Howdy folks! Chuck Holton here with another great episode of the Hot Zone for your entertainment and edification. The podcast is growing by leaps and bounds – and that’s a good thing. Thanks for your support and feedback. I want the hotzone to get better and better at giving you the news and commentary that really matters. Rather than obsess for days about celebrity breakups or inside the beltway shenanigans, I want to talk about the places where people need help. There are millions of real people out there around the world who could care less about Kanye or Pelosi because their lives are being turned upside down as we speak. And I don’t just want to bring you their stories, I want to give you a way to reach into their lives and help them directly. It’s a new kind of news gathering that really hasn’t been tried, and you get to be a part of it. Just go to Patreon.com/hotzone and subscribe for three bucks a month and soon (as in within a couple of days) I’ll be off on another big trip to Afghanistan, my first in five years., and I’ll bring you not only the ground truth about what’s going on there, but I’m going to bring some cheer to the US troops stationed there, and you get to come along with me.
Okay, let’s get to the news. Protesters in Honduras set fire to the front gate of the US embassy in Tegucigalpa over the weekend. The weird thing is, nobody’s exactly sure why. They were protesting rumors that the Honduran government is about to privatize their health care system, something the government denies, but that has literally nothing to do with the United States. It also came out over the weekend that the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez is… or at least was being investigated by the DEA for being involved in a massive drug and money laundering scheme, but I can’t figure out how that would cause Hondurans to be angry at us, especially since most of the country seems to hate the president, who they call by his initials, “JOH” for getting himself reelected back in 2017. See the Honduran constitution stipulates that the president can only serve one term, but somehow JOH got that changed so he could run for reelection. The country has basically been on fire since then, though many of the protests, they say, are being instigated by undercover Venezuelan provocateurs. Whatever the reason, all the protesting has at least forty percent of the country (like four million people) planning to head north to the United States as soon as possible.
We’re seeing lots and lots of unrest across Latin America, and much of it indeed has to do with Venezuela, because they were subsidizing countries across the region with cheap oil for many years, but that golden goose has run out of eggs, and now countries like Haiti and Nicaragua are up in arms as they are seeing huge price increases as the cost of fuel is no longer at artificially low prices.
But there’s a deeper issue at play in Latin America, and it strikes at the heart of the same kinds of worldview divisions we see in the United States right now. Many across Central and South America adhere to what is called the Chavista worldview, named after Hugo Chavez. Essentially socialist leanings. And for many years politicians in places like Bolivia and Nicaragua have been pitting the poor against the rich by spouting the same tired tripe we’re hearing out of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. “Power to the people!” Yeah right. Except what they mean by that is making the people as dependent as possible on a government that takes all you have to ostensibly provide everything you need. Which never works, but definitely gets the votes!
So far at least 25 people have been injured in the protests in Honduras, fortunately none of those were Americans at the embassy, which basically told it’s people to stay home that day and keep a low profile. But it does kind of make you scratch your head and wonder how if so many of these Hondurans want to go to the United States, why are they attacking our embassy? Seems counterproductive.
Anyway, let’s move on. Last Wednesday night at about 9pm in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, a sightseeing barge with 33 South Koreans and two local crew members on-board collided with a much larger Viking Lines cruise ship near one of the famous bridges that spans the Danube between buda and pest. Hungarian police say the smaller boat flipped over and sank in about seven seconds.
Seven tourists are confirmed dead already, but there are another nineteen Koreans and the two crewmen who are still missing, presumed trapped in the wreckage or swept away by a river swollen by the heavy rain that has been severely hampering the emergency rescue operation. Only Seven South Koreans are known to have survived the disaster.
I was on a Danube river cruise back in 2016…on a ship almost identical to the one which caused the sightseeing barge to capsize. The river this time of year is very crowded with ships, and the currents are fast, especially this year since the water level is so high. But you can see by the video I shot why it’s such a popular place – Budapest is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. But tragedy can strike anywhere, and this is a very unfortunate series of events to be sure. The captain of the Viking cruise ship has been arrested, and will likely be charged with manslaughter for hitting the smaller boat, although it looks to me by the video that the smaller boat cut in front of the ship.
The reason I was there was to join a cruise with some important American politicians and make a news feature about the migrant crisis in Europe. On that trip I had a chance to talk to Newt Gingrich about the crisis, and what he said is, I think, very applicable to our own migrant crisis we’re seeing today on the US southern border. Take a listen.
The migrant crisis in Europe is still happening, though the press has gotten kind of tired of reporting on it. Over the weekend a migrant center in Bosnia caught fire and more than 20 people were injured. Here’s one of the migrants describing the scene.
The effect of all this migration is that Europe is shifting politically much further to the right. People are starting to realize that when you institute massive socialized programs to care for your people, then fail to control your borders, you will very likely see millions of people from outside your country who have never contributed to your system show up with their hands out looking to cash in on your generosity. And that’s when your system starts to break down.
Okay let’s go on to talk about Israel. There were two more stabbing attacks in Jerusalem last week, both carried out by palestinians. One attack occurred in the early morning, around 6:20 A.M. Israeli police say officers at the scene in Jerusalem shot and killed one suspect, a Palestinian from the West Bank who had been allowed into Israel for the last Friday of Ramadan. according to police.
The first stabbing occurred near Damascus Gate, and the victim was evacuated to the hospital where he remains in critical condition. The 50-year-old Jewish man was on his way to pray at the wall when he was stabbed in the neck and head. The other victim was a 26-year-old man.
There have been at least nine terror attacks in Israel this year by Palestinians that have resulted in Jews being killed or wounded.
Stabbings are one of the more common ways Palestinians try to kill Jews…about forty percent of all terror attacks against Jews in Israel last year were carried out this way. But Palestinians are equal opportunity murderers. They’ll just as happily use guns, rockets, or ram their car into a crowded bus station. It should be noted that these attacks would be much, much more deadly if Israel wasn’t such a heavily armed society. And because of their universal military service requirement, among other things, those good guys who are carrying weapons tend to be well trained in their use. And that’s a good thing.
Now, somebody take a guess about how many terror attacks have been perpetrated by Jews in the past ten years…Right. Not many. Not zero, but probably less than a dozen, most aimed back at Palestinians whose elected government openly calls for the murder of all Jews and the destruction of the Jewish state. So there’s that.
Well that’s all I have for today folks. Thanks for watching. Remember, I’m headed to Afghanistan later this week and am looking forward to bringing you great content from the war zone there as I embed with US troops. Prayers appreciated as always. And thanks again for being a part of the Hot Zone.