In a test of her fledgling diplomatic skills, the vice president sought to foster hope while also deterring migration from Central America.
Sabrina Rodríguez writes in Politico about the recent visit of the U.S. Vice-President, Kamala Harris, to Guatemala and her uncompromising message to Guatemalans thinking of heading for the U.S. – ‘Don’t’
Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Central America this week on a delicate diplomatic mission: Offer a message of hope to the people of Guatemala and other countries in the region. But discourage them from trying to cross the U.S.’ southern border because they won’t be welcomed on the other side.
Her approach, on her first foreign trip as vice president, was clear: Be blunt.
That won plaudits from local activists and civil society leaders as a solid start, but also highlighted the gulf that remains between the U.S. and Guatemalan governments, particularly when it comes to cracking down on corruption. Harris’ ability to close that gulf will, ultimately, be the most important test of her fledgling diplomatic skills, not to mention her political agility as she positions herself for a possible future presidential run.
“The goal of our work is to help Guatemalans find hope at home,” Harris said in a press conference with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei.
“At the same time, I want to be clear to folks in the region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come. Do not come,” she added. “I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back.”
You can read the full piece, including links and videos, here, Harris’ blunt message in Guatemala: ‘Do not come’ to U.S.