The Walking Dead
Yesterday Guatemala City seemed like a scene from a post-apocalyptic zombie movie. The streets where I live were completely deserted… well, except for the house-to-house shoe repairman and myself.
The rest of the residents were visiting departed family members in cemeteries throughout the country in celebration of All Saints Day, or the Day of the Dead. Or perhaps they had returned home to enjoy a plate of fiambre, a national plate consisting of a thousand ingredients (slight exaggeration) including: cold cuts, sausages, chicken, baby corn, cheese, olives, beets, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, onions, peas, capers, asparagus, etc.
A subtle flavor? No, not remotely. Delicious? Oh my, yes.
Today should be another quiet day. (I wince as write those easily-cursed words.) Since yesterday’s holiday fell on a Thursday, many businesses are offering Friday off as a “puente” day… literally, a bridge to the weekend. Those of us without the bridge will wade through the day like so many migrants crossing the border rivers in their trek northward.
Speaking of Which
Donald Trump’s latest threats against immigrants include:
- Denying any possibility of asylum to migrants crossing into the U.S. illegally.
- Sending between 5,200 and 15,000 troops to the border
- Detaining migrants in tent cities indefinitely
- Denying citizenship a right to those born in the United States
- The use of lethal force if migrants throw rocks in protest
Someone should read “The New Colossus” poem inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty to Trump. (Probably while explaining the big words to him.)
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
If I were France, I would request the return of Lady Liberty. “if you’re not using it, you might as well send it back.”
If you dare
If you’ve read this far, there’s a chance you might have a more nuanced and critical assessment of the push/pull factors which drive Central American immigration to the United States. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that U.S. policy, politics, and actions have greatly impaired the growth of real democracy and genuine development in the region. If you’re nodding yes, then you’ll be richly rewarded by reading this fantastic article: