With considerable urging from the U.S. Surgeon General, the United States finally got up the courage to make a call it had been dreading all week. After sitting in silence for what seemed to be hours, the United States dialed up Guatemala to tell them that there was a good chance they might have syphilis and should “probably go to a doctor to get it looked at”.
The United States, which had long built a reputation around the Western Hemisphere as being somewhat of a player, thinks it may have given Guatemala the sexually transmitted disease sometime between 1946-1948, although it claims it didn’t know the U.S. National Institution of Health had deliberately infected nearly 700 Guatemalan prisoners, mental patients and soldiers with the venereal disease.
The United States and Guatemala first began seeing each other in 1921 when the U.S. overthrew the Guatemalan government and replaced it with one more amenable to American corporate interests. Since that time, the “friends with benefits for the United States” relationship had been on-again, off-again up until the mid-nineties.
Over the course of those years, their relationship was not without troubling physical and emotional abuse. According to everyone familiar with the pair, altercations ranged from U.S. sponsored military coups to CIA meddling, from death squads to torture. The United States claimed that things began to get out of hand when Guatemala had gotten involved in narcotics towards the end of their relationship and so they decided to break it off.
In 1995, the two countries ended their dysfunctional relationship and just became friends, with their only real contact being through meager alimony payments made through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Guatemala was reported to have been surprised to get the call from the United States and initially thought it was being congratulated for recent successes in reducing poverty and increasing rural education. Instead, it was shocked with the news that it might have contracted syphilis from the world’s superpower.
“Listen, I’m not sure how it happened,” the United States said. “I mean, for all I know, I could have gotten it from you. I’m just calling, you know, to be a good guy about this whole thing.”
The U.S. also recommended that Guatemala reach out to any other countries they might have been involved with over the past 70 years to let them know to get checked out as well.
Rumors have already begun to swirl in the region, leading fellow members of the Central American Common Market to back off a little bit with their interactions with Guatemala. With Guatemala’s reputation in tatters, Honduras said it couldn’t conduct any more trade missions with Guatemala in the near future because it “had a lot of stuff going on” but was later seen spending a considerable amount of time with Belize discussing joint economic ventures.
The United States has not had a very good reputation within this region for some time. It is rumored that the U.S. may have impregnated Panama before pulling out in 1999. It is also common knowledge that they gave Nicaragua “the clap” in 1981, left Chile with hepatitis-A after a U.S.-backed coup in 1973 and repeatedly kept the Dominican Republic as a sex slave on six different occasions over the last 150 years.
Before hanging up the phone, the United States pleaded with Guatemala to be discreet.
“Hey, I’d appreciate it if you could sort of keep this, you know, quiet,” America said,”…because things are going really well right now between us and Columbia.”