Guatemala and Israel’s friendship goes back a long way. Guatemala was one of the first countries to recognize Israel as a sovereign state; Israel supported Guatemala’s first steps in the U.N. and was an ally to the Guatemalan government during the three-decade-long civil war, and specifically during a very critical moment for the Central American country in the 1970s when Jimmy Carter’s administration sentenced a military blockage.
Despite the harsh violations of human rights done by the Guatemalan Armed Forces during the civil war, without Israel’s provision of weapons, Guatemala’s story today could have been very different if the communist guerrilla had taken control.
Guatemala opening an embassy in Jerusalem just one day after the U.S. is not only an act of consistency between the Israel-Guatemala diplomatic relations, but also another act from a seemingly ‘desperate to be liked by Trump’ Jimmy Morales.
Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was an idea of his, but a proposal Ambassador David Friedman had put on the table before even being selected as the Head of the Diplomatic Mission. Morales was the first Head of State following the decision back in December 2017, and Trump congratulated him personally during meetings held in early February.