Saca speaks out against "socialist experiments"

In an interview in the Financial Times, El Salvador's president Tony Saca recently spoke out against the policies being implemented in leftist governments in South America, such as Bolivia and Venezuela:
"Socialist experiments, state experiments end up bankrupting countries," said Mr Saca. "We [in El Salvador] have already lived through it. We had an agricultural reform that was a disaster, we had a state takeover of the banks which was mired in corruption. The state should be small but strong. It should not get in the way."

Mr Saca, of the centre-right Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena), said political changes in Bolivia, for example, were not the best option for growth and development.

"I have to respect [the results of Bolivia's recent elections]. But you are asking me my opinion about whether I believe in that [model]; I don't . . . I believe in open economies, in free trade. I believe in justice."

He also criticised Mr Chavez's policies of selling cheap fuel to sympathetic governments in the region, including local administrations in El Salvador that are controlled by the opposition FMLN party.

While admitting that accords between Mr Chavez and the FMLN were "not surprising", he said they represented a "clear interference in the internal affairs of the country". (more).

Publius Pundit, a conservative US blogger, had the following reaction to the Saca interview in the Financial Times:
A magnificent man!

I have had the honor of seeing him in action myself. Since about one out of five Salvadorans lives in Los Angeles, Saca is a regular here in LA. I saw him speak at a visit here last year, and he was eloquent, friendly, pugnacious and fearless. He went after the leftwingers with a verbal brickbat, kind of like Rush Limbaugh might, calling them liars right to their faces, quite a sight to behold. Saca, interestingly, used to be a radio announcer back in El Salvador. He learned his craft well and beats the heck out of far-leftists who try to shout him down. (more).


Anonymous said…
The FT quoth Saca: "the state should be strong but small. It should not get in the way."

Rich. From the president who gave us one additional Ministry -tourism- and a bunch of taxes to pay for it.

Saca is a radio host. Long on hot air, short on principles and good management practices.
Anonymous said…
Publius Pundit does not seem to have researched this very well.

Publius Pundit says (Tony Saca) “has shown the whole world, full as it is of poor countries, the one way out of the mire of poverty and socialism through free trade, rule of law, increased freedom, property rights, sound currency, low taxes and Reaganesque faith in the future.”

One would think that any self-respecting blogger would compare El Salvador’s GDP growth figures with its neighbors before calling it America’s Jaguar. El Salvador has consistently had the lowest growth rate in Central America. El Salvador’s real GDP has grew less than 23% from 1996-2004. Compare that to 28% for Honduras, 30% for Guatemala, 34% for Nicaragua, 39% for Panama and 46% for Costa Rica. Tony Saca’s party has been in power throughout this period.

Anyone who thinks I may be cherry picking for years of poor Salvadorian growth can check out the World Bank web site Chose any years you like and you will find the same pattern as well as El Salvador’s dismal growth rates compared to other Latin American countries such as the Dominican Republic, nearly 50%.

Publius Pundit’s list of requirements for growth is reasonable enough. Since El Salvador basically follows these policies, free trade, property rights, sound currency, etc., why has economic growth been so dismal? I would suggest that Publius Pundit left out one important requirement for growth, respect for rational scientific approaches to problems. presents a chart that ranks countries on a scale from “traditional” to “secular-rational.” El Salvador falls further to the traditional end than Nigeria, Pakistan, and Iran. Needless to say El Salvador falls far from the strong performers of Latin America, Chile and the Dominican Republic.
Basta de Casaca said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
what type of references to links are made here?
I believe that it is important to make a denunciation against which we consider are injustices. But this becomes an odd habit, more than clear messages. And the messages become antisocial behaviors.
In what this can help?
Tim said…
I have not previously removed a comment, other than a comment which was just spam unrelated to this blog. I decided to remove a post by "Samuel," because I found the blog he was promoting to simply be crude and offensive and not in the spirit of discussion on the blog.
Tim said…

Thanks for the well researched comment.
Basta de Casaca said…
"I decided to remove a post by "Samuel," because I found the blog he was promoting to simply be crude and offensive"

Well, did you find it crude and ofensive because of the pictures in my blog, or because of the lenguage I used in my comment about Tony Saca?

Anyway.... If removing something that's crude and ofensive, and maybe even corrupt and useless like the ARENA government will help make things better, how about removing the ARENA government because it's crude, ofensive, useless, corrupt?

Would that same concept work as well?
Anonymous said…
Of course Tony Casaca will know how to talk, he was a radio commentator for Christ sake! Congrats PP, you surely would've been one of the idiots who were easily swayed by Saca's showmanship and voted for him. BTW, after FOUR presidents with similar mental frameworks and political ideologies, this country is still worth crap. IMO, a counter to whatever you may have suggested.

And the donkey speaks of ears... How many times has USA on behalf of ARENA intervened in internal affairs of the country? And laughably, he says he believes in Justice, BUT what this country through gazillions of regimes reaks IMPUGNITY and crooked governments majoryly governing for the ruling elites. Justice? Heck no.
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