Thursday, January 21, 2010

El Salvador and change

El Salvador's foreign minister, Hugo Martinez, wrote an essay this week titled El Salvador's new vision to the world published in the Miami Herald. Here's an excerpt:

The concept of change extends to our foreign policy, which will be guided by our nation's interests, and certainly not the interests of any group, be it economic, political or ideological. Our priorities will be bilateral and multilateral relations in the new world order, respect for international law and human rights and the unwavering and comprehensive battle against organized crime in the region. For El Salvador, a country that wants to find friends in the world, diversity of thought in the Americas is an advantage. We want to open our frontiers to bind our friendship among peoples and nations. In that path we hope to have the same respect that we offer.

We recognize the leadership of President Barack Obama In the international domain. From our government's first contact with him at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, as President Funes stated, President Obama showed the Americas one of the best faces that the United States has had in its history. President Funes, then newly elected, welcomed his words regarding the possibility to live in a world of peace and respect, a priority also shared by our nation.

During the next five years, we look forward to laying down foundations for an inclusive economic policy that allows Salvadorans to find in their country, the dream of prosperity they have searched for beyond our borders, We have therefore, launched a pilot program of permanent employment in two municipalities largely impacted by immigration, as one of the starting points of our new economic policy.

Nevertheless, we recognize the value of the contributions that our countrymen have made to the cultures and economies of those countries where they have migrated, especially the United States. We acknowledge, support and advocate for those Salvadorans who, especially in the last two decades, have become the main platform of our economy. And so, in the short term, our government will look after the interests and immigration stability of those who live, work and pay taxes in their host countries.

High rhetoric from the foreign minister, Let's hope the actions will match the words. It will not be easy.

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