Oscar Arias: Fixing Migration
In June, 2014, the US was grappling with the fact that more than 50,000 migrant children were attempting to enter the US to flee violence and poverty in Central America. Debate raged over how to address the rising tide at our Southern borders. That debate has entered the rhetoric of the 2016 Presidential election, most noticeably in the form of crowds chanting “build that wall!”
Nobel Peace Prize winner and two term President of Costa Rica Oscar Arias wrote an Op Ed for the Washington Post that is every bit as relevant today as it was two years ago. The only solution, he points out, is to address the root cause, the poverty and violence in the countries these children are willing to risk their lives to flee. Addressing that cause will require that the US and Russia own up to the part they played in creating it, by using Central America as their proxy battleground for the Cold War:
“They were eager to help Central America transform students into soldiers. They were eager to provide the weapons while we provided the dead.
“When Central America’s leaders found a way to end those conflicts, I thought that our achievement would be rewarded with aid and with support to help us make the transition from war to peace, to get our young people back in school, to retrain soldiers and to rebuild families. However, once the bullets stopped flying, the two superpowers lost interest.
“All of us — the United States and its neighbors to the south — are paying the price for this lost opportunity. In Central America’s Northern Triangle, soldiers and guerrillas have been replaced by gang members. Civil wars have been replaced by street wars.”
Take a moment to read the article. It belongs in the discussion.