Cut Off Aid to Central America to Save It

If Donald Trump follows through on his threat to cut off or substantially reduce aid to Honduras and El Salvador for their failure to cooperate in restricting illegal immigration, he will be doing those countries an immense favor.

The highly theatrical caravan heading toward our Southern border, sponsored by George Soros or not, will thus have had a positive unintended consequence.

For as long as any of us can remember, those Central American nations have been failed states teetering on the brink of civil war (or over it) or awash in corruption and gangsterism, their peoples impoverished.

Foreign aid, of which they have had plenty, hasn't helped.  After all this time, it is likely that in these instances the reverse has been true.  Foreign aid has hurt the development of these countries, creating a dependency that impeded progress.  It also -- inadvertently, one hopes and assumes -- encouraged conditions that allowed the corruption and drug dealing to flourish.

Foreign aid works best in those situations -- like the Marshall Plan -- where the ground has been prepared for the countries to receive that aid.  The societies need to be restructured, as Europe was post-World War II, in a manner that the largesse can be used to rebuild in a constructive manner.

No such thing has happened or is likely to happen in Central America.

The best hope for Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and even Mexico is that they learn to fend for themselves.  In most of the cases, it could take a long time with considerable pain, but it is the only path that will succeed.  Further aid, with exceptions for emergencies, physical and medical, will only make matters worse.

Most of all, it will continue to support and deepen a dependency culture that is terrible psychologically for the recipients  The aid is not loving.  It's self-interested on the part of the donors in a variety of ways for a variety of goals, few of them beneficial (cf. Soros and co.).

What we see in the caravan is this mindset on vivid display.  It is a march of the emotionally dependent, angry at their benefactor for making them dependent while simultaneously looking for more handouts. Waving Honduran flags while burning the American flag is to be expected.  The donor nation is hated and to be exploited. That's the way it always is. Assimilation is not an intention or even a remote desire.

This is why some call this an invasion, albeit a particularly pathetic one.  And the people who are encouraging it should be exposed and made to pay the price for their exploitation.

More importantly, the best immediate action we can take for Central America is to end all illegal immigration permanently with the full force of the law, constructing the border wall for emphasis.

Open borders, ironically, hurt Honduras, El Salvador, etc. even more than they hurt us.  They simply perpetuate a failed system.

Power-hungry Democrats will not face this.  But perhaps the ugly spectacle of this caravan will awaken the American people.  If anything should get them to vote Republican, this should be it.  Of course, after the vote, the real pressure has to go on those same Republicans whose unwillingness to act is legendary.

Roger L. Simon - co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media - is a novelist and screenwriter.