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Rubio, Merkley, Colleagues Affirm Importance of Guatemala’s Ties With Taiwan

Feb 29, 2024 | Comunicados de Prensa

Guatemala is one of seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan. 

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), John Boozman (R-AR), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Steve Daines (R-MT) sent a letter to President Bernardo Arévalo urging him to not succumb to pressure from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and instead continue to recognize and support Taiwan.

  • “In the face of increasing coercion and economic inducements from the CCP against several democratic nations around the world, Guatemala’s steadfast dedication to maintaining formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan stands as a beacon of courage and integrity. By reaffirming this relationship, Guatemala reinforced its allegiance to democratic values and the bonds of solidarity among nations committed to democracy, freedom, human rights, and respect for the rule of law.”
  • “We stand united in our support for Guatemala’s democratic principles and your efforts to resist external pressures that seek to undermine those principles. We commend your leadership and urge you to remain steadfast in your support for Taiwan.”

El full text of the letter

Dear President Arévalo:

We were pleased to see your recent Ministry of Foreign Affairs public statement reaffirming Guatemala’s 89-year excellent political and diplomatic relationship with the Republic of China (Taiwan). The democratic principles our two countries share are also reaffirmed by such a public demonstration of support to our mutual partner in the face of growing pressure from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It is our firm belief that the CCP represents the gravest threat to core democratic values in our hemisphere.

In the face of increasing coercion and economic inducements from the CCP against several democratic nations around the world, Guatemala’s steadfast dedication to maintaining formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan stands as a beacon of courage and integrity. By reaffirming this relationship, Guatemala reinforced its allegiance to democratic values and the bonds of solidarity among nations committed to democracy, freedom, human rights, and respect for the rule of law.

We recognize the inherent complexities and challenges in navigating the global political landscape, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. Guatemala’s principled stance not only safeguards its own autonomy but also contributes to the preservation of a free and open international order. 

We also note that despite promises and pledges made by the CCP to the other countries that have recently established diplomatic relations with the PRC, Chinese foreign direct investment to Latin America has more than halved since 2019– from an annual average of $14.2 billion to less than $7 billion in 2022. Dozens of projects financed, or contracted to Chinese firms, such as Costa Rica’s highway network announced in 2019, the Nicaragua canal announced in 2013, and Colombia’s “dry canal” project announced in 2011, still remain either unfinished or not even begun.

Furthermore, your commitment to maintaining relations with Taiwan reflects the will of the Guatemalan people to forge a future rooted in democratic governance, economic prosperity, and respect for fundamental freedoms. We stand united in our support for Guatemala’s democratic principles and your efforts to resist external pressures that seek to undermine those principles. We commend your leadership and urge you to remain steadfast in your support for Taiwan.

Atentamente,