145 km) border a keystone of his presidency, but his animus toward Mexico had cooled since Obrador's election in July.

Despite their sharp differences, the US and Mexico have made progress on several issues, including the signing of an updated transcontinental trade pact, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

But, possibly with an eye on November 6 polls that will determine whether Republicans retain control of Congress, Trump returned to the fiery rhetoric that has marked his past relations with Mexico.

"The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA," he said.

Caravan presses on

It was not immediately clear what form of military deployment Trump had in mind. The president announced plans in April to send thousands of National Guard troops to the border, where they could remain until his promised wall is constructed.

At least five US states later refused to send the troops amid an outcry over a policy to separate migrant children from their parents, since discontinued.

Exhausted after tramping in the sun and rain, an advance group of the Honduran migrants on Wednesday took refuge in a church-sponsored shelter in the center of Guatemala City.

Their objective now is to regroup and press on towards the border with Mexico.

A caravan of vehicles carrying more than 2,000 migrants left last Saturday from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula after organizing themselves on social media.

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Cuban Singer Silvio Rodriguez to Attend inauguration of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Renowned Cuban singer/song-writer Silvio Rodriguez says he will attend the swearing-in ceremony of Mexico's President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on December 1st.

Answering a question by a fan on his Segunda Cita blog, Rodriguez said he was invited to the ceremony and that he intended to travel to Mexico to attend.

The Cuban musician has shown his support for Lopez Obrador in the past, and was with him at the Zocalo, Mexico City’s largest square, when López Obrador called to protest against the electoral fraud that declared Felipe Calderon the winner of the 2006 presidential election.

When Lopez Obrador’s landslide victory was imminent on July 1, 2018, Silvio Rodriguez wrote a supportive message: “It seems like the first polls give victory to Andres Manuel. Congratulations to our Mexican brothers and sisters. Great inspiration for the concert. Thanks, Mexico!”

In February 2018, Rodriguez posted a picture of him and the candidate with a quote from Emir Sader’s ‘Latin American Oligarchic Liberalism,’ and declared Lopez Obrador was the only one who could “rescue” the country “from the disgrace brought by the neoliberal governments and the Free Trade Agreement with the United States.”

“They’re afraid of a government that defends the interests of the great majority of Mexican people, defends the national interests of Mexico, and brings Mexico closer to Latin America,” wrote Rodriguez in a post.

“But that’s the hope of most of Mexican people and also Latin America, defeating neoliberalism and subordination to the U.S. to confirm a fair and sovereign Mexico,” he continued.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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AMLO Promised to Create 'Civil Guard' to Combat Violence Instead of Army

Mexican President-elect AMLO announced that the government will create a national “civil guard” to combat violence in the country and curb the army’s role in the civil sphere.

On Saturday, the President-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) promised the citizens of the country that the military will never be used against civilians while paying tribute to the massacred students during the Oct.2, 1968 protest. He also proposed to reform the army to guarantee peace and prevent tragedies like 1968 mass murder.

RELATED: Ayotzinapa 43: Four Years After The Crime That Shocked Mexico

While giving a speech at Plaza Tlatelolco, AMLO said, "In this historical square we commit ourselves never to use the Army to repress the people of Mexico. We are going to suppress the General Staff and create a civil guard that will limit the use of force and guarantee human rights."

50 years ago, the same Plaza witnessed a macabre event on Oct. 2, 1986, when armed forces fired on a peaceful demonstration by the students, leaving at least 300 unarmed students dead, hundreds injured and more than 1000 detained. The students were protesting against the government of President Diaz Ordaz.

A federal court described the massacre as a genocidal event. A Mexican government institution, the Executive Commission for Victims’ Assistance, admitted for the first time in last week that the 1968 massacre was a state crime. In the recent times, Mexico faced the worst wave of violence with at least 85 people being killed per day on an average.

The army will not be returning to the barracks in the near future as the federal police do not have sufficient resources and that would leave the people vulnerable as argued by AMLO. The new “national civil guard” would be composed of members of the police and two military estates.

The Civil Guard will be created on the national level to unify the different security forces such as the army, navy and Federal Police.

The President-elect, who will assume his role and enter office on Dec.1, said during the rally, "in the investigations of the repression of '68, it appears that the General Staff was used" as a shock force against the students.” The details of the massacre have not yet been fully clarified even five decades later.

Obrador also vowed to support Mexican youth and their education by providing a monthly subsidy for students and creating more free public universities. According to him, unemployment and lack of opportunities ate the reasons that attract the youth towards “criminal activities”.

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