Wednesday, March 10, 2010

US and Salvadoran ambassadors

Fourteen months after Barack Obama became president of the US, there is still not a new US ambassador in the embassy in San Salvador. Last December, Obama nominated Mari Del Carmen Aponte to the position, but her appointment is stuck in the Senate. Some conservatives are urging that her nomination be rejected, citing allegations that in the past she had connections to someone who had connections to Cuban intelligence agents.

El Salvador acted only slightly more rapidly, presenting its new ambassador to Washington on the morning before Mauricio Funes' March 8 meeting with Obama. The new ambassador is Francisco Altschul.

Perhaps the US Senate needs to read the article by Sarah Stephens on the Huffington Post titled Why should we care about El Salvador?"

To the surprise of many, El Salvador under the leadership of this center-left president and a party representing a former guerrilla army is becoming the most reliable Central American ally of Washington.

But whereas the Bush Administration could count on former Salvadoran governments to send troops to Iraq and in essence, as one analyst said, "to act as the lapdog of the State Department," President Funes is attempting to build a balanced, independent foreign policy.

During his first eight months in office the president and his foreign minister Hugo Martinez have normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba, Vietnam and Libya while simultaneously making clear that he looks to Brazilian president Lula de Silva and to Barack Obama as his models for governance, not Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez.

As the Salvadorans pursue an open, non-aligned diplomatic strategy, realities on the ground in the U.S. and in El Salvador require the presidents to forge a close, mutually beneficial relationship.

1 comment:

chishi said...

"To the surprise of many, El Salvador under the leadership of this center-left president and a party representing a former guerrilla army is becoming the most reliable Central American ally of Washington".

Mainly to the surprise of the fmln's hard core leadership and their many followers, and of course, to the great surprise of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. All of the aforementioned parties are expressing privately and, those who can, publicly, that this is a betrayal by funes of the ideals of the fmln.

"But whereas the Bush Administration could count on former Salvadoran governments to send troops to Iraq and in essence, as one analyst said, "to act as the lapdog of the State Department," President Funes is attempting to build a balanced, independent foreign policy".

This is as biased a statement as it can be, in favor of funes. There is no qualitative difference between sending troops to irak and supporting, even if rightly so, the reinsertion of honduras into the oas, as funes did during and before and will do after his meeting with obama, taking all the heat that should have been thrown to the US, and which would come from the castro-chavez-alba leftist governments of latin america.

There is no qualitative difference between sending troops and fighting against latin america for the recognition of honduras, because funes' government's foreign policy will at the end be, as reviled as flores and saca's was for sending troops to irak.

And after getting out of the reunion with obama, funes came out as flores and saca did with bush....no right out promises for tps nor for a immigration reform.

Funes is as much a lap dog as flores and saca were.

There is no balanced foreign policy with the us, since el salvador is still, to the white house, the same great ally that will take the heat for the us......with little in exchange for being the sacrificial lamb.

There is an alignment, clear and straight.....for businesses that will give a profit, personal as well as political, funes goes to brazil. For political future back up, he goes to obama.

Two lines. studded with symbolic opening of relations with symbolic countries.....viet nam and libya and cuba....were the comandantes that haunt funes so much were trained when they were fighters during the war.

Pure symbolysm, as little will be obtained from relations with vietnam or libya, whereas the close relation with cuba will give some south south aid, but that would be offset by the terrible cooperation which will come from cuba in matters of repression of liberties through the use of state agencies such as the OIE, or State Intelligence Organism from El Salvador...

And to top it all, there is no foreign policy plan, as funes has not yet, after a whole year from having been elected, showed to El Salvador his presidencys work plan. Perhaps because he has none, as is the case of his unexistant foreign policy to date.