Guatemala Moving Its Embassy to Jerusalem
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
The announced move was politically motivated, likely following US pressure.
For FY 2018, House and Senate members approved around $600 million in aid to Central America, mostly for Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala - funds intended to advance Washington's foreign policy objectives, strings attached to all US aid.
Following Trump's Jerusalem declaration, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced his intention to move the country's embassy to Jerusalem, ignoring international law, saying:
"Today I spoke with…Netanyahu. We talked about the excellent relations we have had as nations since Guatemala supported the creation of the State of Israel, (explaining) the Guatemalan embassy (will move) to Jerusalem."
Morales instructed his foreign minister Sandra Erica Jovel "to initiate the respective coordination to make it so."
Indigenous and opposition political groups call Morales' government hugely corrupt and inefficient - calling for him and scores of complicit lawmakers to resign.
Since mid-September, anti-government protests have been held almost daily, Guatemalans angered over continued deep-seated corruption.
Morales' brother, son, foreign minister, interior minister, finance minister, labor minister, and other administration members either resigned or were arrested on corruption charges.
In 2007, a senior UN official called Guatemala a "good place to commit a murder, because you will almost certainly get away with it."
Sworn into office in mid-January 2016, Morales entered the 2015 race with strong military backing.
A former comedian, portraying himself as a political outsider, he capitalized on corruption scandals, forcing the September 2015 resignation of former president Otto Molina, a graduate of America's infamous School of the Americas.
Stripped of his immunity, he was arrested and jailed on corruption charges - not horrendous human rights abuses he was involved in as head of a counterinsurgency team under former military dictator Efrain Rios Montt's scorched earth campaign in the 1980s, including torture and mass murders.
In his inaugural address, Morales pledged to fight corruption. Instead he fostered it, allegedly enriching himself through illicit financial transactions and money laundering.
He's under investigation by the UN's International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) for $825,000 unaccounted for from his 2015 presidential campaign.
Aiming to protect him, supportive MPs passed legislation granting him immunity from the CICIG probe. Separate legislation aimed to criminalize public protests, equating them to terrorism - the way Israel operates.
Guatemalan officials notoriously enrich themselves in a deeply impoverished nation.
According to the UN in November, around 83% of Guatemalans live in deep poverty. Nearly half of children under age-five suffer from chronic malnutrition.
A privileged few control the nation politically and economically, the vast majority victimized by discrimination, corruption, and human rights abuses.
Guatemala is largely indigenous, less than 20% of the population white, its members comprising the nation's ruling class, benefitting at the expense of the majority.
Like America and Israel, Guatemala exploits and abuses its most vulnerable people.
Morales and Netanyahu are two sides of the same coin. Moving Guatemala's embassy to Jerusalem doesn't surprise. Morales' regime supports the city as Israel's capital.
Guatemala and Honduras were the only two Latin or Central American nations to support Trump's declaration - a lawless move nearly the whole world opposes.
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