President Trump followed through with his old threat to cut off aid to the “northern triangle” countries of Central and Southern America.
From the Hill:
The United States will no longer provide foreign assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
A State Department spokesperson told The Hill in a statement Saturday that the agency was directed to halt aid to the so-called Northern Triangle countries and was directed to do so by President Trump.
“At the Secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the President’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle,” the statement said. “We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”
This is ironic because Homeland Secretary Nielsen said she secured an agreement with those very same countries on Friday:
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement Friday that she signed a “historic” regional compact this week with representatives of the Northern Triangle countries. She said the countries agreed to “combat human smuggling and trafficking, crack down on transnational criminals fueling the crisis and strengthen border security to prevent irregular migration.”
Does anyone else get the sense she’s on the way out? There have been reports that Trump is unhappy with her, and when she was asked to comment, she didn’t deny them and was pretty non-committal about the whole thing.
In any case, scumbag democrat Menendez has a good point about aid to these countries – it’s not necessarily out of charity, because helping those countries with security helps us too:
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement denouncing the move.
“If carried out, President Trump’s irresponsible decision to cut off our assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras would undermine American interests and put our national security at risk,” he said.
“U.S. foreign assistance is not charity; it advances our strategic interests and funds initiatives that protect American citizens. This latest reported move shows the Administration still does not understand that the United States cuts foreign aid to Central America at our own peril,” he added.
However, Trump is right too. If these countries are not doing enough to keep these caravans away from our border, then we are perfectly within our right to use our aid to pressure them to help us out some. So we’ll see how it goes. I’m not sure it’ll hurt those countries too much in the short run, but this is also a shot across the bow of Mexico to pressure them to stop the caravans as well…