El Salvador -- the "Switzerland of the Western Hemisphere?"

H. Douglas Barclay, former US ambassador to El Salvador, has returned home to upstate New York and recently talked about El Salvador to one of his hometown newspapers. Here's some of what he said:

Q. What don't most people in the United States know about El Salvador?

Barclay: If it isn't the country that has the best relationship with the U.S., it's in the top two or three. They are very pro-American. It's more than a bilateral relationship. It's almost a partnership. There are one million Salvadorans in Los Angeles. And it's a partnership because there are families in both countries. They go back and invest in real estate in El Salvador.

This country (El Salvador) in my opinion can be the Switzerland of Europe in the Western Hemisphere. They have a great work force. They work very hard, they're very bright, and it's a great country.

There are number of American companies operating there. For example, Dell set up a call center that employs about 1,500 people. They sell and give customer advice to customers in the United States and Latin America. That shows you the ability they have to do a technical job and learn a second language to do it.

Read the rest of the interview here.


El-Visitador said…
«can be the Switzerland of Europe in the Western Hemisphere»

I wholeheartedly agree with Ambassador Barclay.

«can be»

Certainly will never be so long as we maintain the current statist model of wanting to "supervise" "superintend" "regulate" and "subsidize" through bureaucracy creation and high taxation.
Anonymous said…
Hmm, I thought Costa Rica was the Switzerland of Central America. Oh wait, Douglas Barclay was a big contributor to the Bush campaign and bought his ambassadorship. Guess he could not haven given that much money, or else he would have been Ambassador to Belgium or Finland. And because he mangles his metaphors he's as much of a moronic poorly spoken jerk as Shrub.
Anonymous said…
Actually, Costa Rica's heritage of Social Democracy makes it much more comparable to Sweden than Switzerland.
I agree that El Salvador has an enormous potential no matter if we have to compare with Costa Rica or not. Our neighbors have done an amazing job in terms of democracy and attracting foreign capital to their country but failed to capitalize it and boost economic activity. Actually, bonds issued by the Government of Costa Rica are more risky than debt issued by El Salvador according to S&P and Fitch Ratings.
As a whole, I believe that the region has great potential...would we be able to make it happen?
Anonymous said…
Ambassador Barclay is not the most intelligent diplomat that is for sure. I was certainly appauled to find that he couldn't speak Spanish while he was in service. Nevertheless, his final comments about the ending of the civil war in 1992 and the current climate of violence in the country shows just how removed he really is from the reality. The Salvadoran government may be closely alligned with the US but this relationship certainly isn't very helpful when it comes to the current political climate of this small country the size of Massachusetts.
Anonymous said…
he was Bush's narco biz buddy in ES wake up 'sheeples'
you can find out about this if you do some searching and on what he was involved with before he bought this post, and check his bank accounts
yes what an idiot he is
switzerland ?!!!!, sure, to protect cash assets of his and Bush Sr in drug biz
also ask Hilary about Mena AK
Hodad said…
Jose, yes for me, ES has the potential again,
just get rid of the beauracracy and the ineptness in ARENA and FMLN both
Viva El Frente, but not the current ones
Green party is best,

and as far as Costa, the worst and fastest thieves in the world
talk about corrupt,
oh, that INTEL factory, guess what it is all robots, maybe 120 janitors
and as far as tourism now very expensive in CR

ES has agricultural potential
but with bad water quality no
and as i said many many times , best to get rid of the gold miners NOW! seems like it may be happening
and all write your reps about this 460 million MCC money
destined for more corruption
i do not like my parents taxes paying for this type of CRAP/CACA
if you live in USA do you?
Anonymous said…
El Salvador gets some ink for their decidedly non-Switzerlandy ass-kicking in Iraq
Alexandryna said…
He sees what he wants to see.

Does he see the level of crime and poverty?