In an interview in the Financial Times, El Salvador's president Tony Saca recently spoke out against the policies being implemented in leftist governments in South America, such as Bolivia and Venezuela:
"Socialist experiments, state experiments end up bankrupting countries," said Mr Saca. "We [in El Salvador] have already lived through it. We had an agricultural reform that was a disaster, we had a state takeover of the banks which was mired in corruption. The state should be small but strong. It should not get in the way."
Mr Saca, of the centre-right Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena), said political changes in Bolivia, for example, were not the best option for growth and development.
"I have to respect [the results of Bolivia's recent elections]. But you are asking me my opinion about whether I believe in that [model]; I don't . . . I believe in open economies, in free trade. I believe in justice."
He also criticised Mr Chavez's policies of selling cheap fuel to sympathetic governments in the region, including local administrations in El Salvador that are controlled by the opposition FMLN party.
While admitting that accords between Mr Chavez and the FMLN were "not surprising", he said they represented a "clear interference in the internal affairs of the country". (more).
Publius Pundit, a conservative US blogger, had the following reaction to the Saca interview in the Financial Times:
A magnificent man!
I have had the honor of seeing him in action myself. Since about one out of five Salvadorans lives in Los Angeles, Saca is a regular here in LA. I saw him speak at a visit here last year, and he was eloquent, friendly, pugnacious and fearless. He went after the leftwingers with a verbal brickbat, kind of like Rush Limbaugh might, calling them liars right to their faces, quite a sight to behold. Saca, interestingly, used to be a radio announcer back in El Salvador. He learned his craft well and beats the heck out of far-leftists who try to shout him down. (more).