The US State Department has responded to the outcry created by statements by certain Republican lawmakers:
Thank you for your concern regarding the elections in El Salvador.
The Government of the United States reiterates its official position that it does not support either candidate in the upcoming presidential election in El Salvador on March 15. The Embassy of the United States in El Salvador has stated this position publicly and repeatedly since November of 2007.
The separation of powers and freedoms in the United States allows the debate in which members of the U.S. Legislature have expressed their opinions, which do not reflect the official position of the United States.
A/Public Affairs Officer
Agregado de Prensa/Press Officer
Embajada de Estados Unidos
San Salvador, El Salvador
It is doubtful that El Salvador's far-right El Diario de Hoy will give this statement the same bold, front page headlines it gave Rep. Rohrabacher's and Florida Congressman Connie Mack's comments:
Representatives from California and Florida will ask
for strict control of remittances.
In statements published in Friday's La Prensa Grafica, embassy officials in San Salvador went further, noting that TPS is a humanitarian measure, which does not depend on the nature of the government in place and pointing to the example of Nicaragua which also has the benefit of TPS. The idea of remittances being cutoff was dismissed out of hand by the embassy. (La Prensa Grafica decided to place these comments at the bottom of an interior page, below a much larger article highlighting the remarks of the handful of Republican Congress members who were threatening TPS and remittances.)