Tony Saca was touring the US last week. One stop was at a conference in Miami. As quoted in the Miami Herald Saca contrasted his government with "dangerous" movements in other parts of Latin America:
Saca also warned against ''a very dangerous current in Latin America,'' but said he couldn't mention any names in order to avoid interfering in another country's internal affairs.
''While other countries close businesses, confiscate businesses and shut down freedom, El Salvador has been going the other way over the past 18 years,'' Saca said.
It was an apparent reference to a bloc of political leaders led by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez -- but also including Bolivia's Evo Morales and Ecuador's Rafael Correa -- who are seeking increased state control over the economy.
Even before the civil war ended, El Salvador's leaders set that country on the path of freer markets and a smaller government, a path that Saca has continued and that he credited Thursday with the country's turnaround.
''We returned businesses to private hands, eliminated price distortions, reduced the state's role and eliminated red tape,'' Saca said. ``The productive sector began to invest again.''
Continuing a pretty much annual ritual, Saca is also making tours of Salvadoran communities in the US, urging them to reapply for Temporary Protected Status. This weekend Saca was in the state of New York, on Long Island. As reported in Long Island Newsday, the president had some remarks about immigration reform in the US:
Immigrants on Long Island can forget, for now, about the United States passing an immigration reform bill, the president of El Salvador said yesterday at a Central American festival in Deer Park.
"I don't have any hope that there will be any reform without a new president and a new Congress," President Elías Antonio Saca told reporters at the fifth annual Central American Day Parade and Festival.
Stalled amid a fierce political debate over undocumented immigrants, Congress failed earlier this year to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. "It's a subject of human drama," Saca said of the Central American immigrant community on Long Island, the largest segment of which are Salvadorans. He added: "The vast majority are good people who are working for their families. Above all, we have faith" in immigration reform.