As Donald Trump condones the use of tear gas against migrants at the Mexican border, linguistics icon Noam Chomsky says former US presidents are the ones who made conditions so bad in Latin America that people need to flee.
Speaking to Democracy Now, Chomsky blamed Washington for making things terrible enough that residents of certain Latin American countries feel they have no other choice but to try to leave for a better life.
The renowned linguist and professor, who will turn 90 next month, noted that the bulk of the migrants in the caravan are from Honduras – and there’s a reason for that.
He explained that in 2009, a military coup ousted a “mildly reformist president” in Honduras and the Obama administration refused to condemn the move.
“A fraudulent election took place under the military junta – again, harshly condemned all over the hemisphere, most of the world, but not by the United States. The Obama administration praised Honduras for carrying out an election, moving towards democracy and so on.
“Now people are fleeing from the misery and horrors for which we are responsible,” Chomsky said.
The 89-year-old added that migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador also have reason to flee. Those countries, along with Honduras, have “been under harsh US domination, way back, but particularly since the 1980s.”
He went on to explain that there is an “incredible charade” taking place – “poor, miserable people” are fleeing from US-inflicted terror and repression, “and in reaction they’re sending thousands of troops to the border.”
Chomsky said the Trump administration has a “remarkable PR campaign” which is frightening much of the US into believing it is on the verge of an invasion by Middle Eastern terrorists who have made their way into the caravan.
The whole thing, he says, is reminiscent of a move made by former US president Ronald Reagan, who used fearful rhetoric in the mid-1980s when he was looking to gain support for guerillas fighting the Nicaraguan government.