Caravan not viewed nicely by people who actually know Honduras
When the dust settles on the Honduran migrant caravan and the analyses are out, one of the things that will take the biggest beating is the soggy sob-story manipulative press coverage for what is clearly a complex issue. Yes, dishonest press coverage should take the cake. Why report facts objectively when it’s so much easier to tug on the heartstrings and portray the migrants as just moms with toddlers, all fleeing violence and just looking for a better life?
And with news organizations employing virtually no foreign correspondents these days, who’s going to find out? Just follow the lefty narrative about the migrants, everyone, and let us Get Trump. Right?
Wrong. This is also the era of first-person reporting and Internet instant transmission, so a little bit of the reality is getting out, and it’s not pretty for the caravan. I have read several accounts from people who actually know Honduras and what is going on with the migrant caravan, and it’s not what the press is saying. Two accounts stand out.
First, a former longtime Honduran consul general in Arizona, Tony Banegas, was interviewed by ABC15 (this is a real good station with a strong report-the-news ethic that has interviewed American Thinker contributors with firsthand experiences in the past) for perspectives on the caravan.
What Banegas said was not flattering.
A diplomat, he expressed pity for the migrants, not because they were poor, but because they being used by the political left, which he delicately characterized as “the opposition party.”
“I know my country well, so I support a lot of projects, water projects, health projects, education projects, garbage trucks in my hometown,” he says. “Things are much better in Honduras, we’re not the most violent country in the world anymore.”
While conditions are improving he says, the unemployment rate is near 20 percent and 60 percent of the population live in poverty. The migrants joining the caravans are the poorest of the poor, he says, looking for a better life with nothing left to lose. But, he says these people are being exploited by their home countries. Being promised something in America they can’t achieve.
“There have been documented cases where the opposition party from the government right now are trying to support and encourage these people even with money to come,” he said.
What’s more, he said they were being “exploited” because they weren’t going to succeed here in the states, they simply didn’t have the education or skills. Left unsaid, but obvious enough, they were being exploited by the left here, too, either as a means of expanding social services bureaucracies, adding to the warm-body count for districts that justify congressional seats, or serving as actual votes for Democrats. Someone here wants them here, and who cares if they can’t make it here and are going to be grossly disappointed?
We know Honduras is a country with a lot of good people in it. Banegas, if you look at the dates he served as a diplomat, 2006-2016, could have been appointed to his job by President Mel Zelaya, the rabid leftist who got thrown out of power after trying to make himself the Honduran Hugo Chavez dictator for life, in 2009, but Banegas obviously stayed in his diplomatic job all through the 2009 debacle without resigning in a huff, back when the Obama administration and America’s enemies were making Honduras a pariah state. He also continued on as a diplomat with the democratic Honduras that followed. He’s got a few lefty anti-Trump views mixed in with his statements, and ABC15 does highlight those, but the most detailed parts of the interview tell the real deal about the caravaners: They’re pawns and they are being used by the left.
Even more powerful, we have a first-person account about what’s going on inside Honduras by an American woman married to a Honduran, inside Honduras, who’s working hard to help the Hondurans make their own country a good place to live. Jennifer Zilly Canales, in a must-read account in the Dallas Morning News, writes:
As the large caravans of Hondurans and other Central Americans parade north to the U.S. border, we who are here in Honduras are deeply troubled to see this wrong mindset affect many in our area. I personally feel ashamed and angry about the chaos some of these uneducated immigrants will thrust upon the U.S., and the way in which they have forsaken international laws and police barricades cannot be justified.
I remember that her website, www.hiddentreasuresofhonduras.com was one of the must-read sites for what is going on in that country during the 2009 communist-throwout, so I think she’s a sterling source.
She points out that culture matters, and that poor Hondurans who are offered things for free often value them for exactly what they paid for them, which is to not value them at all, which suggests problems down the line for the states if these caravan migrants are let in:
We on the frontlines in Honduras have offered high-quality free education in the school we operate to more than 100 youth in the past five years, and more than half have walked out because they admittedly had no interest in studying or preparing for the future. They are now vagabonds in our rural neighborhood, zipping up and down gravel roads on their bikes and falling into the traps presented by drugs, petty crime and sexual promiscuity.
She also points out that the caravan itself is an enticement to irresponsibility, with children abandoned as their military-aged young fathers head off to the states in search of the gringo’s free stuff. Seriously, the children are dumped.
Just two weeks ago, a single father suddenly withdrew his three children from our school and joined the caravan in hopes of a better future. A respected friend of ours informed us that his children appeared on the news about a week ago and are now being held in the Honduran capital, where they will be placed in an orphanage. Is this the better life he was hoping to forge for his children?
Another example is that of my husband and two of our teen foster daughters who were driving home from a ballet class around dinnertime several days ago and found the intersection of our rural neighborhood filled with close to 200 people all frantically trying to form another caravan to follow the first. There were people screaming and trying to get more people to abandon their homes as they would gamble everything for their slice of the American Dream. My husband and daughters were devastated, as we know too well that many marriages are broken, children abandoned, lies believed and laws broken when people choose this route.
Seriously. With this garbage going on as the caravan takes off, is this what the press, and the Catholic Church, with its liberation theology acolytes, is really encouraging in a supposedly Catholic country? Is this kind of child-dumping what Pope Francis is encouraging us here in the states to support as he asks us to “walk with migrants”? It’s unvarnished moral turpitude and right there ought to disqualify anyone who does it from entry into the U.S. One wonders if the immigration officers would even ask about such a thing – did you abandon a child in the streets to get the goodies here – but it sounds like something that would be very difficult to prove.
What it all highlights is how thick the tissue of lies from the press really has been about an otherwise little-known country that has been painted as hell on earth, but which really isn’t. The people who have been cited have spent their lives working to help Hondurans better themselves in a real way. Along comes a caravan, promising paradise (and big gringo benefit packages), and their work is undercut.
Thank goodness they are saying something. Because with their accounts, the caravan stands exposed as a lefty political fraud.