Today is the 30th anniversary of the founding of the FMLN. The FMLN was founded in 1980 as the military wings of five revolutionary movements in El Salvador came together to form a unified guerrilla force which would fight a civil war in El Salvador for the next 12 years. And in the 18 years since the end of the civil war, the FMLN has been the dominant leftist political party in El Salvador.
At the time of this 30th anniversary, the FMLN is at the point of its greatest influence, with a president, Mauricio Funes elected under its banner last year and the largest number of deputies in the Salvadoran National Assembly. Ironically, though, it was probably Funes' decision to keep the party at arm's length during the election, that made him electable. And Funes continues to follow a course as president which is independent of the FMLN party platform.
In an interview in ContraPunto, the Coordinator General of the FMLN, Medardo González, described the party's view of the country's president:
First, there is an important sector of the population of the left-wing voters, and particularly the FMLN voter, who voted for the flag of the FMLN, who believed that President Funes positions would be more leftest and more consistent with the party. And we say, those expectations were not fulfilled by the president....Funes is implementing a plan that is not the plan of the FMLN. The FMLN presented a program, but the plan that the President is implementing has clear differences with the draft presented by the FMLN. But it is a breakthrough in this country that the present government is a government in which we are participating, and it is not a government of the oligarchy that is directing policies. We see a positive change.
For example, for me, signing the commitment to the Inter-American Development Bank (referring to an agreement for a loan of $ 200 million with the IDB signed by Funes in his last visit to Washington), is something I would not have done. But if the ARENA candidate was president of the Republic, we would be in a situation a hundred times worse. We are much better. We will make the most of these conditions and ensure that the next president of the republic represents a more genuine and directly leftist position.
And so on this 30th Anniversary, the FMLN is celebrating that it elected a president, but lamenting that this president does not take his direction from the FMLN leadership. The FMLN apparently stands ready to preserve the gains it has won. The party issued a statement declaring that it was ready to defeat any coup which might be plotted to overthrow the left-wing government in El Salvador.
Video inviting party faithful to a 30th anniversary rally.