Op-Ed

Guatemala: A beacon of democracy that the U.S. should emulate — no, really

When he was president-elect Jimmy Morales made a face during a press conference in Guatemala City. He is now challenging the rule of law.
When he was president-elect Jimmy Morales made a face during a press conference in Guatemala City. He is now challenging the rule of law. AP

In the 28 years I’ve covered Latin America, I never thought I’d write the sentence I’m about to type. But here goes:

Guatemala is a model for the United States.

You read that right. For the moment, at least, Guatemala — a Central American country whose so-called democracy my colleagues and I have long disparaged as a dark banana-republic farce — is the beacon of the Americas. The exemplar of constitutional rule of law. One of the hemisphere’s separation-of-powers life boats.

And most important to the United States — Guatemala’s reminding us that our institutions are still robust enough to rein in President Trump’s authoritarian impulses if and when they genuinely imperil our democracy or national security someday.

Yes, I’m talking about Guatemala. I’m not kidding. Here’s why:

To read the entire column, click here.

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