In his furiously thoughtless reaction after the treachery of Jimmy Morales, Enrique Degenhart and Sandra Joviel, in the case of the legal and morally impossible decision to force Guatemala with threats into being a “safe third country,” Donald Trump announced yesterday his imminent decision to impose a travel ban on all Guatemalans coming to the U.S. This joins a long list of threats, such as more tariffs and a tax on money sent to the country from Guatemalan immigrants. Through their spokespeople, the two presidential hopefuls are considering petitioning the government to terminate new negotiations with the U.S. Every day, the tension and risks to the new candidates rise.
As I understand it, no Guatemalan will be able to visit the U.S., simply due to the fact they are from Guatemala—even trips for tourism, visiting family and friends, and fostering and maintaining strong and successful business relationships with the U.S. The private sector will soon see the potential consequences, especially in small and medium-sized businesses, while the big business conglomerates will also see consequences, especially those which have their main clientele in the U.S. It shows how poorly this action is thought through, because the effect will soon reach everyone, as it will raise unemployment and therefore, the number of migrants. The effect will impoverish an even higher percentage of Guatemalans.
U.S. airlines are a good example of the businesses that will be affected. Tourism to the U.S. will maintain at a certain level for a while, but those who want to visit the land of Uncle Sam will soon not be able to do so and this will affect the business economy, with a consequent effect on the workforce. Places like Miami, a favorite of Central and South Americans due to the city’s bilingualism, will be affected in the hospitality sector where, ironically, there are a large number of Republican customers. This could cause a Republican outcry and at the same time a resurgence in the anti-Trump movement, something unthinkable up until recently. Talk about being a step away from Trump’s perfect storm.
The Guatemalan embassy in Washington should convince Trump of the fact that the treachery it committed, for which he is justifiably furious, is not supported by ordinary Guatemalans who have traditionally seen the U.S. as a friend. However, they will not do so because of the incompetence of those in charge and the fact that they themselves are entangled in the treachery. That is why it is doubly absurd and unjust to punish those who were born and have lived in Guatemala. We are victims of stupidity, foolishness, incompetence and deceit. The election was won on the virtue of being against Sandra Torres and with the brazen lie that the party was neither corrupt nor thieving. According to liars, they can lie to everyone without consequences. This is not true.
In the face of this broad attack, we Guatemalans have no alternative but to unite in the defense of everyone, above trivial considerations of race, religious creed, political persuasion or any other difference. We have never been the victims of such an unjustified and undeserved attack. Figuratively, we have an enemy at the door. The justification for the attack is simply that we are Guatemalan. Our society is characterized by division, distrust and any other reason for disunion. They have always conquered us by using this, even in pre-Hispanic times. We must, as a member of the private sector, call on international entities like the Organization of American States or the U.N., those related to the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, because these countries will also be affected.