Betting on Trump's Return: As the ideological rift widens in Latin America, rightwing leaders are all-in for Donald Trump.

AuthorAbbott, Jeff

Latin Americas far right is rooting for a comeback. As progressives gain ground with recent election victories in countries like Colombia, Chile, and Honduras, rightwing politicians in the region are hoping that former U.S. President Donald Trump and others aligned with his values will dominate in upcoming midterm elections in the United States, and the presidential election in 2024. The situation in Guatemala is a good example of how the far right hopes to maintain its grip on power across the hemisphere.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei was among a handful of leaders--most notably Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador--who boycotted the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California, in early June. But unlike the other presidents, who were upset that Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela were excluded from the summit, Giammattei s snub was a protest of criticism by the Biden Administration of the re-election of Guatemalan Attorney General Maria Consuelo Porras, who was sanctioned in May by the U.S. government for facilitating corruption.

"I excused myself from attending [the summit] because I do not agree with the way we have been mistreated," Giammattei said on the far-right Global Liberty Alliance Podcast. "[We have been] mistreated by people from the State Department, who, in a clear interference in the internal affairs of the country, pressured us [and] told us they were going to make decisions against Guatemala."

Giammattei accused U.S. officials of attempting to overthrow his administration, adding that the two countries "supposedly share the same values."

But Giammattei's values seem to more closely align with a powerful minority in the United States. He is a far-right politician who has attempted to curry favor with members of the global pro-life movement, and says his hard-line stance against abortion rights is because Guatemala is fundamentally conservative. Describing the country as a "light to the world," in March, he declared Guatemala to be the "Ibero-American pro-life capital." In the podcast, he accused the Biden Administration of "promoting abortions" in Guatemala.

At home, Giammattei faces accusations of corruption. In response, he has sought to bolster his support among far-right Republican politicians in the United States. Since taking office in January 2020, Giammattei and his representatives have maintained direct contact with ideologically similar politicians in the United States, including Senator...

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