Thursday, August 21, 2008

Article on political division in El Salvador

The Council on Hemispheric Affairs has published a new article on its web site titled El Salvador: A Deeply Divided Country. As suggested by the title, the theme of the article is the political polarization in El Salvador:

There are still seismic divisions along ideological, political, and economic fault lines that keep the country polarized and prevent a cessation of persistent conflict. For example, on November 11, 2007, the date that marks the launching of the Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation’s final 1989 offensive in the country’s bitter civil war, the FMLN held its 23rd National Convention to nominate a candidate for the March 2009 presidential election. In response, the National Republican Alliance (ARENA)-dominated assembly declared November 11 a “day of national mourning” and put up a black flag to remind voters of the FMLN’s past as a guerrilla force.

Despite purporting to be an article about political division in El Salvador, a good part of the article is focused on a critique of the US role in El Salvador. This is the weakest aspect of the article. The author makes a number of assertions without providing any evidence. For example, the article contains this statement:
The U.S. is already suggesting that it could rescind the protective status now affecting hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran refugees now benefiting from being allowed U.S. residence if the FMLN is victorious at the polls. This could also hurt the economic stability of El Salvador because several billions of dollars in remittances are sent by refugees in this country back to their families each year with only minimum restrictions.

While there were such statements made by two US Congressmen around the 2004 presidential elections, I am not aware of any such statement made in this election cycle. The COHA article also asserts, without support, that the US is "very concerned" about the legislative elections in 2009. In the same vein, the article repeats arguments from years past against CAFTA and International Law Enforcement Academy.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, you have to consider the source. The Princeton Review has called the Council on Hemispheric Affairs a "hard-hitting liberal think tank." The author of this particular opinion piece has worked with such leftist orgs as the Central American Solidarity Movement (the Rev. Roy Bourgeois organization), and has written for The Times of the Americas (previously the Times of Havana), among others. So, he's got a point of view here, particularly on the question of U.S. involvement, a point on which his affiliations are not neutral.

Tim said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

HA, what a surpirse? that there is "political division in El Salvador " /gasp.
And hey Anon above..Screw Neutrality on El Salvador. Do you just shrug off a point of view because of some "possible affiliations"?
Do you truly think Tim that there would ever be "evidence" to such political and economic arm twisting Power the U.S. Has over El Salvador? It is a FACT that Without International Salvys sending money back home, the country would sink. It is also a Forensic FACT that the U.S. trained Battallon Atlacatl Massacred the Jesuits at the University the Week of November 11th, 89 because the Army was desperate that they could not Bomb the @#$% out of Mejicanos, Ayutuxtepeque, and Ciudad DElgado to get the FMLN to leave. Do not question "my affiliations" to deny that FACT, and many other Facts.

Anonymous said...

Anon #1 could do some better fact checking, as the Central American Solidarity Movement is not an organization, but instead a label for the various organizations that made up the Central American Solidarity Movement of the 1980s until today. Father Bourgeois' organization would be the School of the Americas Watch.

Let me say what Anon # 2 did not. This is red baiting, dismissing someone because of supposed political affiliations.

Anon 2 is correct that there are historic facts from El Salvador's past that can't be denied: U.S. training of elite battalions, U.S. funding during the 1979-1991 conflict to the tune of $6 billion, U.S. military advisors playing a very active role in the strategy of the counter-insurgency.

Anonymous said...

Hi, as to the mention in this story of...

"The U.S. is already suggesting that it could rescind the protective status now affecting hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran refugees now benefiting from being allowed U.S. residence if the FMLN is victorious at the polls. This could also hurt the economic stability of El Salvador because several billions of dollars in remittances are sent by refugees in this country back to their families each year with only minimum restrictions.

While there were such statements made by two US Congressmen around the 2004 presidential elections, I am not aware of any such statement made in this election cycle." ...

I just returned from El Salvador this week and this is being reported as fact, in this election. This is from leaders of the Lutheran Church as well as supporters of the FMLN. Not sure if it is true in this election or not, but it does warrant watching.

mark

Tim said...

I'm still looking for some confirmation that the statements have been made in this election cycle and we are not referring to the ridiculous comments by Tom Tancredo in 2004. If the FMLN is suggesting such statements are being made, when they are not being made, the FMLN is doing ARENA's work for it. (Much as I love my friends in the Lutheran church in El Salvador, their fact-checking and understanding of US government and politics, is not always the best).

If US officials are making those statements this election cycle, they should be identified and denounced for cynical manipulation of the election process

Anonymous said...

CISPES had a recent fact finding delegation and they met with the current U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Charles Glazier admitted the U.S. intervened in the 2004 Salvadoran presidential elections.

http://www.cispes.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=416&Itemid=29

He did go on to say there would be no U.S. intervention in 2009, but given all the U.S. has done in El Salvador over the decades should that be believed? I would be skeptical.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is Anom 1. I concede to Anom 2 and 3 that my original post appeared to condemn the "point of view." I did not intend for that to be so. I was only pointing out that the author has a very definite point of view. It's okay to have points of view (as I clearly also have a point of view), and having a point of view, left or right, does not mean that all your FACTS are erroneous. Therefore, I would not question FACTS such as a particular atrocity or historical event. I was merely suggesting that a defined point of view, particularly when it is so pronounced in a writer's background, must be taken into consideration when assessing gaps or ambiguities, innuendo, unfounded or unsupported positions, that they take.

(E.g., Tim's last post.)