The ‘Border children’ controversy: Fascism in Central America & USA
Caleb Maupin is a radical journalist and political analyst who lives in New York City. Originally from Ohio, he studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College. In addition to his journalism, analysis, and commentary, he has engaged in political activism. He is a member of the Workers World Party and Fight Imperialism – Stand Together (FIST). He is a youth organizer for the International Action Center and was involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement from its planning stages in August 2011. He has worked against police brutality, mass incarceration, and imperialist war. He works to promote revolutionary ideology, and to support all who fight against the global system of monopoly capitalist imperialism.
In response to the influx of children from Central America, who are fleeing the US backed devastation in Honduras and Guatemala; fascists in the United States have revealed themselves once again.
In Murieta, California, bands of right-wing extremists blocked buses filled with children from Central America. The police stood aside, and allowed these right-wingers to terrorize and threaten a group of child and young refugees who were being transported by the US Border Patrol.
The event was highly publicized, and the members of this “movement” were soon filling the airwaves, calling for similar action against people they consider to be “illegal.”
It has been revealed that the entire “movement” against the “border children” was staged in close coordination with the police and border patrol agents. Members of the Border Patrol “leaked” photographs of the children to right-wing media. Police and Border Patrol Agents even coordinated with the ultra-right wing activists as to when the buses would arrive, so that the “protest” of right-wing flag waving racists could be staged at the exact right moment.
The rhetoric of these “anti-immigrant activists” is classical fascist rhetoric. It calls for “restoring America’s greatness” by purging “undesirable” elements. It preaches extreme hatred not just for immigrants, impoverished people, and others, but also for any forces that seek to build solidarity with the oppressed. The “Tea Party”, the John Birch Society, the Ku Klux Klan, the “militia groups” now being formed in Border States, all hate labor unions, anti-racist activists, and all who call for social equality. In their hate filled rants, they often speak is obsessively about what they consider to be their ultimate enemy: Communism.
The children, who fled the horrific results of fascism in Honduras and Guatemala, are now being targeted by fascists in the United States.
Fascism in Latin America
US media talks of the recent rise in immigration to the US from Central America as if this is completely unrelated to anything else. Let’s talk about the facts.
The Central American country of Honduras is economically under the control of Wall Street, and neo-liberalism. Currently, over 51 percent of the people in Honduras are unemployed. 59 percent of the country lives in poverty, with the rate of “extreme poverty” rapidly increasing. This poverty is accompanied by crime, and Honduras has the highest rate of murder in the entire world with 90.4 homicides for every 100,000 people.
In 2009, the President of Honduras was Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya was a populist, supported by labor unions and other progressive political forces. His democratically elected government was implementing reforms to elevate poverty. He was bringing Honduras closer to Venezuela, Bolivia, and other countries in the growing Bolivarian movement of Latin American countries. Zelaya talked of writing a new constitution that would be more democratic, and ensure more representation for the masses of working and impoverished people.
This moment of hope for the people of Honduras was swept away
with a brutal military coup. The elected government was removed
by military force. Zelaya was exiled from the country, and a
campaign of violence and terror was unleashed.
In the wave of fascist violence since the 2009 coup, 30 journalists have been assassinated. 176 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activists have also been killed.
Behind this campaign of violence in Honduras, is the government of the United States. The CIA facilitated the coup against Zeleya, and US money has backed the leaders in years of violence and repression that followed. US corporations are reaping the benefits of the neo-liberalism and privatizations imposed after Zelaya were removed, getting wealthier each day. The government in place since the coup is friendly to Wall Street, and happy to do the bidding of western finance capital.
In Honduras, all who would seek to try and change the horrific economic circumstances in the country live in fear of their lives. Leftist activists frequently disappear, and are later found dead. The people of Honduras live under fascism. Fascism is nothing but capitalism, enforced by a mass campaign of violence and terror.
Guatemala is also the site of violent repression of democratic and progressive activists. Police terror is routinely unleashed on the indigenous people, the labor movement, and other forces that seek to improve the conditions for the majority of the population.
The rise in fascism on a global level is not unique to Latin America, or Ukraine. Fascism is growing in Europe with organizations like the English Defense League, the British National Party, and the Golden Dawn. Fascism exists, and is growing, in the United States as well.
The ultra-right wing activists in the US were so angered after Obama, an African-American, was elected President in 2008 that in Staten Island, New York, a group of them brutally beat a random black teenager. Ali Kamara was targeted for no other reason than that he was same race as Obama, and was nearby a group of right-wingers on election night. They chanted “Obama! Obama!” as they pummeled him with baseball bats.
When Obama’s “Healthcare Reform” law was being discussed in congress, the “Tea Party” showed up at healthcare meetings with guns. Even as Obama serves Wall Street, the ultra-right wing claims he is a communist. Some ultra-rightists have even openly called for armed acts of violence against the Democratic Party.
The nature of Fascism
The groups of armed vigilantes in Honduras and Guatemala, who slaughter left-wing activists and others, are not always officially part of the police or the military. Many are right-wing political activists, who believe they are on some kind of noble mission to preserve Christianity and free market capitalism. Though they work closely with the government, getting direction from the police and the military, they are often officially independent. Government officials will sometimes symbolically condemn their actions, while giving a nod of approval and taking no action to stop them.
This is the common reality of fascism. The Ku Klux Klan in the United States, Hitler’s “Brown shirts”, the Fascisti Brigades of Italy, the Fallangists in Spain, all functioned this way. They preached a demagogic message with lots of religion and mysticism mixed in with hating leftists. Fascists call to “restore a glorious past” with vigilante violence, hateful propaganda, and targeted killings.
Fascists often spew rhetoric that sounds “revolutionary” or “radical.” They will denounce corporations or government officials they consider to be “unpatriotic.” They will bemoan worsening economic conditions. In some instances, fascists may even claim to be against capitalism.
However, the target of fascist violence is never the rich and powerful. Fascists always turn their guns against the poor, the dispossessed, and those activists who would defend them. Their funding always comes from big business. The wealthy use fascists as pawns, hoping that with their violence and terrorism, and the chaos and fear it creates, movements for social reform and equality can be pushed back.
Fascism was unleashed in Ukraine, in order to deliver the country into the hands of Wall Street, the IMF, and European Union. Fascist groups in Venezuela seek to overthrow the popular government led by the United Socialist Party.
Wall Street is unleashing fascism in Honduras, Guatemala, and other Latin American countries. The US work closely with the Guatemalan and Honduran regimes and the fascist terrorist organization in those countries, in order to secure control of those countries. Imperialism would rather see fascist terror in Latin America, than lose control of their natural resources and cheap labor.
The response of many people in Guatemala and Honduras has been to flee. They seek to escape the violence and poverty the US has imposed on their homeland. These children have been rightly called “refugees.” Just like those who flee Syria, as US backed terrorists wage a campaign of violence against the government, children, as well as many adults, are fleeing Honduras and Guatemala in response to horrific conditions.
It should be noted that very few children are fleeing the nearby country of Nicaragua. The government led by the Sandinistas is implementing progressive reforms, elevating poverty, and making life better. The people of Honduras once had a President with similar intentions, but he was swept away in US backed coup.
What the Fascists fear
Fascist, in Guatemala, Honduras, the United States, and everywhere else, are shock troops for Wall Street. They attack the poor and oppressed, as well as the forces that stand for social progress, equality, and democracy. The rise in fascism is a response to the Bolivarian movement in Latin America that has broken so many of the chains of western economic domination. Fascism is a response to the rise of Russia and China as economic players on a global stage, not allow the US control the markets as it once did.
The rise of fascism is also a response to the growing discontent in the US with income inequality.
Fascists everywhere are hoping that they can turn back the clock. They long for the world of yesterday, where a small group of billionaires in the US had absolute control of the global economy. They want a United States where workers don’t have the right to form unions, and African-Americans, immigrants, and other sectors of society don’t have anything close to equality. They want a society without the strides toward social equality and economic justice that have already been won. They want nothing but absolute freedom for the billionaires and many of the so-called “libertarians” among their ranks will openly proclaim this goal.
Behind the rage of the fascists is a subconscious realization that they will fail. Time does not move backwards. Humanity is marching toward a new world of justice, equality, and freedom. The world is changing, and the age of empires and slave masters is fading away. This scares them more than anything else.
The people of Venezuela continue to rally around the United Socialist Party and the revolutionary leaders of the Bolivarian movement. The people of East and Southern Ukraine have not surrendered, despite being subject to the harshest terror and repression. Demonstrations demanding equal rights for immigrant workers in the US, and huge rallies against austerity and cutbacks in Europe, are on the rise. The hope stays that the fascists, along with the social forces they serve, will eventually be eliminated.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.