The IAF’s network for Israel in Latin America continues to expand. We are increasingly becoming the go-to resource for all issues related to Israel and a growing number of Parliamentarians are traveling with us to Israel each year to gain first-hand experience in the country, enabling them to more effectively defend and stand for Israel back in their home countries. A great example of this growing Latin American voice for Israel can be seen in Guatemala, where a self-declared pro-Israel President was recently sworn in.
Guatemala is an incredible example to other countries in the region. We want to replicate this support for Israel throughout Latin America and take existing support to another level. We are excited to see what happens in 2020 in the region.Leopoldo Martinez
In the middle of January, IAF Latin America Director Leopoldo Martinez traveled to Guatemala to attend the Inauguration of President Dr. Alejandro Giammattei. When Dr. Giammattei was initially running for President in 2019, the IAF got him on the record, declaring his support for Guatemala’s Embassy to remain in Jerusalem. He also pledged his support to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization. You can read more of that exclusive interview here.
After the inauguration, Leopoldo took part in a special ceremony at the central Synagogue in Guatemala City, organized by the Jewish Community of Guatemala (CJG), to pray for the new government and the new leadership of the country. Regional Jewish leadership together with members of the Congress of Guatemala and the President’s cabinet attended. This was a special occasion for President Giammattei to reinforce his commitment to Israel in his new Government, and reiterate that he will keep the Embassy in Jerusalem.
In December of 2019, we were honored to have then President-elect Dr. Giammattei speak to over 20 parliamentarians in Jerusalem for our Chairman’s Conference. At that time he also encouraged those leaders to actively work to move their nations embassies to Jerusalem. This “snowball” effect of faith-based support for Israel is being witnessed worldwide.
After the Presidential inauguration, the IAF was on hand to witness the relaunch of the Israel Allies Caucus for the 2020-2024 Guatemalan Congress. The IAF together with the Israeli Embassy in Guatemala and the Jewish Community of Guatemala (CJG) accompanied a dozen members of the Guatemalan Congress to the Parliament to mark this special occasion. Members of the new Caucus include faction heads and the leadership of various political parties, including the party of President Dr. Alejandro Giammattei. We look forward to working closely with the new Chairman, Congressman Fidel Reyes Lee, who joined us recently in Jerusalem for our Chairman's Conference, and wish the Caucus every success and they commit to standing tirelessly with Israel for the next 4 years.