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We're seeing extraordinary scenes in South America at the moment with the so called migrant caravans of several thousands of people who have moved up from Central America have reached Mexico City and Beyond and say. That they're not going to stop until they're across the US border Robert what's going on good afternoon Bruce well what's happened is that we have this about 5,000 people who've left Honduras when Richard it was a party about a thousand people and it's gathered. That this Caravan this group of people who are seeking a better life have moved progressively through Guatemala into Mexico with apparently the destination being the United States so what's really driving this I think it's. The conditions of the the living conditions in places like Guatemala Honduras many of these people who've joined the caravan are seeking to flee violence and poor economic prospects many of them are very poor people. Indeed and they are literally on the move in seek of a better life and with modern communications being what they are even poor people who have probably less. Access to communications and others still can find out that there is a better life elsewhere it's reminiscent. Of the North African and Middle Eastern refugee crisis of a couple of years ago but are these. Two incidents related in any way I think there are certain overlaps between the two crises in both situations if you take for example the Syrian crisis. In the Middle East and you take the crisis that's now developing in Central America in terms of the outflow of refugees in both cases there are conflicts and if you like living conditions which many people find extremely challenging there's a lot of drug-related gang violence in Central America Honduras being one of the worst places and in many respects people. Are seeking to escape these appalling living conditions both in the Syrian civil war and also in Honduras and also it's been quite frank there's another similarity much of the world is looking on and so people are taking their life into their own hands so to speak in deciding to move us president Don Trump has banned in journalist. Jim Acosta from the White House because he criticized the president for calling the caravan and invasion how significant is that I think it's fairly significant I think the president was incensed by Jim Acosta's challenging of the term invasion mr. Acosta pointed out that the so called invasion was a caravan of poor. Poor people whereas mr. Trump described them largely criminals. He also pointed out it was about five hundred miles away or more from the United States at that point at the time of the press conference in the White House the other thing here is we have to take into account is that the president has both. Described CNN as fake news and also an enemy of the people and I think he was particularly sensitive to. The nature of the questions that mr. Costa was making because mr. Acosta was actually challenging the president's grasp of the situation and by implication his description of the organization of CNN that he works for so this is a and we know now that he's had his press credentials withdrawn which has led to. CNN chatter suing the White House and some of mr. mr. trummer some of his key aides the u.s. president has called in 5,000 troops 5,000 soldiers to guard the border how do you think. This is likely to play out very difficult to predict clearly but the Pentagon has indicated that this whole exercise could cost more than. 200 million dollars which could make it domestically unpopular the Pentagon have also said somewhat undiplomatic aliy they do not consider this to be a major security change the United States they also said that the Caribbean. Still would not reach the. United States for another month to six weeks and James mattis said that his department the department defense will not be party to what he called any stunt so. There seems to be a bit of tension between the Pentagon while they have deployed the troops many of them had to miss Thanksgiving to. Be on the US Mexican border there seems to be a little bit of tension between mr. Trump's political emphasis. On being resilient remember this was a key campaign pledge of Trump administration they were going to be robust in turning back. Would be illegal immigrants and the same time the US Department of Defense seems to be somewhat downplaying any potential security threat from these refugees remember the United States was built.

 


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