I’m impressed Congressman Vicente Gonzalez has made the effort to visit Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Likewise, I agree with his contention that more members of Congress need to pay a visit – but with an open mind.
I just spent a week with a family from Honduras who live now in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida. They are from good families, have had good careers and made a sincere effort for many years to make a go at living in their homeland.
Why they decided to emigrate to the USA legally with the sponsorship of family already in the states, is perplexing and frustrating to hear.
According to Carlos and Mirta, professional people in their sixties, life in Honduras is a life of living in an economy that’s controlled by four families.
It’s a matter of buying a house for four times the price of the same house in Tampa. It’s a matter of credit card interests rates of 80 to 90 percent. It’s a matter of living in a former banana republic that’s now a narco-republic. Where the president and the military are deeply involved in the drug trade and allow the gangs to run free.
They don’t feel that you can cure these problems by throwing money on them. They don’t see any reason why anyone who wants to live like a normal human being should stay there.
I am less impressed that the Congressman is afraid to visit Reynosa, where I’ve lived for eight years.
The Rio Grande Guardian visited with Congressman Henry Cuellar last Friday. He recalled visiting the Northern Triangle in 2014 where he met up with John F. Kelly, then commander of U.S. Southern Command.
“We talked about what was happening in the Northern Triangle countries and how what happened there directly impacted the United States. We had just started to see the influx of the unaccompanied minors,” Cuellar said.
Cuellar said a congressional delegation will be visiting the Northern Triangle soon. “I will be part of that delegation,” Cuellar said.
The Laredo Democrat pointed out that back in 2014, he and U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, as members of the House Appropriations Committee, added $750 million to help El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
“The President wanted to knock it down. Right now we have compromised at $520 million year,” Cuellar said.
“Last year there was $800 million appropriated, ready to go, but the State Department had not moved on it. I told them, ‘Don’t you realize there is a crisis on the border? Why are you sitting on $800 million for those countries?’”