I agree with Ryan Grim: The absolute gall. . . . Now here’s how I would have liked Vice President Kamala Harris to have begun her recent visit to Guatemala: By apologizing to the people of Guatemala for the U.S. government’s role in the 1954 overthrow of the democratically-elected Guatemalan government of President Jacobo Árbenz.
This was a profoundly destabilizing event that led to decades of civil war, economic hardship, and the migration of millions to the U.S. and elsewhere in the hope for a better life. U.S.-based corporations, however, such as Chiquita, Dole, and Del Monte, profited enormously over the years from this destabilization, something about which the Biden/Harris administration must be well aware. Harris’ visit could have served as a chance to not only acknowledge past U.S. wrong doing, but to also ask for forgiveness and seek to make amends.
The simple but challenging truth is that we cannot have the future we want (as individuals, communities, or nations) unless we’re prepared to take an honest look in the mirror and clean-up our past by embodying actions of justice and compassion in the present.
I’m disappointed that Vice President Harris blew her chance to embody such actions in Guatemala.
Related Off-site Links:
The Devastating Effects of American Intervention in Guatemala – Billy Perrigo (The Panoptic, November 19, 2016).
We Supported Their Dictators, Led the Failed ‘War on Drugs’ and Now Deny Them Refuge – Victoria Sanford (Common Dreams, November 18, 2017).
Guatemala Shows Why the CIA Must Be Held Accountable for Torture – Elizabeth Oglesby (Common Dreams, April 6, 2018).
Coming to Terms With the U.S. Role in Central America – César Chelala (Common Dreams, November 13, 2019).
Kamala Harris’ Visit to Guatemala and Mexico, Explained – Aspen Pflughoeft (Deseret News, June 7, 2021).
U.S. Anti-Corruption Drive Faces Bleak Prospects in Central America –Sandra Cuffe (The Intercept, June 8, 2021).
Harris’ Blunt Message in Guatemala: “Do Not Come” to U.S. – Sabrina Rodriguez (Politico, June 6, 2021).
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out Kamala Harris for Telling Guatemalan Asylum Seekers, “Do Not Come” – Sharon Zhang (TruthOut, June 8, 2021).
In Guatemala, Harris Should Prioritize People Over Corporations – Jen Moore and Ellen Moore (Common Dreams, June 8, 2021).
The Root Cause of Central American Migration Is U.S. Imperialism – Suyapa Portillo Villeda and Miguel Tinker Salas (Jacobin, June 8, 2021).
UPDATES: Bolivian Ex-Minister of Defense Plotted a Second Coup Using U.S. Mercenaries – Laurence Blair and Ryan Grim (Jacobin, June 17, 2021).
There Are No Mass Migrations Without U.S. Meddling and Militarism– Azadeh Shahshahani and Rhonda Ramiro (TruthOut, July 2, 2021).
See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
• Jesus, Our Tortured Brother Today
• Marianne Williamson: “Today Is a Day of Shame”
• Demanding Justice and Embodying Compassion for Separated Families
• Honoring Óscar and Valeria
• “What We're Seeing Here Is a Tipping Point”
• Opposing the Trump Administration's Inhumane Treatment of Immigrant Families
• A Prayer for Refugees