Former Vice President Joe Biden, announcing his presidential candidacy, said “We are in the battle for the soul of this nation.” There is a battle, but his side represents the end of the nation as we know it.
Mr. Biden would continue progressive control — freedom-stifling political correctness and divisive identity politics. Both are inconsistent with constitutional individual rights, the presumption of innocence and due process. Circumventing these was former President Barack Obama’s agenda when he promised to transform America.
Mr. Biden says another four years of President Donald Trump “will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.” He really means the undemocratic Democratic Party agenda, which peaked under Mr. Obama, could be exposed and crippled for generations. The level of vitriol, hate and desperation on display from the Democrats owes to Mr. Trump being an existential threat to their agenda.
Conventional wisdom gives Mr. Biden the best chance of defeating Mr. Trump, if he can woo the emotionally charged Democratic base. As former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a Biden strength is supposedly foreign policy. However, Mr. Biden’s baggage includes support for America’s enemies. He backed lawlessness in the key country for the flow of illegal migrants and drugs.
Mexico’s inability to stop migrants and contraband from flowing through its territory makes Guatemala, with its 595-mile border between them, the pivotal land route from South and Central America to the United States. Mr. Biden played a prominent role in implementing the Obama policy of imposing on Guatemala the successors to Fidel Castro-supported guerrillas from its internal armed conflict (1960-1996).
As vice president, Mr. Biden traveled to Guatemala three times in 12 months to insist on the continuation of the U.N. International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), created in 2007. Using Alliance for Prosperity money as a carrot, Mr. Biden made clear in public and private to Guatemala’s president in 2015 “there was only one road for Guatemala, and that was for the CICIG to stay.”
The State Department and leftist NGOs and media promoted the CICIG as a fighter against corruption. In reality, it was a criminal organization and Obama tool to impose guerrilla successors on Guatemala’s government.
The truth about the CICIG emerged in the United States in March 2018. Judicial Watch reported the CICIG’s Colombian commissioner “infringed on Guatemalan sovereignty while conveniently ignoring crimes committed by leftwing allies” and identified him as “aligned with the FARC, the violent Marxist guerrilla.” The Wall Street Journal exposed collusion between the CICIG and Russian state-owned banks whose highest officials are subject to U.S. sanctions for human-rights violations.
The Russia collusion case led to a hearing of the U.S. Helsinki Commission on April 27, 2018. Its record includes a report by four Guatemalan civic organizations detailing CICIG actions and inactions. The CICIG has coerced votes in the Guatemalan Congress, false testimony against political targets, and illegal judicial rulings.
Compounding revelations led to a denunciation of the CICIG on the Senate floor by Sen. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican.
Judicial Watch has filed a FOIA lawsuit to obtain from the State Department its personnel communications with the CICIG and the Guatemalan government. The State Department continued vigorous support for the CICIG even after its criminal nature was publicly exposed. This involvement could lead to criminal charges against some personnel and even against Mr. Obama.
Although the FOIA lawsuit covers only from Jan. 1, 2016 to the present, the aberrant behavior it should reveal could lead to a full investigation of the Obama administration role in Guatemala. That would reveal a consistent pattern of illegal intervention that violated the human rights of all Guatemalans, especially the poorest and most defenseless. This intervention exacerbated the flow of illegal migrants and drugs to the United States.
The attitude of moral superiority and contempt for opponents underlying the Obama administration’s domestic abuse of power produced an even more frightening result in Guatemala. Given lack of interest by U.S. media and weak institutions there, Mr. Obama’s team had a free rein in Guatemala and didn’t bother disguising their criminal abuse.
Mr. Biden’s interest in Guatemala continues. In March, he inserted himself into Guatemala’s June elections by tweeting to the country’s electoral authority. It was a clumsy, thinly disguised attempt to help the candidacy for president of the corrupt former attorney general who did the CICIG’s bidding.
If Mr. Biden is able to get by the socialist wing of the Democratic Party, win the nomination and become president, he is likely to find himself ensnared by the Judicial Watch lawsuit. Mr. Biden’s abuse of power to force a criminal U.N. commission on Guatemala is an indication of his and his party’s willingness to do anything in pursuit of their political agenda.
• Steve Hecht is a businessman, writer and film producer. He has lived and worked in Guatemala since 1972.