Latin American Disunity

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Octavious
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Latin American Disunity

#1 Post by Octavious » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:35 pm

So Venezuela is collapsing like a donkey that's spent the past couple of decades being beaten by a bunch of militaristic socialist incompetents and has finally lost the will to live. Naturally their neighbours have risen to the occasion and in the finest traditions of Hispanic brotherhood have been closing borders and handing out beatings to the poor wretches fleeing the country at every opportunity. You expect this sort of lame arsed behaviour from the bloody Columbians, but the rest of them too? Simon Bolivar will be turning in his grave.

There's no profound point or question in this. I'm just bloody annoyed.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#2 Post by Telamor » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:27 am

You aren't suggesting that they should open their borders to refugees are you Oct?

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#3 Post by Octavious » Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:00 am

You seem to be under the impression that I'm anti-refugee, Telamor. I'm unclear as to why.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#4 Post by Telamor » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:13 pm

Well I'd assumed, given you attitudes towards national border control you would be in favour of these nations exercising their rights to border control?

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#5 Post by StevenC. » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:16 pm

You don't have to be anti-refugee to be for border controls. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#6 Post by Telamor » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:01 pm

StevenC. wrote:
Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:16 pm
You don't have to be anti-refugee to be for border controls. The two aren't mutually exclusive.
I never said they were. I was pointing out that the hypocrisy in calling for greater national control over borders and simultaneously chastising other states for exercising this same power.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#7 Post by Octavious » Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:59 am

What hypocrisy?

I've said that all nations should have the right to impose whatever border controls they wish, which I stand by.

I think I see the issue here. You are one of those people who believe that rights should only include things you happen to agree with. I have to admit being somewhat disappointed. Rights must include stuff you disagree with. That's kinda key to the whole point of having rights. There's no contradiction at all between believing that nations have the right to completely close their border if they want to, and believing that they're a bunch of bastards if they chose to do so when a neighbouring nation is in dire need.

My personal view is that for neighbouring nations to not help is somewhat revolting, especially as they are only separate nations in the first place because of an accident of history. To give an example closer to home, I am strongly in favour of strict immigration controls for the UK, but if France had a major disaster I would have no problem whatsoever of us accepting several million French refugees at considerable cost if it helped them get back on their feet.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#8 Post by Hellenic Riot » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:12 am

When it comes to Latin American Disunity; the Federal Republic of Central America, the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, Gran Colombia, and the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata all say hello. There's not been much unity since Bolivar's death.

As for the current situation - it's an interesting question. Are they refugees, or are they economic migrants? Certainly Maduro has gone full dictator mode, but we don't count emigrants from Erdogan's Turkey to be refugees (and there are signs that the Turkish economy is on the verge of doing a Venezuela too).

The violence at the border with Brazil is rather troublesome, though of course Brazil has always been even further removed from "Latin American Unity" due to being a former Portuguese colony rather than a Spanish colony. But the crux of the matter is whether rampant inflation and economic collapse are considered to be conditions that other countries are obliged to consider as worthy of refugee status. Would the rest of the world be paying any attention if what was happening in Venezuela was happening in Africa? Where the calls for Botswana, Zambia, and South Africa to step in when Zimbabwe went through all this and then some a decade ago?

The fact it's happening in a "Western" nation means it's getting more attention, but the response of Venezuela's neighbours is really quite typical of most countries historic responses to similar situations in their neighbours. Really, we should instead be applauding Colombia - who are in fact allowing vast numbers of Venezuelans in (estimated at nearly a million of them). Unfortunately, Venezuela only borders 3 countries - and with Brazil not accepting them, and the Venezuelan-Guyanan border being disputed territory with little infrastructure in the middle of a gigantic rainforest - that only leaves Colombia. Moving on from Colombia to somewhere else has now started to be clamped down upon by those secondary countries (Ecuador & Peru), and due the Darien Gap moving up via Panama isn't an option either. So it seems like Colombia will swell up with Venezuelans much like how Jordan is full of Syrians, and Greece & Italy are full of Africans & Asians of various nationalities. I'm not too sure how you can support one group but not the others.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#9 Post by Octavious » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:42 am

Hellenic Riot wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:12 am
The fact it's happening in a "Western" nation means it's getting more attention,
You're stretching the definition of Western Nation quite a bit there. Also I don't think it's getting much attention. Maybe in the US it's getting more, but that's just because they're the modern personification of Socialism going to hell in a handcart.

Hellenic Riot wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:12 am
I'm not too sure how you can support one group but not the others.
I supported aid for Syrian refugees. I think the best way of doing that is by helping neighbouring countries of a similar culture provide the majority of emergency accommodation and aid, with the most vulnerable being moved further afield if need be. I think the Swedish solution was pure insanity which has both failed the refugees and failed the people of Sweden, but their country, their choice.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#10 Post by Hellenic Riot » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:27 pm

Octavious wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:42 am
You're stretching the definition of Western Nation quite a bit there. Also I don't think it's getting much attention. Maybe in the US it's getting more, but that's just because they're the modern personification of Socialism going to hell in a handcart.
Along with the Rohingya, they're the only refugees not trying to cross into Europe that have made the news at all lately, so that's definitely quite the upgrade. Latin America has always been included in western/first world countries, even if some of them are rather poor. They're not part of the Second World (former Soviet bloc), and they're not part of the post WW2 decolonisation wave of the third world. Perhaps simply not being a typical .backwater hellhole. like Myanmar, Libya, Eritrea, or Zimbabwe is a better description?


Octavious wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:42 am
I supported aid for Syrian refugees. I think the best way of doing that is by helping neighbouring countries of a similar culture provide the majority of emergency accommodation and aid, with the most vulnerable being moved further afield if need be. I think the Swedish solution was pure insanity which has both failed the refugees and failed the people of Sweden, but their country, their choice.
That seems to overlook just how many Syrian refugees ARE in said countries - Syria & Lebanon are overflowing. Over 20% of the population of both of them are refugees, while Turkey has more refugees in it than any other country in the world. Nearly half the population of Palestine are refugees, although they're obviously not all Syrians. They neighbours are full well past overflowing.

2016 World Bank Figures:
Turkey: 2.87 million refugees, 79.5 million total population
Jordan: 2.86 million refugees, 9.46 million total population
Palestine: 2.16 million refugees, 4.82 million total population
Lebanon: 1.48 million refugees, 6 million total population

And it's only got worse since 2016. The only other neighbouring countries of Syria are Iraq (just as shit a situation) and Israel via the Golan Heights (Lol if that's gonna happen). There's no way that the local countries can contain the Syrian refugee population, and no wonder conditions are so terrible for those refugees there.

So what do you do? If "similar culture" is the goal, then you could try asking other Arab states to take them... But just how many of these are countries worthy of actually being refuges? Qatar is notorious for how it treats its minorities. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE ain't a lot better. Egypt and Chad are racked by internal turmoil - as is Tunisia. Libya, Sudan, and Yemen are failed states. Morocco and Algeria are full of economic migrants from Africa.

Oman is an option, but the west seems to ignore its existence most of the time and getting the refugees there isn't just a quick train over. And of course, Oman is an Ibadi nation rather than a Sunni nation, so you have culture clash there too.

So, alright, Arab nations aren't great options. How about expanding it to Muslim nations in general? Well - if America hadn't just so massively burnt bridges with Iran (again), we could perhaps have come to a deal to get a fair bunch of the refugees over to Iran, particularly those from the Shia communities in Syria. Beyond that you have more repressive dictatorships (Azerbaijan & Turkmenistan), or countries racked by internal turmoil (Afghanistan and Pakistan). And if you go further afield than those then any definition of the word "local" is stretched beyond the most comedic of definitions.

So yeah, helping the neighbouring countries take in refugees and giving aid there is a great idea, and obviously needs to play a part. But the scale of the Syrian refugee crisis is so utterly gigantic that there is no way that can solve it alone. Either the rest of the world helps out, or conditions in horrendously overcrowded and insecure refugee camps just lead to a lot more suffering, and potent recruitment grounds for ISIS.



When it comes to the economic migration from Africa, I do agree with the plans to build processing centres in North Africa (Morocco/Algeria and maybe Tunisia though - Libya is a chaotic mess and definitely not suitable). Stopping the horrendously risky boat crossings and the people smugglers far outweigh any other factor there. And when those boats are intercepted, they should be scuttled after rescuing the refugees rather than towed back to shore - and if we can seize them before they set off, even better. Hell, shipwrecks are great sites for marine life, so it'd even have environmental benefits :razz:

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#11 Post by Octavious » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:39 pm

Hellenic Riot wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:27 pm
Latin America has always been included in western/first world countries, even if some of them are rather poor.
Not at all. The first world was pretty much NATO, the second world was the Communists, and the rest (which very much included South America) was the third world. It's only recently that the term third world has been associated with famine stricken basket cases. Venezuela may be heading in that direction, but it's very much a traditional third world nation and has never been a Western state.
Hellenic Riot wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:27 pm
That seems to overlook just how many Syrian refugees ARE in said countries
In what sense? I'm aware how many refugees are in neighbouring nations to Syria, and am quite pleased with the contribution the UK has made to that. It's a shame more hasn't been done, but that's intentional diplomacy for you.
Hellenic Riot wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:27 pm
So what do you do? If "similar culture" is the goal, then you could try asking other Arab states to take them...
Surely the goal is obvious? Get these people home. To do that you need peace for them to come back to, and somewhere to live in the meantime. Of course you want that meantime location to have a similar culture, and you want it to geographically close. So the task of the international community is to support the nations offering the temporary sanctuary, and to push for a diplomatic solution to opening up a pathway home. Dragging them halfway across Europe to the arctic circle, or shipping them to the goddamned Americas, doesn't help that in the least.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#12 Post by Telamor » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:34 pm

Contrary to what you may or may not see Oct I do not believe that rights should only apply to things I happen to agree with.

Hellenic Riot has put forward a lot of what I would have argued far more eloquently than I could have done. I would add to their point that I have actually been to Northen Lebanon on an excavation and have employed Syrian refugees as diggers and there are a world of issues that people often fail to consider when suggesting that the refugees should be kept in local areas.

1) Work. People actually want to do things with their time and so look for work once they arrive at the camps and because their basic needs, (food, water, etc.), are already covered they can work for much lower wages than local people. This leads to the depression of wages in the region.

2) Many of those that don't work turn to drink or drugs to pass the time which leads to an increase in crime around the camps and their surrounding areas. Gangs of bored young lads make the ideal recruits for criminal enterprises, especially given that many of them have already been pretty thoroughly brutalized by their experiences.

3) The North of Lebanon is heavily Maronite Christian and they are actually pretty hostile to the presence of nigh-on a million Sunnis transplanted onto their land.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#13 Post by Octavious » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:48 pm

Telamor wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:34 pm
1) Work. People actually want to do things with their time and so look for work once they arrive at the camps and because their basic needs, (food, water, etc.), are already covered they can work for much lower wages than local people. This leads to the depression of wages in the region.
There's no need to inform my about the drawbacks of immigration. I am well aware. But this can be remedied to some extent by international aid. The region is not exactly blessed with first rate infrastructure. Putting people to work as low skilled labourers building roads and the like funded by the international community should not be beyond the wit of the UN. God knows there are more than enough roads to nowhere for the sake of job creation in the EU. You'd expect organising a road where there's genuine need to be easy.
Telamor wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:34 pm
The North of Lebanon is heavily Maronite Christian and they are actually pretty hostile to the presence of nigh-on a million Sunnis transplanted onto their land.
That's the Maronites for you. You either love 'em or hate them.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#14 Post by Hellenic Riot » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:40 am

Octavious wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:39 pm
In what sense? I'm aware how many refugees are in neighbouring nations to Syria, and am quite pleased with the contribution the UK has made to that. It's a shame more hasn't been done, but that's intentional diplomacy for you.


Surely the goal is obvious? Get these people home. To do that you need peace for them to come back to, and somewhere to live in the meantime. Of course you want that meantime location to have a similar culture, and you want it to geographically close. So the task of the international community is to support the nations offering the temporary sanctuary, and to push for a diplomatic solution to opening up a pathway home. Dragging them halfway across Europe to the arctic circle, or shipping them to the goddamned Americas, doesn't help that in the least.
Given the only remotely plausible peaceful outcome of the Syrian Civil War is now an Assad victory (possibly with a quasi-independent Kurdish state in the northeast like in Iraq), just how many of those refugees do you believe are going to be able to go back? You think that the Assad regime is just going to forgive all those that fought against it and reconcile all the Syrians? It's patently clear that these are long term displaced peoples and while some may be able to return, there will at the very least be a large bunch that will not be able to safely go back.

The Lebanese Christians & Hezbollah can absorb some of the Christians & Alawites that have fled Syria, so there's a plausible long term solution for some of those there. But Jordan has already spent decades takes in Palestinian refugees, and it isn't going to be able to just integrate a vast number of Syrian sunnis on top of that. So you then have two options:

A) Disperse them widely between safe countries, with as many countries as possible sharing in the burden of integrating them. This would ideally include the obvious target of EU countries, but also safe countries with similar cultures such as Morocco, Algeria, Oman, and potentially Tunisia and Egypt. And even more ideally, those further afield such as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and even Russia (as long as they aren't sent to Chechyna/Dagestan - the Central Asian muslims in Russia tend to be relatively well treated and integrated)

B) The far less likely approach of taking an area (or multiple) of the world that is very sparsely populated and essentially setting it aside as something similar to the Indian/First Nation reservations in the Americas and Australia, or the Siberian cities in Russia, with the world via the UN contributing significant funds toward building the infrastructure required for such an act.

Of course, there are very few countries in the world with large, sparsely population regions that aren't pretty much unhabitable - you'd be basically looking at the USA, Canada, Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Chile, and Argentina. The USA was built by large communities of various peoples emigrating there and settling areas, but the situation is rather less welcoming nowadays, so they're probably not an option. Australia is notoriously unwelcoming of any refugees, too. Canada, as a rare liberal bastion, might be persuaded to undergo such an ambitious plan if it was backed by large funding guarantees from the rest of the world - and there are plenty of potential carrots to entice Russia into helping out (easing of sanctions, the good PR of undertaking such an endeavour etc) - and indeed, with the Argentine debt vulture problems there are carrots there too.

The world got pretty good at handling and integrating large scale population transfers toward the end of the 19th century and through the first half of the 20th century, though they've since been cast aside by more idealistic hopes that aren't always very plausible, and can end up with years of frozen limbo instead. If people aren't willing to put the effort in for option A, then perhaps it might be time to rethink that, rather than end up with umpteen diabolical shitholes like Jabalia and Zaatari.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#15 Post by Octavious » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:29 am

Poppycock. The idea that after a civil war half of a country's population becomes persona non grata is ludicrous. To support such a notion is essentially to support ethnic cleansing. I know that isn't your intent, but to adopt your plan is to send a message to any crackpot out there that if he starts a civil war a likely outcome is that the pesky minorities he doesn't like gets booted out to Canada. What other such solutions would you support for the sake of your own ideology and convenience? The removal of Kosovo's Muslim population to Albania, perhaps? China's got a load of pesky Muslims in its west just crying out to be relocated in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

No, I will not countenance such a plan whilst it is still within our power to stop it. You greatly overestimate Assad's negotiating position. He may have survived the war, but it is no victory. He is the leader of a ruined land, with the money of the West closed to him and his only "friend" being the economically feeble Russia. What he wanted was to quickly crush opposition and go back to how things were. What he got was a nightmare. If the West accepts him as a leader, and opens up access to development money, we should expect a lot from him in return.
1

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#16 Post by Telamor » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:54 pm

Christ Oct, that last post makes it sound like you'd be in favour of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, how surprisingly left wing of you.

In response to your previous post though your comparison between the situation in Lebanon and run of the mill immigration is disingenuous. Since 2010 Lebanon has seen a population increase of almost 50% the same amount the UK has under gone since the 1950s. The scales are radically different.

Secondly your plan to institute massive infrastructure projects would cause more problems than it would solve. Lebanon is actually pretty well served for infrastructure and running a project of large enough scale to put over a million people to work would mean bringing the country to grinding halt. You'd also seriously damage Lebanon's building sector. There is no way of keeping Syrian refugees together and not negatively effecting the economies and citizens of neighbouring states, they don't have the economic or population size to absorb that number of refugees.

The best solution is to distribute refugees across those nations with the capacity to absorb them and instead treat the camps in Lebanon and Jordan as clearing stations. As for what to do with the refugee diaspora post war the best solution I've seen suggested is that once Syria is deemed safe to return to refugees are given a set amount of time, say 3 or so years, to return home or come to an arrangement with their host country. That allows the refugees to actually live and plan their lives with an element of certainty and prevents a second total uprooting once the conflict ends. Further it can help with the integration of non-returning refugee communities as the host state gets to set the terms for residency extension and could include things such as learning the host's language, being employed for a certain % of your time in residence, no criminal convictions whilst in the host state etc.

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Re: Latin American Disunity

#17 Post by Octavious » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:25 pm

Telamor wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:54 pm
Christ Oct, that last post makes it sound like you'd be in favour of the right of return for Palestinian refugees, how surprisingly left wing of you.
There's nothing particularly left wing about supporting a person's right to live in their homeland. Indeed, if we were somehow transported back in time to the creation of Israel I'd be very much arguing that it was a bad idea. But unlike with Syria it is no longer in our power to stop that from happening. We have to deal with the situation as it stands.

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