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The United Fruit Strategy

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The Biden administration has an unprecedented plan to help out Central America–investments of private American capital!

Vice President Harris on Monday announced new investment commitments from an array of private companies to help address the root causes of migration from Central America, aiding her efforts on a daunting task on which she has been longing to show progress.

With the pledges from companies including PepsiCo, Mastercard and Cargill, Harris’s office said such entities have now committed to invest $1.2 billion in the poverty-stricken and violent region since she issued a “call to action” for private-sector help in May.

The announcement comes amid staff departures and other reports of turmoil in Harris’s office. Her portfolio includes several challenging assignments, including a charge from President Biden to address the root causes of migration at the southern border during a large spike in illegal crossings.

Ahead of the meeting, Harris’s office detailed new investments from seven companies.

It said, for example, that PepsiCo, the global food and beverage company, would invest $190 million in northern Central America through 2025, including improvements to its manufacturing plans in the region. The company already has a long-standing presence in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, including a regional manufacturing hub in Guatemala.

Harris’s office also said that Cargill, a global food corporation, would invest an additional $150 million in the region with the aim of improving “farmer livelihoods and building economic resilience” in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Meanwhile, Parkdale Mills, one of the largest providers of spun yarns and cotton consumer products in the world, plans to spend $150 million to build a new yarn spinning facility in Honduras, according to Harris’s office.

Gee, I wonder what the impact of private American capital has been on Central America over the last century or so? Just a few coups, military occupations, and massacres of workers. Even after United Fruit left the scene, the type of sweatshops the Biden administration is promoting did nothing to stem migration out of Central America or to provide workers a better life. Usually run like military installations with massive oppression of workers, endemic sexual harassment and rape on the job, fired workers for pregnancy, wage theft, and pollution dumping, these sweatshops have only exacerbated the problems of Central America. Even the soda industry has a disastrous legacy in the region, as those who know anything about Coca-Cola’s relationship with the Colombian dictatorship knows. I mean, what’s a few death squad murders to keep the unions out!

Somehow, I don’t think spurring more American corporate exploitation of Latin America is going to solve the region’s instability……..

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