Sunday, August 30, 2015

Venezuela-Colombia Crisis and Moral Standing

It can be difficult sometimes for the United States government to effectively admonish other countries for human rights problems given its own activities. John Kerry's statement about the border crisis is one such example:

As we do so, we urge that special attention be paid to the worsening humanitarian situation along the frontier. We respect the importance of secure borders and safe and orderly migration. However, we also believe that deportations should take place in accordance with international law, respecting the human rights of all involved, and in coordination with the receiving country. We also believe that refugees with recognized protection concerns should not be deported.

Among other things, undocumented immigrants in the United States get locked up and held for months without due process, thus violating both international law and the U.S. constitution. Human rights are very clearly not respected in all kinds of ways. In short, failing to deal with our own challenges gives us a lot less moral standing.

We should still make statements and push for protection of human rights, which is currently a crisis on the Venezuela-Colombia border. But we should also take this as a springboard for taking steps to solve our own humanitarian crisis. We would have so much more foreign policy leverage that way.


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