Why are more Nicaraguans heading north to the United States looking for jobs? Until July 2020, numbers were tiny. But in the last 1½ years numbers have increased sharply. Suddenly this has become a story, and government detractors argue, with little evidence, that people are fleeing political repression. “They’d rather die than return to Nicaragua,” is a typical headline. Manuel Orozco, a Nicaraguan based in Washington who strongly opposes the Sandinista government, told The Hill that “Nicaragua’s dictatorship is criminalizing democracy and fueling migration to the U.S.” Then, on September 20, this became the official explanation when White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said Nicaraguans are “fleeing political persecution and communism.”
Migration has become one of the many heroic ways in which the Venezuelan people have resisted the US blockade. I would know, my own family left as their living conditions deteriorated more and more under Washington’s economic terrorism. My family’s migration story, hoping to find new opportunities in a foreign land, is not unique. Many Venezuelans left their homes in recent years looking for a respite from the countless hardships caused by US sanctions. These non-military tools have turned out to be quite deadly as they were designed to inflict pain and coerce whole populations into pursuing regime change. The “maximum pressure” campaign against Venezuela began with Trump in 2017 after Obama laid the ground for sanctions when he awarded us the grand title of “unusual and extraordinary threat” in 2015. Biden carries the murderous torch today.
Managua, Nicaragua - Two years ago, COHA reported on the manufactured “refugee” crisis around Nicaraguans living in Costa Rica. Now the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is saying that “102,000 people fled Nicaragua and sought asylum in Costa Rica” in 2021. As this article shows, this statement is inaccurate, adding further to the myth that Nicaragua is suffering a refugee crisis. On June 20, a group called “SOSNicaragua” which is based in Costa Rica, held a conference to mark World Refugee Day. Called “Breaking down walls, building hope,” it was addressed by the head of the Costa Rican government’s Refugee Unit, Esther Núñez. She confirmed that, since 2018, Costa Rica had received 175,055 applications for asylum, the majority from Nicaragua.
The Black Experience in the Americas has always been, by circumstance, design and by purpose, inextricably tied to the land and to forms of Resistance expressed through different peoples in different territories throughout the Americas. Climate change affects communities and regions differently, even within the same country, depending on their cultural, economic, environmental, political and social context. But climate change also affects people differently within these same communities and regions depending on their race and genders, both at an individual and collective level. For Black communities, an underspoken issue that is usually left out of organizing spaces related to climate change is migration.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, and his Russian counterpart and key ally, Vladimir Putin, have come in for much criticism from the Western media since coverage of the crisis began, with both leaders being accused of ‘orchestrating’ the current situation, allegedly in a bid to destabilise the EU, and also as a retaliatory measure taken by Minsk in response to EU sanctions imposed as a result of it successfully repelling a Western-backed colour revolution launched against it last August following the re-election of Lukashenko – again, the warmongers who actually created the refugee crisis in the first place via their colour revolutions and ‘humanitarian’ interventions, have come in for virtually little to no criticism from the Western MSM amidst the coverage of the current crisis, their ire seemingly reserved for Lukashenko and Putin instead.
Several reporters described the actions of Border Patrol agents mounted on horseback as using the reins of their horses to threaten migrants who had waded across the Rio Grande—which is exceptionally low at this point. The El Paso Times reported Monday that an agent ”swung his whip menacingly, charging his horse toward the men in the river.” The refugees assembled in a makeshift camp under the freeway bridge on the US side of the river have been crossing back into Mexico to get food and other supplies, rather than risk crossing through lines set up on the US side of the camp by the Border Patrol and Texas state police, who would arrest them and ship them off for immediate deportation.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses the plight of everyday people victimized by the hardships of life in Mexico and Central America with author and journalist J. Malcolm Garcia. His new book is ‘A Different Kind of War: Uneasy Encounters in Mexico and Central America’. A collection of essays informed by grief and anger, the book reveals the varied and distinctive voices of those families fleeing the violence of Honduras, Mexican reporters covering gang conflict in Juarez, and children living off the refuse of a landfill.
We are torn by images of unaccompanied minors and overcrowded facilities at our southern border, but few in the United States are asking why so many Central American families are so desperate to escape their own countries that they are willing to risk everything — including family separation. These migrants are not fleeing some Act of God — drought or hurricanes or the like — that could not be anticipated or prevented. Rather, they are fleeing cartel violence and governmental corruption. As CNN recently noted, “poverty, crime, and corruption in Latin America have long been drivers of migration.” Indeed, many Central Americans have concluded that the risks of the journey, of the smugglers, and of the possibility of losing their children are outweighed by the near certainty of violence or death at home.
On the day he was inaugurated, Joe Biden halted the construction of Trump’s Mexican border wall. A few days earlier, 1500 miles to the south, a new ‘caravan’ of at least eight thousand Honduran migrants had set off northwards, partly in the hope that by the time they tried to cross into Texas, Biden’s promised softening of immigration policy might have taken effect. Obstacles left by Trump still stand in their way. Agreements he made with Honduras and Guatemala led to police attacking and dispersing the refugees. Scattered groups are still heading towards the Mexican frontier at Chiapas – according to one Trump-era official, ‘now our southern border’ – where they will face Mexican troops.
August besieged California with a heat unseen in generations. A surge in air conditioning broke the state’s electrical grid, leaving a population already ravaged by the coronavirus to work remotely by the dim light of their cellphones. By midmonth, the state had recorded possibly the hottest temperature ever measured on earth — 130 degrees in Death Valley — and an otherworldly storm of lightning had cracked open the sky. From Santa Cruz to Lake Tahoe, thousands of bolts of electricity exploded down onto withered grasslands and forests, some of them already hollowed out by climate-driven infestations of beetles and kiln-dried by the worst five-year drought on record.
Just as I was about to launch “City of Refuge” last fall, a new book came out on Le Chambon — the French village that was at the center of a remarkable World War II rescue operation. Having just read 10 or so other books on the subject over the past few years, I wasn’t exactly ready to read another. I just couldn’t imagine what new information I would learn at this point. Then I got an email from Patrick Henry, the author of another book on Le Chambon, “We Only Know Men.” He had just read the new release — which is very simply titled “The Plateau” (a reference to Le Chambon’s remote mountain location) — and he was excited to tell me about it. “‘The Plateau’ is beautifully written,” Henry said, “and it shows what no other book shows: that the people on the plateau continue to do the same rescue today — as they did in the 16th-century and during the Holocaust.”
On June 5, 2019, senior intelligence analyst Rod Schoonover spoke before a House Intelligence hearing on National Security and Climate Change. “The Earth’s climate is unequivocally undergoing a long-term warming trend as established by decades of scientific measurements from multiple independent lines of evidence,” said Schoonover. “We expect that climate change will affect US national security interests through multiple, concurrent, and compounded ways. Global often diffuse perturbations are almost certain to ripple across political, social, economic, and human security domains worldwide. These include economic damage, threats to human health, energy security, and food security. We expect no country to be immune to the effects of climate change for 20 years.”
When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita swept through Louisiana in 2005, cities like Houston, Dallas, and Baton Rouge took in hundreds of thousands of displaced residents—many of whom eventually stayed in those cities a year later. Where evacuees have moved since hasn’t been closely tracked, but data from those initial relocations are helping researchers predict how sea level rise might drive migration patterns in the future. Climate experts expect some 13 million coastal residents in the U.S. to be displaced by the end of this century. A new PLOS One study gives some indication of where climate migrants might go. “A lot of cities not at risk of sea of level rise will experience the effect of it,” says Bistra Dilkina, a computer scientist at the University of Southern California, who led the study.
The new year began with the ongoing exodus of Central Americans as part of caravans of migrants and asylum seekers, which gripped international media in 2018. With continued pressure from the United States, migrants face an increasingly hostile and militarized response from Mexico. The first caravan to leave formed two groups as they set out from San Pedro Sula in Honduras on January 15...
LONDON, 22 January, 2020 − If you are a climate migrant, how urgent is urgent? Slowing, or even stopping, the damage humans are doing to the physical world through profligate use of fossil fuels and casual extermination of other species is urgent. But what we are allowing fellow humans to tolerate is just as urgent, though often less remarked. Many millions more will be forced to flee their homes in a world experiencing intensifying climate breakdown.