US Applies Visa Restrictions to Nearly 300 Guatemalan Nationals

    US Applies Visa Restrictions to Nearly 300 Guatemalan Nationals
    Photo: Josue Decavele/Getty Images News via Getty Images (Sept. 29, 2023)

    The Facts

    • The US Dept. of State announced on Monday that nearly 300 Guatemalan nationals have been subjected to visa restrictions for allegedly undermining democracy and the rule of law in the country to prevent President-elect Bernardo Arévalo from taking office in January.

    • Those affected include 100 lawmakers out of Guatemala's 160-seat unicameral Congress, as well as some private sector representatives and their family members. Their names haven't been disclosed due to confidentiality rules under US law.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    It's undeniable that a coup d'etat is underway in Guatemala, with prosecutors desperately seeking to unlawfully prevent the presidential inauguration on Jan. 14, 2024, as part of a broader plan to keep their grip on power. People at home, including the electoral court and social movements, as well as international actors have condemned these false claims, stepping in to safeguard democracy there.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Yet again, the US State Dept. has shown its willingness to install puppet Bernardo Arévalo as president in plain disrespect of Guatemala's sovereignty, as well as its rule of law and institutions. As if assisting a fraud scheme in the 2023 elections wasn't unscrupulous enough, the US now threatens the Central American country with violence to prevent its officials from enforcing the law.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 21% chance that Guatemala will experience a successful coup d'etat before 2040, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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