Trump Threatens to End Aid to Honduras Over Migrant 'Caravan'


The migrants, forming what is known as "a caravan", set out Saturday from the impoverished, violence-plagued country and were headed north on the long journey through Guatemala and Mexico to the U.S. border.

Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his annoyance at the caravan, which follows a similar event in May that ultimately led to hundreds of migrants either seeking asylum in the United States or remaining in Mexico.

Honduras appeared to act quickly on Tuesday after President Donald Trump threatened to cut humanitarian aid to their country over a caravan of migrants who were travelling towards the U.S.

The Honduran government called on as many as 2,000 migrants Tuesday to give up their trek north and return home, just hours after President Trump threatened to withhold $65 million in US money if the country's leaders don't find a way to head off the caravan. The group twice pushed past police sent to stop them - first at the border, then at the Guatemalan town of Esquipulas. During the meeting Pence reiterated that the USA was prepared to help with economic development and investment.

The friction coincides with intensified efforts by Beijing to win recognition from Central American countries that are now allied with Taiwan.

Pence told Central American leaders at the conference last week that the USA would provide more support for efforts to improve economic opportunity and social conditions if they would do the same.

Once the group reached Mexico they planned to request refugee status so they could stay in Mexico or a visa so they could continue on to the United States, Reuters reported.

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More than one million Hondurans live in the United States, a lot of them undocumented.

The vast amount of Hondurans set foot to the United States only days after Vice President Mike Pence asked Central American leaders to halt immigration.

A huge migrant group more than doubled in size as it crossed from Honduras into Guatemala on October 15, leading American officials to issue warnings that the migrants shouldn't attempt to enter the United States illegally.

Honduras is one of a dwindling number of countries that still have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, an island nation off the Chinese coast that Beijing views as a renegade province.

Instead, Guatemala's government said in its own statement that it's now trying to identify and provide humanitarian assistance for the caravan. Guatemalan police initially blocked migrants from reaching a customs booth, Reuters images showed.

"What Trump says doesn't interest us", Fuentes said.

There was no immediate public response from the Honduran government.