[www.caribbean360.com] – Head of the United States Southern Military Command, (SOUTHCOM), warned that an Ebola outbreak in Central America or the Caribbean could trigger a mass migration to the United States.
Marine Gen. John F. Kelly also implied that established Central American illegal trafficking networks could introduce the infected persons into the US.
“If it comes to the Western Hemisphere, the countries that we’re talking about have almost no ability to deal with it — particularly in Haiti and Central America,” said Kelly during remarks at a panel Tuesday on security issues in the Western Hemisphere at the National Defense University.
“It will make the 68,000 unaccompanied minors look like a small problem,” he added. “I think you’ve seen this so many times in the past, when in doubt, take off,” he said.
According to the US Naval Institute’s online news and analysis portal (USNI News), although an ocean away from Ebola hotspots in West Africa, a growing number of West Africans are using the illicit trafficking routes through Central America to enter the US illegally and could introduce the disease in the US.
The US has sent 4,000 troops to West Africa to assist countries in dealing with the Ebola outbreaks in the region.
“The five services of the US military will get it done and be a large solution to this problem,” said Kelly, adding that SOUTHCOM is in regular contact with AFRICOM in the event of the worst-case outcome.
“We’re watching what US Africa Command (AFRICOM) is doing and their plan will be our plan,” he said. “The nightmare scenario, I think, is right around the corner.”