Commentators have noted the roots of the current massive migration from Central America in the political economy of the free trade order. The US-led repression and counter-insurgency in the isthmus in the 1980s allowed the imposition of “free trade” or “neoliberal” regimes in the generation since then—culminating in the passage of CAFTA. This, in turn, has exacerbated the expropriation from the peasantry of their traditional lands by agribusiness and agro-export oligarchies. But this dynamic is now being augmented by factors related to political ecology—the degradation of the land itself due to climate destabilization. (Photo: IOM)
In Episode 13 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg deconstructs Trump's executive order ostensibly ending the policy of family separation on the southern border, and demonstrates how it actually lays the groundwork for indefinite detention of migrants on military bases. The Central American peasantry, expropriated of its lands by state terror, CAFTA and narco-violence, is forced to flee north—now into the arms of Trump's new gulag. Immigrants are the proverbial canaries in the American coal-mine. The Trump crew are testing their methods on them because they are vulnerable, and banking on the likelihood that non-immigrants will say "not my problem." But if they get away with what they are doing now to a vulnerable and isolated population of non-citizens, it sets a precedent—and ultimately nobody is safe. Listen on SoundCloud, and support our podcast via Patreon.
With his "shithole" comment, Trump makes clear he would bring the United States back nearly a century to the 1920s, when immigration "quotas" were imposed for countries whose inhabitants were deemed undersirable, essentially cutting off immigration of Jews, Italians and Slavs. But deepening the insult, today Haitians and Salvadorans are being driven from their homelands by poverty and instability which is itself the bitter fruit of "free trade" policies foisted upon their governments by pressure from Washington. (Photo: Homeland Security's Otay Mesa Detention Center, BBC World Service via Flickr)
The AFL-CIO once backed US government meddling in Honduras, but a new report from the labor federation is a scathing indictment of US "security" and "free trade" policies.
The US is now seeking $1 billion from Congress for its plan to step up the failed "war on drugs" and failed neoliberal economic programs in Central America.
Using the pretext of last spring's uptick in immigration by Central American children, the US is pushing for still more of its failed "drug war" and "free trade" policies.
The US has been requiring its "free trade" partners to meet certain labor standards. A US government report raises questions about the policy's effectiveness.
In the latest defeat for GMOs in Latin America, Guatemala's congress rolled back a CAFTA-mandated law to protect hybrid and GM seeds as "intellectual property."
US and Honduran unions are trying to leverage CAFTA labor agreements to get the government to act against a Lear Corporation auto parts assembly plant.