State Department meddling reaches fever pitch in Guatemalan elections

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

The State Department (DOS) is intervening in a partisan manner in Guatemala’s June 25 elections. This is an arrogant continuation of DOS’s long record of unaccountability to the US Congress.

Such actions are likely to backfire on DOS. The US House has been investigating federal bureaucracy criminality and weaponization against its political enemies.

DOS’s blatant but unsuccessful intervention in 2022 to keep Attorney General Consuelo Porras from reappointment provoked numerous congressional inquiries stateside. DOS ignored or evaded the inquiries because lying to Congress is a felony and the truth would reveal DOS criminality and weaponization.

Since then, DOS has tried to keep a low profile regarding Guatemala and has mostly farmed out its attacks to surrogates. Congress has accommodated DOS by not following up on unanswered inquiries, despite the new Republican House majority.

If DOS allies gain control of Guatemala’s presidency now, DOS can create a false narrative to hide its crimes from when it controlled Guatemala’s justice system between 2016 and 2021. The DOS-aligned candidate—Bernardo Arévalo of the Semilla Party—qualified according to the first count for the August 20 runoff by taking second place on June 25.

I have been in Guatemala for half a century, and this is the most dubious election I have observed since the 1970s. There is widespread questioning regarding whether the tabulation accurately reflects the vote. On July 1, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court ordered a review of the election pursuant to an injunction requested by nine political parties from across the spectrum. That includes the party in first place at present: UNE. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated: “We are deeply concerned by ongoing efforts that interfere with the June 25 election result.”

DOS’s repeated boilerplate language about free elections and respecting the will of the people contrasts with Blinken’s concern about legal challenges to the tabulation. DOS is likely more concerned that an examination of the paper ballots will reveal that the Semilla tally was less than initially reported. Not a single poll, right across the spectrum, had Arévalo above 3 percent of the vote. Somehow in the first count, he managed 12 percent.

Semilla and DOS have a sordid history together. Former Attorney General Thelma Aldana did DOS’s bidding during her tenure from 2014 to 2018. She tried to run for president on the Semilla ticket in 2019, but a judge had issued an arrest warrant against her for embezzlement. Joe Biden sent a message to the electoral authority on Aldana’s behalf.

DOS decided late in that process to abandon its previously favored candidate, Sandra Torres, and switch to Aldana. It was too late, however, for Semilla to comply with electoral prerequisites. Even with DOS’s control of the electoral authority and the high court, obtained with Biden’s intervention in 2016, DOS could not fix the obvious problem or stop the arrest warrant for Aldana. Aldana fled to the United States and is under DOS protection.

Social media in Guatemala is ablaze with reports of anomalies in the tabulation and procedures. If the court-ordered public review confirms this, the ballots will be examined. This is the only way to know who really won.

The will of Guatemalans must be deciphered transparently and accurately. However, DOS is busy intimidating all parties into acquiescence for the outcome that will let it hide its crimes and continue its socialist conquest.

A DOS press release refers to “numerous Guatemalans representing the private sector ​​​​​​and civil society observation missions as well as international observation missions … which found the published results … matched with their observations.”

No outside observer can know if a tally sheet is accurate. There are nearly 25,000 such sheets for president and 100,000 for other offices. International observers tend to be globalist—in line with their masters—and as local Guatemalan reports have observed.

After DOS lost control of Guatemala’s justice system in 2021, it began arbitrarily sanctioning its political targets, typically by canceling US visas. Many Guatemalan businessmen depend on their US visas and will say what DOS asks them to say. Concerned about DOS violating US law with its sanctions, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) wrote to Blinken and received only a civics lesson in reply.

DOS has called the private sector a predatory elite. Semilla’s website says Guatemala suffers from the “odious inequalities generated by uncontrolled capitalism centered on accumulating wealth.”

Arévalo has said he will ask DOS nemesis Porras to resign because DOS sanctioned her as corrupt. When DOS illegally sanctioned Porras, it cited her firing of prosecutor Juan Francisco Sandoval, DOS’s key operator and enforcer. A reason Porras gave was his obstruction of a Department of Homeland Security investigation into money laundering of USAID funds.

Porras’s ministry has prosecuted other prosecutors and judges DOS has formally honored, as it did Sandoval. Despite their crimes being in the public domain, Arévalo has called this persecution. An investigative report has identified their crimes, along with offshore and US bank accounts with amounts of money several of the accused, including Sandoval, could not have legally earned.

DOS has in recent years weaponized the US government against Guatemala and its government against its own citizens. A June 7 hearing chaired by Representative Maria Salazar (R-FL) offered a glimpse into this, which on its own calls for investigations and more hearings.

DOS’s election interference in Guatemala should motivate the Foreign Affairs Committee to look into the DOS web of criminality. This will complement all other House investigations.


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Steve Hecht


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