(CNN) — United States President Joe Biden congratulated Guatemalan President Bernardo Arevalo and Vice President Karen Herrera on the occasion of their inauguration, in a statement issued by the White House on Monday.
“The relationship between Guatemala and the United States runs deep, and today’s inauguration is a historic testament to our shared commitment to democracy and the will of the people,” Biden said in a White House statement.
The President went on to say that he looks forward to continuing the strong partnership between the two countries to “advance civil rights, strengthen civil security, combat corruption, address the root causes of migration, and expand economic opportunities for people throughout and beyond the Western Hemisphere.” the world.”
It comes after a chaotic Sunday during which the inauguration was postponed nine hours as the opposition-controlled Congress debated accepting new lawmakers, who must be sworn in by the president.
The delay led to protests outside Congress, where Arevalo's supporters were seen brawling with police, video from the scene showed.
Other world leaders congratulated Arevalo on his inauguration, including European Commission President Josep Borrell, who described Guatemala's new government as the opening of a new chapter.
“A new chapter opens. The European Union will stand by the Guatemalan people and their institutions, defending the rule of law and strengthening social cohesion,” Borrell wrote on the X social media platform on Monday.
Taiwan's Foreign Ministry on Monday expressed its “warm congratulations” to Guatemala “on its democratic process” and said it looked forward to “upgrading” their bilateral relations. The opening was attended by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.
Brazilian Vice President Geraldo Alckmin, who was also present at the inauguration, also shared his praise of the inauguration via “X” on Monday, saying that “democracy has prevailed.”
“I represented President Lula at the inauguration of President Bernardo Arévalo. Guatemala’s electoral process suffered serious threats, but democracy prevailed,” Alckmin said.
He added, “The threats to President Lula's inauguration strengthened our conviction of the importance of supporting the international community and tools such as the Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States to preserve democracy on the American continent.”
Chilean President Gabriel Boric shared with his Channel X followers that he spoke with President Arevalo on Monday and said he remains calm before taking office.
“He is calm, certain that, contrary to the recent crude attempts made by some sectors to prevent him from assuming office, he will assume his full duties as president of Guatemala during this day,” Buric said.
Guatemala's then-elected president, Arevalo, claimed in early September that powerful groups within the country's judicial system, which opposed his victory in the August 20 presidential runoff, were involved in what he called an ongoing “coup.”
Arevalo said during a press conference that the groups, which he said were led by the country's attorney general, were trying to violate the constitutional order and violate democracy.
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