Commitment for Life – Stories for Change – Central America – January 2019

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) has been investigating corruption charges against President Jimmy Morales. In December, the President accused the Commission of undermining Guatemalan sovereignty. His foreign minister Sandra Jovel gave the CICIG 24 hours to leave. She terminated the agreement that first established the Commission.

In a boost for democratic oversight, Guatemala’s constitutional court suspended the President’s decision. This action supports one of Christian Aid’s primary aims in the country, which is “to help build a fair and equal society, free from violence, achieved through democratic and accountable institutions.”

In a country where half the children under five suffer from malnutrition, it is critical to strengthen our commitment to democratic oversight of government institutions.

Commitment for Life is committed to justice and throughout the region, praying and working for the benefit of the poorest and most vulnerable.

Why is The United States and its allies in Latin America intensifying economic and political pressure on Venezuela? There is a coordinated effort to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from office.

Maduro was sworn in last month to a second 6-year term The election was boycotted by the opposition. Days before Maduro was sworn in, opposition figure Juan Guaidó became head of the National Assembly. It declared Maduro a “usurper” and The US and Brazil welcomed the effort. As the political crisis intensifies, Maduro has reached out to the United Nations to help establish a peace dialogue.

Venezuela is facing a staggering economic crisis, caused by falling oil prices and intense U.S. sanctions. Inflation is the highest rate in the world with widespread food and medicine shortages. Over 3 million Venezuelans have left since 2015, an “unprecedented migration crisis” in Latin America, according to the U.N.

Its vast reserves of oil attract U.S. interest but Maduro ’s rejection of neo-liberal ‘austerity’ infuriates them. It comes as little surprise then that the U.S. is lambasting this ‘nonconforming’ little nation by using the vengeful whip of its economic prowess.

Commitment for Life is the Global Justice Programme of the United Reformed Church, UK Revd Dr Kevin Snyman at Church House 020 7916 2020 ext. 256 or Suzanne Pearson (Tues or Wed) 020 7916 2020 ext. 224 Website https://urc.org.uk/our-work/commitment-for-life.html FB: @comm4life Twitter: @Comm4Life1

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