Economic sanctions and military responses are the threats sent by Donald Trump
Over several weeks, a large caravan of migrants, mainly Hondurans, decided to walk to the United States to obtain better opportunities. People from El Salvador and Guatemala joined the thousands of Hondurans, who started with the caravan.
Leer en español: Caravana de Migrantes: Trump continúa con las amenazas
The participants of the caravan stated that their reasons for leaving their countries were rooted in the political and economic instability of their nations. Apart from the United States, Mexico was another country affected by the massive migration.
According to the BBC, most participants of the caravan left their country summoned by an organized movement through social media, such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Likewise, Irineo Mujica, in a conversation with the mentioned media and director of the NGO Pueblos sin Frontera, stated that "this is not a caravan, it is an exodus created by hunger and death".
Faced with this mass exodus, US President Donald Trump did not hesitate to use his Twitter account to demonstrate against the caravan. He also said that the countries where migrants belonged had a duty to contain them and prevent more people from leaving.
Seeing that the pilgrimage took more strength, Trump said that, "Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador could not do the job of preventing people from leaving their country and arriving illegally in the United States. Now we will begin to reduce, or substantially reduce, the massive foreign aid that is usually given to them".
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador were not able to do the job of stopping people from leaving their country and coming illegally to the U.S. We will now begin cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 de octubre de 2018
What would these countries lose?
Although it was only a threat and nothing has yet materialized, according to Time, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID for its acronym in English), Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador would stop receiving large sums of money. In 2017, these countries received:
- Guatemala received $ 249 million dollars in aid from the United States
- Honduras received $ 175 million dollars
- El Salvador received $ 115 million dollars
For fiscal year 2019, Honduras would not receive $ 65,750 million dollars, thanks to the US program. This "plays a fundamental role in supporting the development of Honduras as a safe, democratic and prosperous nation that offers hope to Hondurans to see their future in Honduras and not anywhere else. The assistance of the United States supports the commitment of civil society in shaping public policies, a necessary component of a healthy democracy", as mentioned on the official Foreign Assistance page.
On the other hand, Guatemala would stop receiving $ 69,409 million dollars. Within the funding of foreign assistance in Guatemala is "addressing the critical challenges of development: high levels of violence and insecurity, widespread poverty and chronic malnutrition, and extreme vulnerability to the impacts of global climate change, as well as the impacts of these challenges in the increase of migration. Assistance from the United States will focus on improving security, justice for citizens and governance", as the same page mentions.
Finally, the aid for 2019 of $ 45.700 million dollars would stop arriving in El Salvador. With this type of aid, "the government of the United States will promote prosperity by improving the business environment, stimulating greater production and creating a qualified workforce that will help attract more investment and create more jobs".
In addition, "to increase security, assistance from the United States will help build stronger and resilient communities that can withstand the increasing pressures of gang violence. The programs will address the underlying social and socioeconomic factors that contribute to crime and violence by providing greater educational and economic opportunities for vulnerable youth in high-crime communities".
If Trump decides to make those threats a reality, the affected countries would enter a crisis even deeper than they already are. Despite these statements, thousands of people continue their way to the United States, convinced that in that country they will have a better future.
Trump does not give up
Following statements about a possible budget cut, Trump said that if the caravans were to continue to the United States, around 5,000 soldiers would be waiting for them on the border with Mexico. "Many gang members and some very bad people mingle in the Caravan heading to our southern border. Come back, you will not be admitted to the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our country and our military is waiting for you! ", He said through a tweet.
Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border. Please go back, you will not be admitted into the United States unless you go through the legal process. This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 29 de octubre de 2018
We will then have to wait for the arrival of the migrants to see if Trump will fulfill his word of minimizing the economic cuts to the countries involved. Also, it will be important to evaluate how the military responds to the arrival of the caravan, which is expected to be integrated by around 3,000 people, since many have decided to give up the trip and stay in Mexico to start a new life.
LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz
Translated from “Caravana de Migrantes: Trump continúa con las amenazas”
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