One of the areas would Colom would apparently like to see greater bilateral relations is in the area of military and police assistance against drug trafficking and organized crime.
Guatemala’s vice President Rafal Espada told Medvedev during the official meeting in the Kremlin that Guatemala would be interested in acquiring Russian arms in exchange for food.
"Guatemala is interested in acquiring planes, armored vehicles and other arms to struggle against organized crime in the country. We could pay for the arms with coffee and sugar,” Espada said.
Guatemalan officials already discussed the issue with Russian diplomats last week, Espada said. Guatemala’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Juan Jose Ruis and five other high-ranking officials of the nation’s defense department took part in the talks.I still understand Colom's interest in establishing economic, social, and cultural opportunities for Guatemalans throughout the world. However, selling sugar and coffee in return for planes and armored personnel carriers isn't exactly what I had in mind.
Espada said that Russia provided the information about the arms, which would be of interest for the armed forces and the national police of Guatemala. (Pravda)
If anything develops with regards to this relationship, I wonder how the US Congress will react. While Guatemala is not a big recipient of Merida Initiative funds, they have received millions of dollars from the US to fight organized crime and drug trafficking. Will the US Congress preempt greater Russian-Guatemala relations by increasing funds directed towards Guatemala? Was this Colom's plan all along? Or will Congress "punish" Guatemala by cutting its funding?
On the one hand, I think that I might be blowing this meeting out of proportion. The deal probably won't involved any sophisticated military equipment or really amount to that much money. On the other hand, I get worried when heads of state praise Russia as a guarantor of international security.
Colom, who described Russia as “an international security guarantor,” considers his trip “as marking the start of important ties with our region.” “There is an enormous interest in Russia in Latin America, and I think it's time to stimulate it and take advantage of it,” the Guatemalan president said in an interview with RT. (RT)You can say nice things about Russia and Medvedev without calling them "an international security guarantor."