Mike Pence’s dictatorial message to Central and Latin America

Felicia Persaud | 7/5/2018, 10:35 a.m.
In case you missed it, while CNN and many other U.S. media houses were focused on the fact that only ...
Mike Pence, (R) Indiana, is Governor of the state of Indiana.

In case you missed it, while CNN and many other U.S. media houses were focused on the fact that only about half a dozen children in detention centers across the country as of Thursday, June 28, 2018, were reunited with their parents since the now famous Donald Trump policy walk-back, Mike Pence and his wife Karen were dispatched to Latin America with what can only be termed a dictatorial, strong-arm, condescending message.

Although the visit was hardly covered here on U.S. TV networks, it was in Latin America, and from all reports, Pence again proved he was the errand boy of El Trumpeto, delivering a message that essentially said, don’t come to the U.S. if you can’t come legally.

The Trumpian tone was very present as the U.S. veep, according to The Associated Press, told the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose nationals are mainly the ones fleeing violence and economic woes and trying to seek asylum in the U.S., “This exodus must end.”

Pence reportedly added, “It is a threat to the security to the United States, and just as we respect your borders and your sovereignty, we insist that you respect ours.”

Nothing about gangs, crime, narco-trafficking, or economic collaboration or partnerships.

None of that at all—who cares! It’s all about America’s security and borders and sovereignty. Never mind that most of the drugs trafficked through these nations end up in the U.S. to feed the habits of the biggest consumers of illegal drugs.

Pence wasn’t at all bothered by that.

He also told the presidents, according to the AP, “Tell your people that coming to the United States illegally will only result in a hard journey and a harder life.”

Get that? “Tell your people!” Sounds like words straight of the Trump manual. Much like “those people” and the “I don’t care, do you?” phrases.

Is this act really Pence being his best? Guess Melania Trump’s #BeBest campaign does not apply to the children of Central America.

Anyway, back to Pence and his Latin America visit. Although the “white haired, stand by your man silently” Pence spoke nothing of how the U.S. can help these countries stem the “exodus” by assisting economically or through security assistance, he was quick to urge Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno to “hold a firm line against neighboring Venezuela, which has been crumbling in economic and political crisis.”

If that isn’t a case of the kettle calling the pot black, I don’t know what is. In a country where children are being put in cages after being snatched from the arms of their struggling parents who are fleeing rapes, murder threats and economic woes, the vice president is lecturing!

Really, Mike? Last time I checked, Venezuela was not caging innocent children, separating them from their parents and keeping them in concentration camps, and most of Latin America has been quick to take in Venezuelans moving to other countries for a better life.

No country has caged them, locked them up and shackled them like murderers and terrorists while keeping them from their children.

The days of the U.S. lecturing the world on human rights are over. Trump has made sure of that with his racist, dictatorial policies that have made immigrants—both undocumented and legal—the target, much like Adolf Hitler made Jews his political target.

Latin American leaders should do themselves a favor and decline any meetings with this administration given its xenophobic diatribe and policies that violate the rights of their nationals in the U.S. diaspora as well as those seeking refuge here.

The writer is CMO at Hard Beat Communications, Inc., which owns the brands NewsAmericasNow, CaribPRWire and InvestCaribbeanNow.