The American Intifada

The United States is the premiere world economic power next to China. In the past, it achieved levels of wellbeing [for its people] never before seen. It had the leading role in the history of the 20th century, and today its nuclear weapons and army only serve to hurl hungry and abandoned children from their ramparts in an attempt to protect a world that no longer exists.

More than 52,000 minors have been intercepted since October 2013 at the border in Rio Grande. According to American authorities the detained were 15,027 Honduran children, 12,670 Guatemalan children, 12,146 Mexican children and 11,436 Salvadoran children. And what is even more shocking is that in the last seven years 2,850 people have died trying to cross, 101 of them children. It seems a lie that the nation of Google, headquarters of Microsoft, of the iPad and the iPhone does not understand that the technological revolution combined with the explosion of liberties has substantially changed the way we relate to one another.

Exodus tells the story of Moses, who guided the Israelites in their departure from Egypt, but prior to that diaspora there were testimonies about the bloodshed of children caused by the fear of adults. From that point up till now, the migration was based on gratefulness for the opportunity to start a new life in another country. There was gratitude because the immigrants found peace and food, though they paid for it with blood, sweat and tears. The cybernetic explosion and subsequent diffusion of information, along with images of wealth and comfort in other parts of the planet have exchanged gratitude for obligation. Nowadays, immigrants want it all and they want it now. They know they are part of a global culture and they demand reciprocity for the exploitation of the wealth of their countries. The right to comfort is inherent — or should be — in the human condition. If they get it in the United States it’s not out of generosity, but because somebody has to clean Americans’ swimming pools and cut their grass.

The United States does not need to be careful with its founding immigrants — they conform to the supposed melting pot — but rather with the countries where the largest waves of exiles come from. Washington has not been able to enact an immigration law and now it confronts a sort of Latino intifada that broadcasts a deplorable image of the superpower as an almighty pharaoh of the north. Families are destroyed. America’s humanitarian tradition is dishonored.

For many years the United States was a mentor of institutional normalcy, a land of shelter and asylum. The current crisis emerged as a logical consequence of life: the separation of parents from their children. But as it progresses and worsens, it has become a new problem of political diplomacy and a sentimental weapon of mass destruction. And just as with Israel, America’s image takes a hit, because in wars against children the adults always lose. And the use of force poisons even more [severely] its relations with Latin America.

U.S. laws foresee the immediate deportation of people from countries that share their borders. With Mexicans it is even more anger-inducing, for they have been the main providers of domestic help, as in other times when they provided their debauchery in exchange for a promise: inheriting freedom.

With the children of the exodus we have arrived at a human crisis that shames the wealthy of the North, endangers the poorest of Central America and forces Mexicans to take concerted action with their program called Frontera Sur (Southern Border). It’s no longer worth keeping silent. Neither can the United States allow itself the luxury of losing the daily struggle of the children’s cries, killing the dream of homeless children who flee the violence of nations looted by the empire. Like the biblical Pharaohs, the U.S. is afraid that other cultures will multiply within its territory and displace its current population in the end, though they too are descendants of foreigners. The empire raises its walls as the world’s children undermine its foundations.

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