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Alejandro Giammattei assures that Guatemala will not participate in the Summit of the Americas | International

The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, (on the right of the image) shakes hands with his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, (on the right of the image) shakes hands with his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.LUIS ECHEVERRIA (REUTERS)

The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, announced on Tuesday that he will not attend the Summit of the Americas to be held in Los Angeles in June, while leaders such as Mexico and Bolivia have conditioned their presence at the forum. The president’s decision comes after the United States, host of the meeting, criticized the renewal of Consuelo Porras as attorney general of the Central American country for four more years (2022-2026). In September 2021, Porras was included in a list of “corrupt and undemocratic agents” by the US Department of State.

The State Department’s comments were not well received by Giammattei. “They are not going to invite me to the summit. In any case, I sent word that I’m not going to go,” the president said. “I told it and I repeat it to the ambassador of that nation [EE UU]: that this country [Guatemala] could be this size [pequeño]but that as long as I was president, this country was respected and its sovereignty is respected, ”said the leader, during an activity of the Mexican embassy in his country.

For the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, during the Porras administration there was a “pattern of obstruction” to corruption investigations. “Porras repeatedly obstructed and undermined anti-corruption investigations in Guatemala to protect his political allies and gain undue political favors,” he said Monday.

Washington warned that respect for democracy is a “condition” for participating in the meeting. The presidents of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and of Bolivia, Luis Arce, have already announced that they make their assistance conditional on there being no exclusions. “I reaffirm that a Summit of the Americas that excludes American countries will not be a full Summit of the Americas, and if the exclusion of sister nations persists, I will not participate in it,” Arce said recently.

The controversy began when the United States did not want to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the Summit to be held between June 6 and 10 for “not respecting” the Inter-American Democratic Charter – the regional document in defense of the institutionality in force since September of 2001—. “If it is excluded, if everyone is not invited, a representation of the Government of Mexico will go, but I would not go, the foreign minister would represent me [Marcelo Ebrard]”, advanced López Obrador for his part.

However, the Mexican president has dispelled this Tuesday the doubts about his possible absence: “You should not think that, if in this case of the summit we do not agree, then there will already be a rupture. No way”. Given this scenario, the president of Honduras, the leftist Xiomara Castro, also asked not to exclude any country.

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For her part, the Chilean Foreign Minister, Antonia Urrejola, has asked that the call be “as broad as possible” and recalled that the exclusion of countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba from this forum “has not produced results.” US officials have said that formal invitations have not yet been made.

The president of Mexico has announced that this Wednesday a delegation from the United States will arrive in his country to discuss the request of the Mexican government not to exclude anyone from the Summit. The leader has indicated that he hopes that his American counterpart, Joe Biden, will finally summon all nations: “I have confidence in President Biden because he is a man who seeks conciliation, dialogue.”

López Obrador has trusted that, whatever Washington’s final decision, good relations will be maintained. “If it is not achieved, that we continue to respect each other anyway, that there are no sanctions or reproaches,” he has maintained.

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