Vice President Kamala Harris embarked on her first diplomatic trip outside the U.S. Sunday in a trip to Guatemala and Mexico, and the Democrat was likely expecting a better reception than she received in Guatemala City.
Not that the trip got off to an auspicious start, as Air Force Two was forced to return to Joint Base Andrews about 25 minutes after take off because of a “technical issue.”
Having been tapped by President Joe Biden to resolve the migration crisis at the U.S. southern border and “lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle, and the countries that can help, need help in stemming the movement of so many folks,” the vice president was taking the first demonstrable steps toward that endeavor Sunday, some 75 days after being appointed — Harris has yet to visit the border or hold a news conference.
The vice president was met by Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pedro Brolo upon arrival, and will be received Monday night by President Alejandro Giammattei.
According to the media fan club accompanying Harris, the Central American country “rolled out the red carpet” for Harris,
The Guatemalan government rolled out the red carpet for Harris here in Guatemala City. She departed the plane, greeted by Minister of Foreign Affairs Pedro Brolo & US ambassador William Popp. She & Brolo greeted cameras, put hands on hearts & gave a small bow to one another. pic.twitter.com/JrTldduq8M
— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) June 7, 2021
But that was not the only reception Harris was afforded, according to El Faro English.
The self-described Central American “investigative news” site tweeted photographs of a group called Society in Action, with members holding signs that read, “Kamala Go Home,” and “Kamala, Trump Won.”
“We’re not against Kamala Harris’s diplomatic visit, but rather her interference and blackmail in return for aid,” the group reportedly said.
“We’re not against Kamala Harris’s diplomatic visit, but rather her interference and blackmail in return for aid,” said Society In Action, a group of 20 which calls itself “the real civil society,” in a protest with the Veterans’ Association outside the Air Force of #Guatemala. pic.twitter.com/rDqFv7nMGy
— El Faro English (@ElFaroEnglish) June 6, 2021
A second photo included a quote from one of the protesters denouncing the Biden administration’s “agenda of imposing the LGBTQ, pro-abortion ideology.”
“In Guatemala we’re pro-life,” the member said.
“We’re against their (the Biden administration’s) agenda of imposing the LGBTQ, pro-abortion ideology. In Guatemala we’re pro-life,” one member of the group told @_elfaro_‘s photojournalist @victorpena84. pic.twitter.com/3UzF2s60En
— El Faro English (@ElFaroEnglish) June 6, 2021
Here is video capturing the protesters and some of their signs.
Guatemalans protest against the arrival of US Vice President Kamala Harris in the country, accusing Washington of supporting “corrupt” officials in the Central American nation pic.twitter.com/2jnWfYAIjR
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) June 7, 2021
Below is a close up of the sign that read: “Kamala, Trump Won.”
Una de las mantas dice: “Kamala, Trump ganó”. pic.twitter.com/XexQQ0aSXZ
— Edwin Pitán (@Epitan_PL) June 6, 2021
Another image shared online featured a banner hung above a highway that read: “Kamala Stop Funding Criminal.”
— Mujeres Conservadoras Guatemala (@MujeresConserv1) June 6, 2021
As for the flight issues, senior adviser Symone Sanders said there were no major safety concerns.
“Shortly after takeoff from Joint Base Andrews en route to Guatemala City, the Air Force Two crew noticed the landing gear was not storing as it should which could lead to further mechanical issues,” Sanders said. “While there was no immediate safety issue, out of an abundance of caution, they returned to Joint Base Andrews where they have all the parts and mechanics they need to fix the issue. Passengers boarded the back-up C32, which is an Air Force Boeing modified 757.”
Perhaps, the media aboard the flight took comfort in cookies Harris hand delivered — cookies in the shape of her likeness that came complete with a pearl necklace, but no face.
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