The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, has not been invited to the Summit for Democracy convened by Joe Biden. However, the Guatemalan president is in Washington attending other meetings. The reasons why Giammattei was not invited to the Summit are drawing attention in the United States and Latin America. Publications such as The Economist are already drawing attention to the fact that the Summit for Democracy may not be so democratic.
Guatemala is one of the countries of the so-called “Northern Triangle,” which also includes El Salvador and Honduras. During the last few years, thousands of migrants have left these countries in massive groups trying to enter the United States through the southern border. What is happening in Guatemala is undoubtedly important to the United States, in fact, Vice President Kamala Harris recently visited the country to talk with President Giammattei about the migration crisis in the United States and what Guatemala can do to help.
If Guatemala is such an important ally, why was it not invited to the Summit for Democracy?
Other Latin American countries such as Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba were also not invited to the Summit, however, for anyone who knows the reality of Latin America, it is evident that Guatemala does not resemble these totalitarian regimes.
Juan Gonzalez, special assistant to the president and in charge of Latin American affairs at the White House National Security Council, has said that Guatemala is a democracy facing “some challenges.”
But, for many, this is a political issue, and questions and complaints are evident in social networks. Guatemalan businessman Rodrigo Arenas, CEO of República, assures that “Guatemala was not invited to the Summit not because of its democratic values, but because of the political agenda of the United States. Today, unfortunately, this is more an ideological issue than a matter of principles or democratic values; those who were in charge of the invitations to the Summit are close to the NGOs and organizations with socialist tendencies in Guatemala.”
Meanwhile, Alfonso Aguilar, president of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and former head of the U.S. Citizenship Office told El American: “I have no doubt that one of the reasons Guatemala was excluded from the Summit is because of the country’s government defense of the right to life. The Biden administration is aggressively promoting abortion in the region and is upset that there are countries that oppose its agenda of cultural imperialism.”
Giammattei talks to El American about the economy and his anti-abortion policy
The president spoke with El American about what is happening in Guatemala and how his country can collaborate with the United States. On migration to the United States, he said that they need to solve the structural causes and for that “we have to generate jobs.”
Giammattei said that what he is asking the Biden administration (and what he discussed with Vice President Harris in his last visit to Guatemala) was that the US help Guatemala with trade, allowing them to create jobs and thus avoid migration, which he says is due to lack of work and not because of violence, which is the main cause of migration from the other countries of the so-called “northern triangle.”
One of the issues for which the president is in the United States during the same days of the Summit for Democracy is Guatemala’s fight for the right to life of the unborn. The International Human Rights Group, in conjunction with the Institute for Women’s Health, held an event to recognize the work that the Guatemalan government is doing in this regard.
In conversation with El American, the Guatemalan president assured that in addition to a matter of beliefs, the Guatemalan Constitution protects life from conception and that, therefore, abortion is not legal in Guatemala. But he also asserted that he will not “allow a foreign country to pass over the beliefs and Constitution of Guatemala.”
“No country can come to tell us to make laws that violate our Constitution, we already had a ship from Holland that came to promote abortions in Guatemala, they took women out to sea by boat, they performed abortions on them and returned them, and what they were getting was stem cells.”