Guatemala politics – IPMS Guatemala http://ipmsguatemala.org/ Sat, 27 Nov 2021 06:59:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://ipmsguatemala.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-61-120x120.png Guatemala politics – IPMS Guatemala http://ipmsguatemala.org/ 32 32 Reuters Global News Summary | Politics https://ipmsguatemala.org/reuters-global-news-summary-politics/ Fri, 26 Nov 2021 23:56:04 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/reuters-global-news-summary-politics/ Here is a summary of the news in the world. US says “all options” are on table for Russian troop build-up near Ukraine All options are on the table as to how to respond to the “large and unusual” troop build-up near the Ukrainian border, and the NATO alliance will decide the next decision following […]]]>

Here is a summary of the news in the world.

US says “all options” are on table for Russian troop build-up near Ukraine

All options are on the table as to how to respond to the “large and unusual” troop build-up near the Ukrainian border, and the NATO alliance will decide the next decision following consultations. next week, the top US diplomat in the US State Department for European Affairs said on Friday. . “As you can understand, all the options are on the table and there is a toolkit that includes a whole range of options,” Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried said at the meeting. ‘a telephone briefing.

Senior Iranian diplomat calls for lifting sanctions days before Vienna nuclear talks

Iran wants the economic sanctions to which it is subjected to be verifiably lifted, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Friday, three days before nuclear talks resumed in Vienna. Monday’s indirect talks between the United States and Iran, with the participation of the major powers, aim to bring the two countries into full compliance with the 2015 agreement. Washington abandoned the agreement in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions against Iran.

At least 19 dead in central Mexican bus crash

At least 19 people were killed and 20 others injured on Friday when a passenger bus traveling on a highway in central Mexico crashed into a house, authorities said. The brakes on the bus, which was heading to a local religious shrine in the state of Mexico, failed, according to local media. State authorities have not disclosed the possible causes of the crash.

WTO postpones major meeting after outbreak of new variant

The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday became the first major diplomatic victim of the new variant of the coronavirus when it postponed its first ministerial meeting in four years due to the deteriorating health situation. Ministers from WTO members were due to meet next week for a meeting widely seen as a test of the relevance of the WTO.

New Omicron COVID Variant Sounds Global Alarm, Market Mass Sell

The discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus named Omicron sparked global alarm on Friday as countries rushed to suspend travel from southern Africa and stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic suffered their worst falls in more than a year. The World Health Organization (WHO) said Omicron https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/what-we-know-about-covid-19-variant-detected-south-africa-2021 -11-26 can spread faster than other forms, and preliminary evidence suggests that there is an increased risk of re-infection.

‘To cross. Come on, ”Lukashenko says to migrants at the Polish border

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko told migrants stranded at the border with Poland on Friday that his country would help them return home if they wished, but would not force them. Thousands of migrants are stranded at the European Union’s eastern border, in what the EU says is a crisis in Minsk conceived by distributing Belarusian visas in the Middle East, bringing them in by plane and pushing them to across the border.

Senior U.S. diplomat for Asia to visit four ASEAN countries

America’s top diplomat for East Asia to visit Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand from weekend after President Joe Biden pledges to step up engagement with Asia Southeast, a key battleground in its struggle for influence with China. Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state for East Asia, will be in the region from Saturday to December 4, according to a State Department statement.

WHO names new COVID variant omicron, warns against travel measures

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday classified the B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa as a “variant of concern” of SARS-CoV-2, saying it could spread faster than other forms. Preliminary evidence suggests there is an increased risk of reinfection and that there has been a “detrimental change in the epidemiology of COVID-19,” he said in a statement after a closed-door meeting of independent experts who reviewed the data.

US to revoke Colombian FARC terrorist designation, add splinter groups

The United States will revoke its designation of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia group as a foreign terrorist organization on Tuesday while designating two dissident groups as such, a senior State Department official said on Friday. A review of the terrorist list – required every five years under US law – found that the left-wing organization known by the Spanish acronym FARC should no longer be listed, the official said.

“We must work”: hundreds of migrants form a new caravan bound for the United States in Mexico

Hundreds of migrants from Central America and Haiti formed a new caravan on Friday in the state of Chiapas, in southern Mexico, near the Guatemalan border, and began marching north towards the United States. United. The migrants said they wanted to leave Chiapas because they had not received humanitarian visas promised by Mexico or transferred to other parts of the country where they would have better living conditions.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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Biden officials are favorites in Guatemalan politics, critics say https://ipmsguatemala.org/biden-officials-are-favorites-in-guatemalan-politics-critics-say/ Mon, 22 Nov 2021 15:22:30 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/biden-officials-are-favorites-in-guatemalan-politics-critics-say/ As the United States spends some $ 310 million in Central American land, officials and experts are divided over whether these taxes are being siphoned off to fuel a “left revolution” or to drive reform. indispensable in corrupt local legal systems. The State Department said the funds were intended to promote democracy and border security. […]]]>

As the United States spends some $ 310 million in Central American land, officials and experts are divided over whether these taxes are being siphoned off to fuel a “left revolution” or to drive reform. indispensable in corrupt local legal systems.

The State Department said the funds were intended to promote democracy and border security.

President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s administration is using foreign aid and a “leftist agenda” to subsidize “instability and economic misery” in Guatemala, Guatemalan analyst Luis Figueroa and man said. American Business Expatriate Steve Hecht.

They cite an anti-corruption forum in Washington, DC last month in which former Guatemalan officials Thelma Aldana and Juan Francisco Sandoval participated. State Department officials praised Sandoval for pursuing corruption cases. Yet both Aldana and Sandoval had been charged by the Attorney General of Guatemala, María Consuelo Porras.

The two former officials escaped prosecution at home by extending their stay in the United States, which made no effort to arrest them or hand them over to Guatemalan officials for trial.

In response to Porras’ indictment of Aldana and Sandoval, the State Department denied a US visa to Porras, who has not been charged with any crime in either Guatemala or the United States. Additionally, some US officials have praised Porras. The United States Embassy congratulated her, and the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency thanked Porras for extraditing criminals to the United States.

Nonetheless, Secretary of State Antony Binken later named her “corrupt actor. “Porras had” hindered investigations into acts of corruption by interfering with criminal investigations, “the Blinken statement said.

“Everyone knows she was put on the bad actor list because she fired Sandoval,” Hecht said.

State Department officials highlighted comments by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, who said at an inter-American dialogue ceremony in September that Porras had seen himself refuse a visa for “obstructing corruption investigations” and for firing Sandoval, who has a long left-wing pedigree and has been accused of corruption.

Samantha Power is a director of the United States Agency for International Development. (Greg Nash-Pool / Getty Images)

This leads some observers to believe that the United States is taking sides in an internal right-left struggle in Guatemala. But State Department officials insist they are only trying to help “anti-corruption efforts” and promote “the rule of law.”

Porras was appointed to her current post during the tenure of former President Jimmy Morales in 2018. The Morales National Convergence Front was founded by a group of former military officers.

Sandoval had been a prosecutor since 2015. During his tenure, he and Aldana filed corruption charges against ex-President Otto Perez Molina, while civic organizations such as Semilla demanded his ouster during tumultuous protests.

After being replaced by Porras, Aldana made a presidential offer with Semilla, but a court disqualified him. Semilla is aware of the “hateful inequalities generated by an uncontrolled capitalism centered on the accumulation of wealth”, specifies its website.

Porras said her agency continues to face “pressure” from the State Department which she says is at the expense of eradicating corruption.

María Consuelo Porras has been charged with bribery, but neither the United States nor Guatemala has charged her with any crime. (Public domain)

“Sandoval was their criminal. They knew he had committed crimes, but it is part of their program. They believe these crimes are justified because of the purity of their agenda and the wickedness of their opponents, ”Hecht said.

“Guatemala has never had the rule of law,” Hecht said, “But what the United States is doing is not helping.”

This political battle was sparked when US Vice President Kamala Harris and Administrator Power visited Guatemala in June. As US media covered Harris’ words telling Guatemalans to “do not come” to the United States without a valid visa, Guatemalan officials noted his connection to Sandoval.

Soon after, Porras fired Sandoval, who left the country and now faces charges of contempt of his authority. US sanctions against Porras quickly followed.

“I believe USAID and what I call the human rights oligarchy have been preparing for a revolutionary change of government for 10 years without the need for elections,” said Guatemalan political analyst Luis Figueroa . “By removing a president and vice president for corruption, Congress would then choose acceptable replacements for pressure groups pushing for change, but not elected by voters. “

The anti-USAID rhetoric “is absurd and misleading,” said Justin Wolfe of the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University. “The CICIG [an independent anti-corruption commission] has done extremely important work and faced considerable effort to derail its efforts. Guatemala has suffered and continues to suffer from terrible corruption, and Jimmy Morales’ administration has been one of the worst in recent memory, certainly since the return of electoral democracy to Guatemala.

“The United States has long supported grotesque human rights violations and corruption in Guatemala under the pretext of keeping communism at bay,” Wolfe said. He cited the case of the “genocidal actions” of General Efraín Ríos Montt as President of Guatemala in 1982-1983 after taking power in a military coup.

Wolfe says those who now speak out against the UN-sanctioned International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, known almost universally by its Spanish initials, CICIG, and USAID have supported this regime, without providing any evidence for this. affirmation.

Policy concerns

Another speaker at the Washington conference was Iván Velásquez, a Colombian lawyer who headed CICIG. He too is a controversial figure in Guatemala.

Hecht and Figueroa told Zenger that Velásquez and his now closed CICIG continue to divide Guatemalan politics.

Iván Velázquez, a Colombian jurist who headed CICIG, has sparked controversy in Guatemala for the commission’s alleged abuses. (Public domain)

Hecht said the State Department and USAID, particularly during the Bush and Obama years, and again under President Biden, pursued policies in Guatemala and in Latin America in general that “create chaos and promote left-wing objectives ”.

Hecht testified in June before the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights of the United States House of Representatives, “[Ambassador Todd] Robinson used the CICIG as a ram to try to change Guatemala’s constitution and make an electoral law in 2016. This was possible because the extraordinary power of the CICIG came from its diplomatic immunity and international support, in particular the United States. He could do anything illegally to anyone and did it.

In 2019, a Guatemalan congressional committee heard testimony from citizens alleging abuse by the CICIG. Prosecutor Velásquez denounced the commission, claiming that it violates the constitutional separation of powers and constitutes “an illegal interference of the legislative power” in the independent entity. “The ultimate goal of the commission… is to disrupt ongoing (legal) affairs,” Velásquez said.

Hecht told Zenger: “Many Guatemalans fear the CICIG because it seems to prosecute people who disagree with it.

Edited by Melanie Slone and Kristen Butler



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Mexican authorities find more than 400 migrants in trailers https://ipmsguatemala.org/mexican-authorities-find-more-than-400-migrants-in-trailers/ Sat, 20 Nov 2021 02:47:04 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/mexican-authorities-find-more-than-400-migrants-in-trailers/ Mexican authorities on Friday discovered more than 400 migrants passing through the country in the back of two semi-trailers, not far from where two caravans of migrants were more visibly, and slowly, en route north. The migrants were held by authorities in a walled yard until federal immigration officials could retrieve them. “There were more […]]]>

Mexican authorities on Friday discovered more than 400 migrants passing through the country in the back of two semi-trailers, not far from where two caravans of migrants were more visibly, and slowly, en route north.

The migrants were held by authorities in a walled yard until federal immigration officials could retrieve them.

“There were more than 400,” said Tonatiuh Hernández Sarmiento, of the Veracruz Human Rights Commission, after visiting the migrants.

“Some were very dirty, covered in mud, I imagine because of the conditions of the containers… the overcrowding. I imagine that because of the heat, they were really wet. There were children, pregnant women and the sick among them, he said.

As caravans of hundreds of migrants marching together by day on highways attract more attention, the clandestine flow of migrants paying smugglers for direct trips to the US border continues.

Leaders from Mexico, the United States and Canada discussed immigration at meetings in Washington on Thursday at the North American Leaders’ Summit. Their statements after the meetings were positive and upbeat, but light on the details.

The three countries have agreed to increase avenues for legal migration, for example with more visas for temporary workers. They also pledged to expand access to protection status for migrants and tackle the causes that push them to migrate, but did not offer specific numbers or time frames.

“It was not something substantial, I see it as stagnant, there is no progress,” said Alejandra Macías, director of the non-governmental organization Asylum Access Mexico. Maureen Meyer, vice president for Latin American affairs at the Washington Office for Latin America, a human rights organization, said their reaffirmation of the rights of migrants and asylum seekers is positive, “but Actions on the ground, particularly in Mexico and the US-Mexico border, continue to violate migrants’ rights, deny them access to protection, and allow crimes and human rights violations to occur with impunity. The migrant caravan currently in Veracruz is the first to have made progress so far in the past two years, as since 2019 security forces have stopped and disbanded the caravans.

This time, the Mexican government used the offer of humanitarian visas to decrease the number of the caravan as it slowly made its way north, but some remained suspicious and continued to march. Some migrants who received the documents said they were swept away by northern authorities and returned to Tapachula near the Guatemalan border.

This is why Abel Louigens from Haiti decided to join the caravan that left Tapachula on Thursday with some 2,000 other migrants. “They give you a paper, but only for Tapachula,” he said. “You can’t travel all over Mexico, you can’t take a bus to look for work, but in Chiapas there is no work.” He said he would settle wherever he could find work in Mexico and only enter the United States legally. “I can’t risk them sending me back to my country.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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CELAM seeks to explain “politics is a way of living the Christian faith” https://ipmsguatemala.org/celam-seeks-to-explain-politics-is-a-way-of-living-the-christian-faith/ Fri, 19 Nov 2021 16:05:53 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/celam-seeks-to-explain-politics-is-a-way-of-living-the-christian-faith/ MEXICO CITY (CNS) – Police regularly patrol outside the parish where Mgr. Carlos Áviles celebrates mass in Managua, Nicaragua. He calls it an act of “intimidation” for his outspokenness on political issues. It also fits a pattern of harassment against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua by a government that has branded priests as “terrorists”. Seven […]]]>

MEXICO CITY (CNS) – Police regularly patrol outside the parish where Mgr. Carlos Áviles celebrates mass in Managua, Nicaragua. He calls it an act of “intimidation” for his outspokenness on political issues. It also fits a pattern of harassment against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua by a government that has branded priests as “terrorists”.

Seven presidential candidates were disqualified and opposition figures were arrested before President Daniel Ortega won the presidential elections on November 7. Áviles, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Managua, called the process “totalitarian”.

What is happening in Nicaragua shows the disturbing trend of democratic retreat in Latin America, where authoritarian and autocratic leaders are on the rise, political parties weaken and fall into disrepute, and candidates with anti-system agendas gain power. As the Latin American Council of Bishops, or CELAM, meets in Mexico from November 21-28, an important part of its agenda is how to deal with the decline of democracy, a process driven by parties and governments. leaders of left and right.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who speaks favorably of the military regime, has already cast doubt on the outcome of the legislative elections scheduled for October 2022. The Venezuelan government has organized mock elections and persecuted opponents. Bolivian and Honduran leaders have won cases in their countries’ supreme courts for the right to represent themselves, despite constitutional bans – steps that have led to contested elections and violence.

“There is an authoritarian tendency on both sides of the spectrum,” said Jesuit Father Mauricio García Duran, executive director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Colombia. “There are complex challenges in the sense that leaders don’t really believe in true democratic participation. “

In an interview, Archbishop of Peru Hector Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, president of CELAM, told Catholic News Service: “When we talk about strengthening (democracy), it means that there is a weakness, and it certainly is. the case in many countries. … Although (democracy) is the best system, in which the church believes, it is weak and, in many countries, much weaker still. “

A recent Latinobarómetro poll, measuring attitudes in Latin America, estimated support for democracy at 48% in 2018, up from 63% in 2010.

The situation presents puzzles for the Catholic Church in Latin America. In some countries, such as Chile and Mexico, bishops forged close ties with the elites, who were later dismissed from office or brought into disrepute. In other countries, evangelical politicians claim elective office, especially in legislatures, and threaten the influence of Catholic leaders in the political sphere.

Pope Francis urged Catholics to pursue a pastoral approach of leaving parishes for the periphery, continuing to protect human rights, and raising their voices to deal with social injustices. It is not always a comfortable place for church leaders, who see raising such issues as conflicting with political elites. Observers say this is increasingly competitive ground as evangelical congregations gain ground with the poor.

“Despite the progress of political and social participation, in our region” the harmonious and peaceful coexistence is deteriorating very seriously in many countries “”, we read in the preparatory document of the CELAM assembly, citing the document published in from his Aparecida assembly in 2007. Pope Francis, then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, headed the drafting committee for this document.

“Participation in the revitalization of the social fabric is unique to Christians insofar as we are jointly responsible for the common good”, specifies the preparatory document. “Therefore, it is urgent for us to participate and work for the maturation of the political and social systems of our peoples … so that political systems are truly at the service of people and their integral development.

The role of Catholics in promoting democracy has often been uneven, according to prelates. The grim reality is reflected both in the abundance of politicians professing Catholicism but accused of engaging in corruption or the trampling of human rights, and in the passivity of citizens accepting vices such as buying money. voice or bad governance.

“There is a great lack of political training,” said Cardinal Álvaro Ramazzini of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. “We ourselves, coming from the social doctrine of the Church, are more or less trying to do something.

“But (it) is difficult for (people) to understand that politics is a way of living the Christian faith and, in that sense, our democracies are very weak.”

Observers attribute much of the disenchantment to a lack of results.

“For years, the region has seen public support for democracy wane, fueled by widespread frustration with slow growth, stubborn inequality and corruption,” said Benjamin Gedan, deputy director of the Latin American program at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, based in Washington. . “Latin America’s democratic setback should not be overstated,” he added, highlighting trends such as the increased militarization of public security, the use of the pandemic as a pretext to restrict protests and the obstruction of independent journalism.

“Democracy has brought the illusion of a more just society. It just didn’t happen, ”said Ilán Semo, historian at the Ibero-American University run by the Jesuits in Mexico City.

Intervening in politics – or being seen as siding with the elites – can be problematic for the church. In Honduras, bishops were divided over the condemnation of the 2009 coup. The years that followed have led to a loss of credibility, although recent statements have been “very strong against a political class, which has failed. was not attentive to national issues, ”said Father Germán Calix, former director of Cáritas Honduras.

The political picture seems bleak in the region. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele consolidated power in the presidency, while subordinating the courts and congress and persecuting critical journalists and civil society actors.

In recent years, Guatemala has suppressed an international mechanism to fight impunity – after the country’s elites came under unprecedented judicial scrutiny. The country has been criticized for undermining the rule of law, but also for its mismanagement of the pandemic and its inability to launch vaccination campaigns.

“I can mention myself as one of those who are disappointed with this government,” Cardinal Ramazzini said.

The church in some countries is raising its voice louder. This year, the bishops of Guatemala chided the impeachment of the country’s top anti-impunity prosecutor and demanded that migrants deported from the United States not be thrown into the remote jungle on the Mexico-Guatemala border. The bishops of Mexico have also spoken on the issue of migration.

But the intervention carries risks. In Bolivia, the bishops were invited by the ruling party to mediate the end of the 2019 post-electoral conflict, in which President Evo Morales claimed victory in a vote strewn with irregularities. The deal helped end violent protests and saw the installation of an interim president – a figure that has proven to be polarizing and controversial. Following the democratic return of Morales’ party to power with another leader in 2020, the new government accused the church of participating in a coup.

Bolivian journalist Rafael Archondo attributed the country’s electoral turmoil to Morales seeking a fourth term after losing a referendum on the issue. “It is a tradition in Latin America to have a leader who sees himself as irreplaceable.

Nicaragua also has a leader who sees himself as irreplaceable. After protests erupted in early 2018 and people demanded the ouster of Ortega, Nicaraguan bishops facilitated the talks. The process collapsed as Ortega showed no interest in complying with demands for new elections.

The situation became so tense that Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Baez, an outspoken critic of Ortega, was forced to flee the country. An explosive device was then thrown into the Chapel of the Blood of Christ in Managua Cathedral. Even a COVID-19 program run by the diocese has been shut down by the health ministry.

“I want to be a priest. I want to give catechism lessons. I want to celebrate mass. But when it affects my flock… we have to talk and say something ”, Mgr. Áviles told CNS.

“It’s not that we get involved in politics. I defend fundamental human rights, ”he said. “We are not going to be silent.


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In search of strength, migrants to the United States congregate in southern Mexico https://ipmsguatemala.org/in-search-of-strength-migrants-to-the-united-states-congregate-in-southern-mexico/ Thu, 18 Nov 2021 14:51:29 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/in-search-of-strength-migrants-to-the-united-states-congregate-in-southern-mexico/ Groups of migrants from Haiti and Central America joined forces on Thursday as they left the southern Mexican town of Tapachula for the US border. About 3,000 migrants had arrived in small groups near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala in recent weeks to rest, then continue their way north as part of a larger caravan. […]]]>

Groups of migrants from Haiti and Central America joined forces on Thursday as they left the southern Mexican town of Tapachula for the US border.

About 3,000 migrants had arrived in small groups near Mexico’s southern border with Guatemala in recent weeks to rest, then continue their way north as part of a larger caravan. About 150 people, mostly from Haiti, gathered in a park between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning to travel north, a Reuters reporter said.

Members of another migrant caravan, meanwhile, also started moving forward Thursday from Tapachula where they had been waiting for months. They were bound for Veracruz after agreeing on meeting points through messaging apps and social media. Ana Gomez, a 32-year-old Salvadoran, who was traveling with her three children, sister and niece, said she spent a month in Tapachula.

Although her destination is the United States, Gomez said she was not ruling out the possibility of staying in Mexico. “I had to flee my country,” Gomez said, citing threats from criminals as the reason. “A month ago they came to our house and said if I didn’t deliver my daughter they would kill her.”

US authorities arrested more than 1.7 million migrants at the US-Mexico border during the fiscal year, the most on record https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/new-migrant-caravan- mexico-pushes-past-blockade- tête-nord-2021-10-23. Families put blankets on the floor to put the children to sleep, surrounded by backpacks, water bottles and food as the adults chatted.

The colorful perforated paper, a traditional decoration from the Day of the Dead festival earlier this month, was still in place; a street vendor with a yellow bicycle tried to sell snacks to migrants with little money to resell. Haitians Adrian, 26, and his girlfriend Catiana, 24, who both declined to give their last names, said they spent two months in Tapachula.

“I went in search of a better life,” he said. “I’m almost out of money. I’m looking for work, but they tell me I must be Mexican or have a visa.” His destination, he said, was Mexico City, where he hoped to find work.

The new caravan comes as leaders of the United States, Mexico and Canada held talks on issues that also included measures to contain migration.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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Perception is reality | Policy More https://ipmsguatemala.org/perception-is-reality-policy-more/ Mon, 15 Nov 2021 21:02:00 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/perception-is-reality-policy-more/ GOP consultant Lee Atwater coined the phrase “perception is reality” and Republicans have run on that belief ever since. It means “don’t worry about the facts, if you can get people to believe something, it becomes de facto fact. This afternoon, Biden will be signing a much-needed popular infrastructure bill America. Mitch McConnell voted in […]]]>

GOP consultant Lee Atwater coined the phrase “perception is reality” and Republicans have run on that belief ever since. It means “don’t worry about the facts, if you can get people to believe something, it becomes de facto fact.

This afternoon, Biden will be signing a much-needed popular infrastructure bill America. Mitch McConnell voted in favor, but I doubt he and many other Republicans who signed him will attend the signing ceremony. I bet many Republicans who didn’t sign the bill will appear at the groundbreaking photoshoot in their district.

This very morning I heard a lie, reported as the truth about a white van with Antifa and BLM members found and released on January 6.e insurrection. This lie has been repeated over 400,000 times on RW’s social media. A USATODAY poll found that 58% of Trump voters said they viewed the events of January 6 as “primarily an Antifa-inspired attack.” Lee Atwater smiled from the afterlife. The FBI refuted the claims shortly after the riot… March 2, 2021, NPR

I can argue until I’m blue in the face and produce tons of evidence that the price of gasoline has nothing at all with the occupant of the Presidency but it will always fall on someone’s ear. deaf. Anytime gas prices go up dramatically, the person at the pump will blame the current president and that will not change. The opposition party will include gasoline prices at the pump in its political advertisements. I guess the president could release some oil from the strategic oil reserve, but that’s a short-term solution and it loses our clout to keep world prices from being higher than they are.

There is no sugar, inflation at 6.2%, the highest in 30 years erasing a wage increase of 4.9% and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. It is no use bragging about the 5.6 million jobs created in 10 months in a country that believes in ‘what have you been doing for me lately’. Joe Biden is at his lowest level (10 months) of approval (41%) and Vice President Harris even lower at 28% and that’s not going to help medium term in a year.

I don’t know how long inflation will be with us or how far it will go, but I’m sure Joe Biden will be working 24/7 on the issue. It’s not based on my bias; it’s based on what I’ve seen. I saw the stimulus package passed, the infrastructure bill with a total of 32 Republicans on board and never lose sight of the need to continue to fight COVID-19 and climate change. A few fumbles and a pick-6 and that kind of pulled the sails out of his three touchdowns, but there’s three quarters to go with the time left in this quarter.

I remember Trump dismantling his COVID-19 task force and checking three months before the election to focus on the election and three months after, to fight the results.

The Sunday morning political talk shows were brutal in airing their opening promo with “Joe Biden’s poll numbers are plummeting, so what does this mean for Democrats?” The administration sent its spokesperson, and the talk shows responded with a Republican. I never heard any suggestion of what the GOP would do; they just said it was too expensive and socialist. It made me laugh because Trump was asking for $ 2 trillion in nearly identical projects (minus the wall) and the GOP wouldn’t have blinked.

I can understand the poll numbers except for the low numbers from Kamala Harris. She was never going to be a Dick Cheney; it was always going to be traditional. She would remain discreet and defend, explain and advance the president’s agenda. I don’t understand why she is 13% lower than the president. Some said it was because the president gave him a task that had not been resolved for 21 years. Biden sent her to tackle the root cause which is Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Good luck because anyone familiar with the subject knows that these countries will not cooperate and that Congress must come up with a comprehensive immigration reform program. The Senate passed one in 2010, but President Ryan did not allow it to run in the House for an up or down vote.

My party is losing the message war. The GOP hasn’t done anything for the past ten months, but they are the default winners in all categories. Same COVID-19, where 85% of Democrats are vaccinated and just over 40% of Republicans are. New cases are dropping but Delta Plus is just around the corner. You just know if a GOP president like Trump had a record Wall Street count, 5.6 million jobs were added, wages are up 4.9% and new cases of COVID-19 were going down, the base would be on every talk show with these numbers tattooed on their foreheads for everyone to see. The happy days are back.

Yes, we are losing the message war, but I would do nothing but speak the truth, provide the sources, and live with the outcome. This is not a good formula in a “win at all costs” world.

Michael Gomez is a retired, opinionated, center-left political junkie who enjoys discussing issues, as opposed to ideology.


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Biden signs bill calling for more sanctions, pressuring Nicaragua https://ipmsguatemala.org/biden-signs-bill-calling-for-more-sanctions-pressuring-nicaragua/ https://ipmsguatemala.org/biden-signs-bill-calling-for-more-sanctions-pressuring-nicaragua/#respond Wed, 10 Nov 2021 18:20:28 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/biden-signs-bill-calling-for-more-sanctions-pressuring-nicaragua/ US President Joe Biden enacted a bill on Wednesday calling for more sanctions and other punitive measures against the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, which extended its grip on power in an election that Washington has denounced as a sham. Biden, who accused Ortega of orchestrating Sunday’s vote as a “pantomime election that was […]]]>

US President Joe Biden enacted a bill on Wednesday calling for more sanctions and other punitive measures against the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, which extended its grip on power in an election that Washington has denounced as a sham. Biden, who accused Ortega of orchestrating Sunday’s vote as a “pantomime election that was neither free nor fair”, gave his approval to the bill a week after it was finally passed by the US Congress with support overwhelming bipartite.

The Biden administration plans to announce new sanctions against Nicaragua “very soon,” a senior State Department official told Reuters on Tuesday, saying it would only be the first in a series of US measures that ” will accelerate over time “. Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla leader, won his fourth consecutive term after jailing political rivals and cracking down on critical media in an election that drew international condemnation both before and after it was held.

Ortega on Monday evening ridiculed his American critics as “Yankee imperialists” and accused them of trying to undermine Nicaragua’s electoral process. Cuba, Venezuela and Russia have all offered their support to Ortega. The White House announced the signing of Biden’s bill as members of the Organization of American States (OAS) gathered in Guatemala for a previously scheduled meeting where the United States is working with other countries on this that they hope will be a strong resolution against Ortega.

The so-called RENACER law provides for sanctions against Nicaraguans found responsible for unfair elections, increased coordination of these measures with the European Union and Canada, and increased US surveillance of international loans to Managua. Previous sanctions imposed by Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump have failed to deter Ortega, and many analysts wonder if new measures will have much of an impact.

The State Department official declined to elaborate on the current sanctions. But a US government source said last week that the initial targets are likely to be individuals, members of the security forces and government-controlled businesses. The bill, which was introduced by Senator Bob Menendez, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also requires reports from the US government on allegations of corruption by the Ortega family, human rights violations by Russian security forces and activities in the country, including military sales.

In addition, the administration is invited to review Nicaragua’s participation in the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which grants preferential treatment to exports to the United States.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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EXCLUSIVE-US to announce new sanctions against Nicaragua “very soon”, official says https://ipmsguatemala.org/exclusive-us-to-announce-new-sanctions-against-nicaragua-very-soon-official-says/ https://ipmsguatemala.org/exclusive-us-to-announce-new-sanctions-against-nicaragua-very-soon-official-says/#respond Tue, 09 Nov 2021 19:19:29 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/exclusive-us-to-announce-new-sanctions-against-nicaragua-very-soon-official-says/ The Biden administration plans to announce new US sanctions and other punitive actions “very soon” in response to the re-election of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in a vote that Washington denounced as a sham, Reuters told Reuters on Tuesday a senior State Department official. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the measures would […]]]>

The Biden administration plans to announce new US sanctions and other punitive actions “very soon” in response to the re-election of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in a vote that Washington denounced as a sham, Reuters told Reuters on Tuesday a senior State Department official. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the measures would be the first in a series of measures the US government will “step up over time.”

Washington expects a firm resolution against Ortega when the Organization of American States meets this week in Guatemala, but is unlikely to use the event to formally call for Nicaragua’s suspension from the bloc, the official said. President Joe Biden is expected to sign congressional legislation aimed at increasing pressure on Nicaragua in the coming days or hours, the official said.

Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla leader, landed https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/nicaraguas-ortega-coasting-victory-after-contentious-election-2021-11-08 a fourth consecutive term in the elections Sunday after jailing political rivals ahead of a vote that drew international condemnation. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that Washington would coordinate with other governments and was prepared to use a range of tools, including sanctions and visa restrictions against accomplices in “undemocratic acts”.

“We will see some actions that we take very soon,” said the State Department official. “I don’t want to leave people with the impression that this will be some kind of announcement and that it will be done… It will continue to last over time.” The official declined to specify the types of sanctions underway. But a US government source said last week that the initial targets are likely to be individuals, members of the security forces and government-controlled businesses.

Ricardo Zuniga, U.S. special envoy to Central America, told reporters the United States is evaluating measures to hold the Ortega government accountable. He declined to say whether Ortega could be personally sanctioned. Ortega on Monday evening ridiculed his American critics as “Yankee imperialists” and accused them of trying to undermine Nicaragua’s electoral process. Cuba, Venezuela and Russia have all offered their support to Ortega.

UNITED STATES REQUESTS UNITED FRONT OF OAS Twenty-six OAS members voted https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/ortegas-government-is-undermining-nicaraguan-election-oas- says-2021-10-20 last month on a resolution that expressed concern over Ortega’s actions, but seven countries abstained. Washington is working to forge a more united position in the bloc’s general assembly.

The State Department official said “realistically, in terms of votes,” now is not the time to call for Nicaragua’s suspension. When asked if Nicaragua could be expelled, Zuniga said it would be important for OAS members to jointly define next steps, calling the expulsion “a very serious matter.” Biden collaborators are wary because such action against Cuba in the 1960s failed to change the course of Havana.

Biden is on the verge of enacting the so-called RENACER law, which received bipartisan approval last week in the United States House of Representatives, the official said. The legislation provides for sanctions against Nicaraguans found responsible for unfair elections, increased coordination of such measures with the European Union and Canada, and increased US surveillance of international loans to Managua.

Zuniga said the elements of the bill correspond well to the views of the administration. It would also require reports from the US government on allegations of corruption by the Ortega family, human rights violations by the security forces, and Russian activities in the country, including military sales. In addition, the administration is invited to review Nicaragua’s participation in the Central American Free Trade Agreement, which grants preferential treatment to exports to the United States.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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Nicaragua Ortega seeks re-election in contested vote https://ipmsguatemala.org/nicaragua-ortega-seeks-re-election-in-contested-vote/ https://ipmsguatemala.org/nicaragua-ortega-seeks-re-election-in-contested-vote/#respond Mon, 08 Nov 2021 01:43:47 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/nicaragua-ortega-seeks-re-election-in-contested-vote/ Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was running for a fourth consecutive term in Sunday’s elections against a squad of little-known candidates while those who could have challenged him were in prison. Voting was orderly and swift as voters noted the absence of long lines at more than 13,000 polling stations across the country. Voting closed on […]]]>

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was running for a fourth consecutive term in Sunday’s elections against a squad of little-known candidates while those who could have challenged him were in prison.

Voting was orderly and swift as voters noted the absence of long lines at more than 13,000 polling stations across the country. Voting closed on Sunday evening with no reported incidents. But US President Joe Biden sharply criticized the vote as a “pantomime election that was neither free nor fair, and certainly not democratic.”

The period leading up to the vote was more eventful. The opposition denounced new arrests of its leaders and activists across the country on the eve of the elections. On Sunday, Ortega denounced the alleged interference by the United States.

The opposition called on Nicaraguans to stay at home to protest an electoral process which has been strongly criticized as not credible by foreign powers.

The election will determine who will hold the presidency for the next five years, as well as 90 of the 92 seats in Congress and Nicaragua’s representation in the Central American Parliament. More than 4.4 million (44 lakh) Nicaraguans aged 16 and over were eligible to vote.

The Ortega Sandinista Front and its allies control the Congress and all government institutions. Ortega was first president from 1985 to 1990, before returning to power in 2007. He recently declared his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, his “co-president”.

In June, police arrested seven potential presidential candidates on charges that amount to essentially treason. They remained in detention on election day. Some two dozen other opposition leaders were also swept away ahead of the election.

The other candidates in Sunday’s poll were little-known politicians from minor parties considered friends with the Ortega Sandinista Front.

The Blue and White National Union, an opposition alliance, on Saturday issued an alert after at least eight of its leaders were “kidnapped by the regime in illegal raids” on Saturday afternoon and evening.

The Civic Alliance, another opposition coalition, has reported “harassment, surveillance, intimidation, assaults, attacks, illegal and arbitrary detentions” by some of its leaders around Nicaragua.

Police and military chiefs said the vote went off without incident.

Voting throughout the morning seemed to be calm and without long lines.

Voter Mayela Rodríguez found her local voting center in a school in Managua practically empty. “In the last few years it was really sold out,” she said. “Earlier you had to (wait) in a long line to come here and now, empty.” At around noon, Ortega spoke live on television after the vote – he lifted his inked finger.

He lambasted the United States for meddling in Nicaragua, noted that there were allegations of fraud in the last American elections, recalled that those who stormed the United States Capitol have been called terrorists and remain in jail . He reiterated his claim that the US government supported massive protests in Nicaragua in April 2018, which he called an attempted coup.

“They have as much right as we do to open cases against terrorists,” Ortega said.

“The vast majority of Nicaraguans vote for peace and not for war or terrorism,” he said.

In a statement released near the close of the poll, Biden called the process “rigged” and said the United States would use the tools at its disposal to hold the Nicaraguan government to account.

“The Ortega and Murillo family now rule Nicaragua as autocrats, no different from the Somoza family that Ortega and the Sandinistas fought four decades ago,” Biden said.

One of the first to vote on Sunday was Foreign Minister Denis Moncada at a high school in the capital.

“The majority of Nicaraguans are going to elect Commander Daniel (Ortega), Comrade Rosario (Murillo) and MPs today,” Moncada told pro-government media.

He said the peaceful vote sends a message to world powers that “Nicaraguans are worthy patriots and we will not bow to their threats, sanctions and non-recognition of elections.”

Presidential candidate Guillermo Osorno from the small Christian Path party voted on Sunday morning. He promised that if he defeated Ortega, he would “change the electoral system” and allow election observers.

Meanwhile, in Costa Rica, hundreds of Nicaraguans living in exile protested against Ortega’s government, calling Sunday’s vote an “electoral circus” and demanding the release of political prisoners.

“We are protesting against fraud and demanding justice for those killed,” said Kevin Monzón, a young influencer who fled to Costa Rica in late September after receiving threats.

With little doubt as to the outcome of the presidential election, attention is already turning to the international response as Ortega seeks to tighten his grip on power.

The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on those close to Ortega, but Ortega only responded by arresting more of his opponents.

A senior US State Department official on Friday, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said the US government was willing to consider additional targeted sanctions, but had tried to avoid measures that would have a wider impact on the Nicaraguan people.

“It’s very difficult when you have a government that has very minimal goals, including staying in power at all costs and ignoring the will of its own citizens or the needs of citizens to retain that power,” the official said.

The Organization of American States (OAS) will hold its annual general meeting in Guatemala later this week. Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico were among seven countries that abstained from voting on a resolution last month at the OAS condemning the crackdown in Nicaragua.

The Supreme Electoral Council said the first partial results would be released around midnight. Provisional vote totals were expected on Monday.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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United States prepares sanctions, puts pressure on Nicaragua after election https://ipmsguatemala.org/united-states-prepares-sanctions-puts-pressure-on-nicaragua-after-election/ https://ipmsguatemala.org/united-states-prepares-sanctions-puts-pressure-on-nicaragua-after-election/#respond Fri, 05 Nov 2021 21:47:30 +0000 https://ipmsguatemala.org/united-states-prepares-sanctions-puts-pressure-on-nicaragua-after-election/ The Biden administration is ready to impose new sanctions and step up diplomatic pressure on the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega following elections scheduled for Sunday, senior U.S. officials said. Stepping up US criticism of Ortega as he is firmly favored to win a fourth consecutive term, a senior State Department official said on […]]]>

The Biden administration is ready to impose new sanctions and step up diplomatic pressure on the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega following elections scheduled for Sunday, senior U.S. officials said. Stepping up US criticism of Ortega as he is firmly favored to win a fourth consecutive term, a senior State Department official said on Friday that Washington sees the vote as the start of a “dictatorship.” in the nation of Central America.

Since the last election in 2016, Ortega has abolished presidential term limits, expanded his family’s business empire, and lobbied the independent media. In recent months he has jailed opposition candidates, activists, journalists and business leaders. Other critics have gone into exile. The United States will maintain its diplomatic presence in Nicaragua despite the election marking the end of Ortega’s democratic tenure, the official told reporters.

But President Joe Biden’s administration will limit certain commercial “interactions” with Managua and use its vote in international financial institutions to discourage lending to a “corrupt government.” Biden is likely to add his voice to the condemnation of Ortega, a former Marxist guerrilla, by issuing a statement on Sunday, a senior administration official said.

Biden also intends to sign legislation to increase pressure on Ortega, who has arrested opponents and cracked down on critical media, thereby securing his re-election, the official said. “You are going to see a broad international rejection of the fraudulent elections,” the administration official told reporters.

Reuters reported last week that Washington was preparing targeted sanctions after the election. This would be in addition to the punitive measures already in place, including against members of the Ortega family. The State Department official confirmed that further sanctions are underway, although previous actions have not deterred Ortega. Many analysts are skeptical, as the sanctions have brought little change in Cuba and Venezuela.

U.S. officials hope to gain influence by coordinating sanctions with others, such as the European Union and Canada, even though Nicaragua’s neighbors have resisted going beyond harsh words. “We are ready to focus our attention through sanctions and diplomacy on imposing costs on those involved in the crackdown in Nicaragua,” said the State Department official.

Ortega, the longest-serving ruler in the Americas, said sanctions would not deter him and that his government was following the law by arresting those who conspired against him. The State Department official said the Organization of American States should send a “strong message” at its meeting this month. Seven countries – including Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala and Honduras – abstained in October on a resolution expressing concern over Ortega’s actions.

American options seem limited. The State Department official said Washington would be very careful not to hit sectors of the Nicaraguan economy which “could have an impact on the population.” This seems to leave only individuals, security units, and government-controlled businesses as future targets. Washington has started a review of Nicaragua’s membership in the Central American Free Trade Agreement. But the administration is aware that Nicaragua’s suspension could hurt its struggling economy and possibly spur further migration to the US-Mexico border.

The State Department official said the administration was willing to consider additional steps that could be taken under CAFTA-DR, which grants preferential treatment to regional exports, but did not say it would. would consider suspension of Nicaragua.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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