Updated: Jun 19
Protecting the border, caravans, criminals and sovereignty. Most of this obtuse rhetoric targets people from three countries; Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
*It should be noted that for decades, US policy toward Cuba was the exact opposite, in fact encouraging people to risk their lives to cross the border (wet feet - dry feet).
So let's talk about these three countries. Collectively they are home to nearly 33 million people living in an area roughly half the size of Wyoming (home to less than 1 million). The indigenous people of the region - the Maya - have one of the richest mathematical legacies anywhere on earth and much of the land in the region is fertile and actively volcanic.
These are not pseudo-communist states and they are deeply Christian. In fact these three
countries are overwhelmingly the most evangelical protestant places outside of the United States anywhere in the Americas.
This is no accident. These were also the true Banana Republics. Their land, their people, their wealth simple vessels for a few elite - often foreign - to become extremely wealthy.
Stepping back for moment, let's offer a personal perspective on the region. I first learned Spanish in the north of Guatemala (20 years ago there were 10 million people in that country, now nearly 17 million).
Guatemala in particular is intensely beautiful and deeply cultural, with nearly half the population speaking a Mayan language. Its volcanic land offers high altitude and rich soil. The northern plateau is the Yucatan and has many important archaeological sites including Tikal (the Pyramids made famous in Star Wars).
Squeezing hundreds of years of history into a few words, this northern region of Central
America continues to bear the brunt of the worst of colonialism. From the US in the north to Tierra del Fuego in the extreme south of Americas, the Spanish colonial legacy is terrible. It ended earlier than other colonial endeavours, but left a distinct legacy of misery among many populations.
From roughly 1492 to the 1820's, Spanish colonial rule imposed an oppressive, often slaved-based system that was strictly class structured