Guatemalan Newspaper Calls Out US For Contradictory Stance on War against Drugs

By: Andrea Mejía - @@AndreMColorado - Jun 16, 2017, 5:59 pm
En la foto: el vicepresidente de El salvaro, Oscar Ortiz, con Mike Pence (Twitter)
The Vice President of El Salvador, Oscar Ortiz, with US President Mike Pence. (Twitter)

EspañolGuatemala’s most influential newspaper, Prensa Libre, published a strong criticism of the United States’ recent comments about fighting drugs.

The editorial, published this Friday, June 16, was a strongly worded critique of the Trump administration’s contradictory approach to fighting the “War on Drugs.”

Vice President Mike Pence, it said, had mentioned at the Central American Economic and Security Conference held in Miami that his government had to do everything necessary to keep the country safe from drug trafficking and corruption.

Pence’s comment made clear reference to problems taking place in the so-called Northern Triangle — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — a region with high levels of violence and the largest population of immigrants arriving to the United States.

The editorial said the only point of the meeting for the Vice President seemed to be to “urge Central American leaders and authorities to maintain a straight-forward fight against drug trafficking.” However, the newspaper also said that Pence’s speech “did not make the slightest mention of the enormous problem that this activity entails, due to the excessive consumption by the US market.”

Unlike Pence, the editorial said, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has acknowledged that the problem is not only focused in Central America, but also at home, with the consumers of the drug.



According to Prensa Libre, the Trump administration’s “inconsistency is clear when it increases pressure on these governments, but with a paradoxical reduction of economic assistance.”

Pence said his country’s contributions to the North Triangle would be cut from US $650 million to US $460 million. He tried to argue that what the US government saves with that cut will be then invested in border security, but the Guatemalan newspaper claimed that’s unrealistic.

“We will make sure that our borders are closed to those who seek to harm us and are insurmountable for the drugs that are ravaging our families and communities,” Pence said.

Washington is committed to a reduction in economic assistance, the publication claimed, and greater pressure to deal with insecurity and corruption.

Source: Prensa Libre.

Andrea Mejía Andrea Mejía

Andrea Mejía edits in Spanish for the PanAm Post. She earned a degree in philosophy from Universidad de la Salle, Colombia.

Trump Partially Reverses Obama-Castro Deal, Demands Free Elections in Cuba and Release of Political Prisoners

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jun 16, 2017, 2:54 pm

EspañolThe United States will change its policies toward Cuba, US President Donald Trump announced this Friday, June 16. The US will ask that the oppressive regime first make democratic progress before continuing a process of normalization, which was started by former President Barack Obama during his final months in office. Trump said he was putting the Castro regime "against the wall," by not only demanding "free elections" on the island, but also the release of political prisoners. He also plans to restrict American travel, demand the release of political and freeze transactions with Cuban military forces. Read More: Reporters in Venezuela’s Protests Face Brutal Repression from Dictatorship Read More: PC Campus Culture Run Amok: The World Needs More Bret Weinsteins Cuba's upcoming elections, scheduled for October, are now being overseen by an electoral commission, but it's still unclear whether they will meet the standards that Trump reportedly expects. Both Trump and Republican Senator Marco Rubio slammed former President Barack Obama for his failure to hold Raúl Castro's regime to higher democratic standards. "A year and a half ago a president, an American president landed in Havana to outstretch his hand to a regime," Rubio said before Trump took the stage at a rally in Florida. "Today, a new president lands in Miami to reach out his hand to the people of Cuba."   googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });       Trump said he will ask the Department of Treasury and Department of Commerce to develop regulations to prohibit US transactions with Cuba's military, intelligence and security services. Transactions related to the operation of the US embassy in Havana, the operation of the Guantánamo naval base, the promotion of Cuban democracy and the expansion of telecommunications access to the Cuban people, will also be exempt from the policy, an unnamed official said. American travel, which has spiked in recent months following Obama's looser restrictions, will once again become very difficult. "The profits from investment and tourism flow directly to the military," Trump said. "The regime takes the money and owns the industry. The outcome of the last administration's executive action has only been more repression and a move to crush the peaceful, democratic movement." It will still be possible to travel to Cuba under the twelve categories of travel allowed by the Treasury, but Americans must keep receipts and travel documents to facilitate government auditing. Source: Cubanet

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