Monday, March 12, 2007

Bush to Push U.S. Compassion in Guatemala

Undeterred by protests that have dogged Bush at every stop on his five-nation Latin American trip, Bush, who arrived here Sunday night, will work to convince Guatemalans that the United States is a compassionate nation. It's the same message he delivered earlier at stops in Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia.

"It's very important for the people of South America and Central America to know that the United States cares deeply about the human condition, and that much of our aid is aimed at helping people realize their God-given potential," Bush said Sunday in Bogota, Colombia. ...

On Sunday, in Tecpan, more than 100 Mayan Indians protested Bush's visit, holding signs that read: "No more blood for oil." The group is angry that Bush will be visiting the sacred Iximche archaeological site, founded as the capital of the Kaqchiqueles kingdom before the Spanish conquest in 1524.

Mayan priests say they will purify the sacred archaeological site at Iximche to rid it of any "bad spirits" after Bush is there.

"That a person like (Bush) with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked is going to walk in our sacred lands is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," said Juan Tiney, director of a Mayan non-governmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders.


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