Things That Matter

Guatemala’s President Is Going To Have To Settle The Immigration Negotiation With Trump

Tuesday marked a new era of leadership in Guatemala as the Latin country swore in Alejandro Giammattei, a conservative doctor and former prison system director from the right-wing Vamos party. The 63-year-old won the presidency on his fourth attempt back in August with bold promises of changing a corrupt government and restoring the rule-of-law in city streets. 

“Today, we are putting a full stop on corrupt practices so they disappear from the face of this country,” Giammattei said at his swearing-in ceremony that had a five-hour delay.

His ceremony somewhat overshadowed by delays and protests against ex-President Jimmy Morales, who for four years dodged accusations of corruption. The scene of protestors throwing eggs and voicing anger at the outgoing administration was a reminder of the displeasure against the country’s deep-seated political corruption. It’s also a key reason why many are looking to Giammattei to bring change to the struggling country. 

As Giammattei takes office, there are questions on what his presidency will mean to Guatemala in the short and long term as issues over the future of an asylum deal with the United States comes into focus. 

One of the biggest issues confronting Guatemala and one that Giammattei will have to address early is the Asylum Cooperation Agreement (ACA) that was signed by Morales last July with the U.S. government. The agreement, which was highly opposed in Guatemala, lets U.S. immigration officials send Honduran and Salvadoran migrants that are requesting asylum at the U.S.-Mexican border to apply for protection here instead. There is now increasing skepticism as reports say that the U.S. wants to expand the deal to include Mexican asylum seekers as well.

Last year, there were many Guatemalans that were part of a 3,000 migrant caravan that made its way up from Latin America to the U.S. The caravan consisted of people that were looking to claim asylum and became a symbol of the growing migration crisis at the southern border. President Trump frequently attacked the caravan and eventually threatened to impose tariffs on Guatemala if it didn’t agree to the asylum deal.

According to the Guatemalan Migration Institute, “as of Friday, 128 Salvadoran and Honduran asylum seekers had been sent as part of the agreement,” with only a limited number actually applying for asylum there and others returning home. Giammattei has previously said that he’s willing to make changes to the agreement but on Tuesday said he would revisit details later. 

The country, one of Latin America’s poorest nations, is a key part of President Trump’s plan to curb illegal immigration and asylum claims. mostly from those coming to the U.S. Southern border. The issue for many living in Guatemala is how to let those seeking asylum when itself has become a major source of U.S. bound migrants. 

Poverty levels have only grown in the last 20 years and income inequality levels continue to be a big problem in the country. 

One of the big platform issues that Giammattei ran his campaign on was helping the shorten income inequality gap and poverty levels that have only grown in the last 20 years. Fifty-nine percent of Guatemalan citizens live below the poverty line and almost 1 million children under the age of 5 are believed to live with chronic malnutrition, according to the AP. 

There is also the rampant problem of street violence and cartel gangs that have had a major effect on the daily lives of many in the country. Giammattei plans to address this with reforms that include designating “street gangs as terrorist groups.”

“This is the moment to rescue Guatemala from the absurd. It is the moment to combat corruption and malnutrition,” Giammattei said on Tuesday in his first address to the country as president. “There is no peace without security, I will present a law that aims to declare street gangs for what they are – terrorist groups.”

There is hope that Giammattei will turn a new page in Guatemala that will see change come to all in the country that has faced uncertainty for years. But only time will tell if this is indeed new leadership or business as usual.

“We will bring back the peace this country so dearly needs,” Giammattei said. “We will govern with decency, with honourability, and with ethical values.”

READ: In Efforts To Double Latino Representation In Hollywood, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Unveils New Historic Initiative

The US, Colombia Deny Any Involvement In What Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Calls Failed Invasion

Things That Matter

The US, Colombia Deny Any Involvement In What Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Calls Failed Invasion

nicolasmaduro / Instagram

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused both the U.S. and Colombian governments of trying to stage an invasion. President Maduro accused made the accusations towards the beginning of May when two Americans were arrested with a group of other people.

Both the U.S. and Colombia have denied any report of an attempted coup on Venezuela.

On May 3, a group of Venezuelan rebels and two Americans allegedly began a coup attempt in Venezuela. They began on the northern tip of the country and reportedly had plans to take control of Maracaibo and Caracas. They were all immediately captured and 8 Venezuelans in the group were killed during the conflict.

According to the Daily Mail, Jordan Goudreau, 43, was involved with the coup and told a close friend about it. It is alleged that Goudreau bragged about having a contract with the U.S. government to protect oil interests in Venezuela.

The mercenaries behind the attempted coup claim to have done security for a President Trump rally in 2018.

Goudreau, who has been described as the mastermind of the coup attempt, owns the security company Silvercorp. An old Instagram post shows the Florida-based company running security for a Trump rally back in 2018. The company has since deleted the Instagram posts after news broke about their failed attempt to train Venezuelan rebels and capture the South American country.

“He came out to Colorado,” Drew White, Goudreau’s former business partner told Daily Mail. “He said he had a deal from the State Department to protect oil interests in Venezuela. He was saying it was handed to him directly. He was saying it was directed and passed down by the State Department, that it was a legitimate operation and they also had some private funding backing, which isn’t unusual with these kinds of things. Essentially he was like, ‘We’re going to topple Maduro.’ At that point I was like, ‘This doesn’t seem legitimate” and we broke ways.”

Goudreau claims that the Trump administration and Venezuelan resistance leader Juan Guaidó green-lit the operation.

The U.S. and Venezuela have had a contentious relationship over the past few years. The political unrest in Venezuela has continued to draw criticism from the international community as Venezuelans have protested for a new leader. When the relationship with Trump soured, Maduro began to claim that the U.S. was attempting to overthrow the government.

Both the U.S. and Colombian governments have denied any involvement in the alleged coup.

Reports state that the group of men attempting to topple the Venezuelan government did nothing to hide their plan. The security group was tweeting their plans to the open-world alerting anyone with a Twitter account to their plans. SilverCorp USA has since deleted their Twitter account. Experts and officials have decisively denied any collaboration between the mercenaries and the two governments.

“There is no way that I can see any kind of U.S. involvement,” Fernando Cutz, who served as a Latin America adviser on the National Security Council under both Obama and Trump, told the Huffington Post. “There were no logistics, the numbers were a joke, they clearly didn’t have any intel. A group of high schoolers would have done a better job.”

Social media has spent time dragging the security company over its failed coup attempt.

There is still a lot of speculation swirling around the “coup.” However, Goudreau’s friend is pretty sure that the missions was not as official as Goudreau claims.

“He’s a good man,” White told Daily Mail. “He was the best man at my wedding. We have a lot of history together and it never seemed like he was lying like that. But once you started looking at it, none of it really added up. He kept asking to meet with people for funding. But typically with a State Department contract, the funding is shored up. You might have some private entities helping here and there. But it was pretty obvious that it was not a state-sanctioned activity.”

READ: Venezuela’s President Maduro And Opposition Leader Guaidó Are Allegedly In Secret Talks And The World Wants To Know The Details

President Trump Thinks Injecting Disinfectants Could Cure COVID-19 And The Memes Are Hilarious

Things That Matter

President Trump Thinks Injecting Disinfectants Could Cure COVID-19 And The Memes Are Hilarious

lysol / realdonaldtrump / Instagram

The world is still grappling with COVID-19. Mainly, health experts around the globe are still experimenting with new ways to cure people sick of the coronavirus. President Donald Trump has often criticized health experts and has tried contradicting them during press conferences. The latest claim from President Trump has everyone very confused and concerned about the well-being of his supporters.

President Donald Trump recently floated the idea of experimenting with injecting disinfectants to fight COVID-19.

“And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute,” President Trump suggested during a press conference. “And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning cause you see it gets in the lungs and does a tremendous number so it would be interesting to check it.”

The memes immediately started flowing because this is just too crazy to be real life.

The number of U.S. infections from COVID-19 has topped 800,000 and deaths are over 50,000. There is still no real national response in place for handling the virus as President Trump has been pressuring states to reopen their economies against the advice of health experts.

Latinos have come through with the Fabuloso jokes because we have to keep our cures culturally relevant.

But, seriously, don’t go injecting disinfectant if you think you have COVID-19. President Trump has been throwing out suggestions for cures that have consistently been discredited by health experts around the world. Namely, President Trump has been pushing for more hospitals and doctors so start experimenting with hydroxychloroquine. Yet, a recent study disproved the president’s claims and he has quietly stopped talking about it.

The bizarre claim reminded people of the classic “Heathers” death scene.

If you haven’t seen “Heathers,” it is a great movie to watch while in lockdown. Winona Rider’s character goes on an accidental killing spree with her high school boyfriend. One of the first deaths is the main Heather who is given drain cleaner in secret killing her.

Disinfectant companies felt the claim was so outrageous from the president of the United States that they released statements.

“As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” a spokesperson for Reckitt Benckiser, the United Kingdom-based owner of Lysol, said in a statement to NBC News. “As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.”

President Trump’s press conference was less to the press and more to Dr. Deborah Birx.

Dr. Birx was off-camera as President Trump suggested ways to cure people with COVID-19. One thing the Republican president suggested was using lights to kill the virus. While using UV light to kill the virus is something that is being researched, it is being used to disinfect contaminated surfaces. President Trump wants Dr. Birx to see if there is a way to introduce the light under the skin as a cure.

The memes just keep flowing with people making fun of President Trump suggesting disinfectants and lights as cures.

People fear that President Trump’s suggestion of injecting disinfectants could only exacerbate the COVID-19 health crisis. The fear is that people trying the disinfectant suggestion would only further overwhelm healthcare workers and already burdened hospitals.

Please, if you ever have questions about health issues, contact your doctor and a healthcare professional.

Never listen to advice about medicine from people who are not in the medical field. It is important to keep yourself aware and safe during these times. Stay safe. Stay home. Stay healthy. We are all in this together.

READ: Chile Plans To Issue Covid-19 Immunity ID Cards And Here’s Why That’s Such A Bad Idea