Alejandro Giammattei, Guatemala’s president-elect, was prevented from entering Venezuela today by airport authorities and subsequently deported.
The president-elect arrived in Venezuela this morning where he hoped to meet with Juan Guaido and the opposition leadership. However, upon his arrival, Giammattei was intercepted by regime authorities at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia.
Giammattei announced his deportation from Venezuela via a Twitter video:
Giammattei: Dear Guatemalan and Venezuelan friends: I am Alejandro Giammattei, the president-elect of Guatemala. They did not allow us to enter Venezuela. They escorted us to the gate and put us on the airplane.
This is a message to President Guaido: We are with you. Even though they didn’t let us in, we will let our voice be heard across the continent. God bless you, and god bless Venezuela.
Giammattei recorded a video message from Panama after he was deported from Venezuela. Below, the message along with my translation:
Giammttei: Dear friends, we are here with Pedro Brolo in the Republic of Panama, where we’ve landed uneventfully, after he were stopped from entering the Republic of Venezuela as we’ve already explained. I want to thank you for all of the messages from the friendly people and governments of America who have communicated with us, but also to all of you in Guatemala, who were worried. God willing, the situation in Venezuela will resolve itself to the benefit of the American continent. Thank you all for your solidarity.
Giammattei will take office on January 14, 2020.
Speaking on the deportation, Juan Guaido called the event a “diplomatic aggression without precedent”, and said that it was evidence that the Maduro regime was growing increasingly isolated.
Regime Blames Passport Confusion for Deportation
Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Arreaza posted a message on his Twitter account today stating that the reason why Giammattei was deported was partly because he attempted to enter the country with his Italian passport instead of his Guatemalan one.
The statement partly reads:
The fact that a president elect of an independent nation tried to enter another country with a citizenship different from that with which he will exercise the presidency caught the attention of the authorities.
The statement goes on to say that after the authorities conducted a “rigorous” investigation into the reason for his arrival in Venezuela, they determined that he had come to the country in his official capacity as president-elect of Guatemala. At that point, the following determination was made:
… since there was no evidence that he had been invited by the National Executive [Maduro], nor any kind of coordination with the Guatemalan embassy related to this visit, he was declared inadmissible…
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