Canadian government & media silent about causes of Hondurans’ desperate exodus and militarization of border
- Below: Article by Fred Alvarado, Criterio.hn, October 18, 2018
Silence: Canadian Government Says Nothing about Massive Exodus of Hondurans and Militarization of Border
By Fred Alvarado, October 18, 2018, Original: https://criterio.hn/2018/10/18/silencio-gobierno-canadiense-mudo-ante-masivo-exodo-de-hondurenos-y-militarizacion-de-las-fronteras/
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica [responsible for Honduras], remain silent about the massive exodus of Hondurans and the militarization of the borders of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, due to the caravan of forced migrants traveling towards Mexico and the United States. These people are fleeing, with determination, from the tyranny of Juan Orlando Hernandez’s government, from insecurity, violence, the high cost of living and lack of employment.
The Canadian government pretends to abstain from involvement in Honduras, beyond issues directly related with business such as tourism and mining. By its refusal to make any independent statements in favor of human rights, the forced migration of women and children and brutal military repression, Canada hides behind the foreign policy decisions of the United States, as if avoiding involvement with the “colonies and military bases” of the United States’ in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Paradoxically, the Canadian government, based in Ottawa, did make statements in regard to the internal politics and “humanitarian crisis” in Nicaragua and the “failed leader” in Venezuela, demanding respect for human rights and opening migration channels for their “refugees”, thus promoting an imperialist agenda for private investors interested in resources in Venezuela and the rest of South America.
Canada has important bilateral relations with Honduras, and had the influence necessary to pass laws that favor mining exploitation under the Free Trade Agreement signed with Honduras soon after the 2009 military coup. However, when human life, human rights violations and repression are at stake, the Canadian government acts timidly with respect to the Honduran people. Canada leaves these issues to the U.S. State Department and the OAS, as long as the crisis doesn’t harm Canadian investments or get in the way of destructive Canadian mineral exploitation occurring in various places in Honduras, enriching corporations based in Toronto.
For many analysts of neoliberalism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the “friendly smile of neocolonialism.” In his speeches at the United Nations, he eloquently supports human rights and ethnic minorities in the world: “Canada will always defend democracy, the rule of law and human rights in our country and abroad”; “Canada will continue to denounce the unfair treatment of racial and ethnic minorities and of women, girls and indigenous peoples.”
Nevertheless, Canadian organizations and human rights activists that have closely observed the situation in Honduras, have denounced the silence of the Canadian government regarding the continuous human rights violations committed by Canadian mining companies in different rural communities, in addition to dismissing demands that the Canadian government pressure for the immediate release of political prisoners in Honduras, and to condemn the repression by the military-backed regime after the fraudulent, repressive elections [of November 2017].
Once again, the Canadian government is a disappointment with its message of indifference and weakness with respect to this humanitarian crisis in the Central American country where the problem of migration and inequality doesn’t just affect the Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) but also the United States and Canada.
Donald Trump’s threats and Justin Trudeau’s indifference toward the migrant caravan are disappointing and insulting, and belittle the true causes of the Central American migratory phenomenon. Pretending that the forced migration of Hondurans can be stopped by pressuring Juan Orlando Hernandez’s regime to militarize its borders, by threatening to suspend economic aid, and by arresting and deporting immigrants, without taking into account the underlying causes of the problems, is simply evidence of the true capitalist, inhumane interests of the countries of the north that are directly responsible for backing and financing the illegitimate government of Hernandez, in order to continue to benefit from the privatization and exploitation of Honduran assets and resources.
After listening to Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador promise to give work visas to Central American migrants who wish to work in Mexico, shouldn’t Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have a moral obligation to make a statement about the situation in Honduras and remember the words of his speech at the UN where he said “We are here to help, welcome to Canada to all of those who escape from persecution, terror and war; Canadians welcome you, whatever your faith. Diversity is our strength?”
Or should we remember Donald Trump’s tweet when he described Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak?”
Honduran forced migrancy relief fund
Rights Action is raising funds to provide relief to thousands of Hondurans and Guatemalans fleeing violence and government repression, endemic poverty and exploitation, organized crime, corruption & impunity. Funds are being sent to Rights Action partner groups that are providing migrants with water, foods, clothes, shoes, medicine and minimal rain gear. Humanitarian relief is being provided to all migrants, whether they continue fleeing or not. Forced migrants need support.
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