Trump's warning to cut aid over migrant caravan gets Honduras's and Guatemala's attention

That was quick.

President Trump's vow to cut off all aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador if they don't stop a 3,000-strong caravan of illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. has gotten the attention of at least some of those countries' elites, who are moving to stop the caravan.  According to Reuters:

WASHINGTON/ESQUIPULAS, Guatemala (Reuters) – The organizer of a migrant caravan from Honduras was detained in Guatemala on Tuesday as the U.S. government threatened to withdraw aid from both countries and El Salvador if the flow of migrants north to the United States was not stopped.

Apparently, they believe him.  Someone must have been on the phone with the Palestinian Authority.

An incurious press has declined to report on who is financing the caravan or its leader who got detained, or why those migrants in the photos have such new-looking clothes, for that matter, but in the past, such caravans were bankrolled by George Soros-financed front groups and actually called the "Soros Express."

La Tribuna, a Honduran publication, has the detained leader's photo and photos of his organized caravan, identifying him as a Honduran ex-politician and journalist named Bartolo Fuentes, who's obviously got an impressive political eye, organizing the caravan to reach the United States just in time for a showdown at the midterms.  Both he and Soros would know of the political hay to be made from a caravan: the left made lots of it early this summer with a previous caravan, the one that featured crying toddlers – and Hondurans illegally entering the U.S. with middle fingers flashing at the Tijuana border.  Odds are, he's also a lefty and at odds with his current Honduran government, seeking the applause of the descamisados in his own bid for political influence by offering free trips to the U.S., delivering his bags of beans by having gringo pay.  That, weighed with the prospect of an aid cutoff to Honduras and Guatemala, at least, pretty well told at least the Honduran and Guatemalan governments it was time to put a stop to the act.

La Tribuna writes that yes, the Guatemalan authorities' detention was indeed linked to President Trump's warning:

"La expulsión de Bartolo acontece en momentos en los que el gobierno de Donald Trump amenaza al gobierno de Honduras que, si no detiene la caravana, suspenderá las ayudas", añadió la comunicadora.

Is aid important?  Apparently, it was, because these guys acted fast.  Yet, historically, it's not as easy as it looks.  Number one: There is never that much of it to matter most of the time.  Two: Much of the time, the aid actually goes to U.S. contractors.  Three: The aid is oftentimes a good thing for us, given that much of it goes to cops to fight cartels.  Most Americans don't have a problem with that.

In the case of Honduras and Guatemala, a look at the size of the U.S. aid at stake pretty well negates those caveats.

The three nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, a region known as the "northern triangle" famous for its shipping of illegals, pretty well does take enough U.S. aid to matter: nearly half a billion dollars, according to USAID.

The $495 million it gets (the figure is from 2016, but close enough to use) is split, with $287 million going to Guatemala, $127 million going to Honduras, and $74 million going to El Salvador.  The low amount in the latter's case, which is a richer country because of its free trade and use of the U.S. dollar as its currency (and because the government was so corrupt, according to an Obama administration source), might explain why El Salvador isn't responding to Trump's warning, but the other two states are.

They're the largest U.S. aid recipients by far in Latin America, according to the linked aid map.  And contrary to lefty propaganda, very little of it goes to their militaries.  A large chunk of it, at least in Guatemala's case, goes to U.S. leftist groups the U.S. partners with for welfare distribution, such as Catholic Relief Services.  One wonders what their role is in encouraging illegal migration, given the enthusiasm of aid NGOs in general for the practice.

Note that these countries were also some of the very few that were supportive of the U.S. in the United Nations for moving its embassy to Jerusalem, and Honduras suggested that it would also move its embassy to Jerusalem in subsequent reports.  Honduras, by the way, has gone out of its way to say it never encourages illegal immigration – at least it did so with the last caravan.

So yes, the aid matters.  And President Trump never ordered those countries' nationals home after their temporary stays were completed.  He did order El Salvador's out, and they're holding on by a recent court stay from a U.S. leftist judge.

Call it what you want; it's an effective use of leverage by Trump to achieve rule of law in the U.S. as he promised, and with Guatemala's and Honduras' actions, there are signs it's getting results.

That was quick.

President Trump's vow to cut off all aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador if they don't stop a 3,000-strong caravan of illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. has gotten the attention of at least some of those countries' elites, who are moving to stop the caravan.  According to Reuters:

WASHINGTON/ESQUIPULAS, Guatemala (Reuters) – The organizer of a migrant caravan from Honduras was detained in Guatemala on Tuesday as the U.S. government threatened to withdraw aid from both countries and El Salvador if the flow of migrants north to the United States was not stopped.

Apparently, they believe him.  Someone must have been on the phone with the Palestinian Authority.

An incurious press has declined to report on who is financing the caravan or its leader who got detained, or why those migrants in the photos have such new-looking clothes, for that matter, but in the past, such caravans were bankrolled by George Soros-financed front groups and actually called the "Soros Express."

La Tribuna, a Honduran publication, has the detained leader's photo and photos of his organized caravan, identifying him as a Honduran ex-politician and journalist named Bartolo Fuentes, who's obviously got an impressive political eye, organizing the caravan to reach the United States just in time for a showdown at the midterms.  Both he and Soros would know of the political hay to be made from a caravan: the left made lots of it early this summer with a previous caravan, the one that featured crying toddlers – and Hondurans illegally entering the U.S. with middle fingers flashing at the Tijuana border.  Odds are, he's also a lefty and at odds with his current Honduran government, seeking the applause of the descamisados in his own bid for political influence by offering free trips to the U.S., delivering his bags of beans by having gringo pay.  That, weighed with the prospect of an aid cutoff to Honduras and Guatemala, at least, pretty well told at least the Honduran and Guatemalan governments it was time to put a stop to the act.

La Tribuna writes that yes, the Guatemalan authorities' detention was indeed linked to President Trump's warning:

"La expulsión de Bartolo acontece en momentos en los que el gobierno de Donald Trump amenaza al gobierno de Honduras que, si no detiene la caravana, suspenderá las ayudas", añadió la comunicadora.

Is aid important?  Apparently, it was, because these guys acted fast.  Yet, historically, it's not as easy as it looks.  Number one: There is never that much of it to matter most of the time.  Two: Much of the time, the aid actually goes to U.S. contractors.  Three: The aid is oftentimes a good thing for us, given that much of it goes to cops to fight cartels.  Most Americans don't have a problem with that.

In the case of Honduras and Guatemala, a look at the size of the U.S. aid at stake pretty well negates those caveats.

The three nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, a region known as the "northern triangle" famous for its shipping of illegals, pretty well does take enough U.S. aid to matter: nearly half a billion dollars, according to USAID.

The $495 million it gets (the figure is from 2016, but close enough to use) is split, with $287 million going to Guatemala, $127 million going to Honduras, and $74 million going to El Salvador.  The low amount in the latter's case, which is a richer country because of its free trade and use of the U.S. dollar as its currency (and because the government was so corrupt, according to an Obama administration source), might explain why El Salvador isn't responding to Trump's warning, but the other two states are.

They're the largest U.S. aid recipients by far in Latin America, according to the linked aid map.  And contrary to lefty propaganda, very little of it goes to their militaries.  A large chunk of it, at least in Guatemala's case, goes to U.S. leftist groups the U.S. partners with for welfare distribution, such as Catholic Relief Services.  One wonders what their role is in encouraging illegal migration, given the enthusiasm of aid NGOs in general for the practice.

Note that these countries were also some of the very few that were supportive of the U.S. in the United Nations for moving its embassy to Jerusalem, and Honduras suggested that it would also move its embassy to Jerusalem in subsequent reports.  Honduras, by the way, has gone out of its way to say it never encourages illegal immigration – at least it did so with the last caravan.

So yes, the aid matters.  And President Trump never ordered those countries' nationals home after their temporary stays were completed.  He did order El Salvador's out, and they're holding on by a recent court stay from a U.S. leftist judge.

Call it what you want; it's an effective use of leverage by Trump to achieve rule of law in the U.S. as he promised, and with Guatemala's and Honduras' actions, there are signs it's getting results.