Politics Salvadoran style

Sunday, November 11, saw the general convention of the FMLN, where Mauricio Funes was officially made the party's candidate for president in the 2009 elections. The convention was a huge political rally in Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador as more the 50,000 red-shirted supporters assembled to celebrate what many believe is the party's best chance since 1992 to win the top elected position in the country.

You can watch an FMLN video advertising the convention. View a photo gallery from the FMLN of the convention, or watch a short video excerpt of Funes' speech to the filled stadium. You can also read the text in Spanish of Funes' complete speech.

ARENA and its right wing parties in the National Assembly did their best to rain on the FMLN's big event. In the days leading up to the FMLN convention, the National Assembly voted to declare November 11 a day of national mourning in commemoration of the major November 1989 guerrilla offensive in the civil war. That offensive brought fighting to the streets of the capital city of San Salvador. The decision in 2007 to declare for the first time a national day of mourning was an obvious attempt to remind voters of the FMLN's past as a guerrilla fighting movement.

In case the message was too subtle, the conservative daily paper La Prensa Grafica covered the convention with the headline "FMLN embarks on a new offensive" and leads the story with a description of an abortive guerrilla attack on the presidential residence during the 1989 offensive.


Hodad said…
yea i was there for both offensives

left the day before, went back to Guatemala
the surf was flat anyway
Anonymous said…
i hate how conservative la prensa grafica and el diario de hoy are; but anyway, i hope this cat funes is not so radical. we really need a new way of thinking in el salvador. not too inclined to the right like arena or to the left, i just hope funes is more of a center left type. anywho, i'd still vote for him right now.
Anonymous said…
Any system of politics is a circle. Too far to the right or too far to the left, brings us to the same point. A small group running the show for their own profit and gain at the expense of the people.
Anonymous said…
This type of stunts has been going on for years, it makes me wonder how long more since this appeal to "ghosts from the past" stops losing its effect on the collective's mind.

Of course, it helps a lot that those members affiliated to ARENA are in control of more than 90% of the country's media, so we aren't precisely allowed to scrutinize more carefully what were the causes to the war, and our current state as a nation, especially when again the media force-feeds the collective all their pro-government junk.

All in all, I totally agree with the last anonymous. Not only that but to me, one way or the other, Salvadoran politics are too tainted that hopes for government accountability are slim with either party. However, we definately do need change. ARENA has been on the lead of the nation for years and they've proven to be bad planners (since Cristiani's term, for example, plans to improve El Salvador's education, at the very least erradicating analphabetism could've been carried out, but no the ARENA agenda revolved solely upon liberalizing the economy), corruption protectors, corrupts, liars, publicists much more than polititians... It is definately time for change, though I'm not entirely sure if Mauricio Funes is the right answer, what I can tell you is that with Sanchez Ceren on his side the same "ex-guerrilla commander" card that was used against Shaffick WILL be used, again.
Anonymous said…
Of course US liberals will villify any authentic people's candidate.

El Salvador's poor will become empowered when they kick the obsequious middle classes in the ass for selling out the country.

Only when the people are united will progress be made.

Forming alliances with the left peoples' movements developing in South America will help.

But, remember, the liberal 'intellectuals' from the US terror state will jump on the bandwagon to oppose any effort to put a check on the oligarchy and US imperialism. It's in their DNA--and they need to be escorted out of El Salvador if they don't behave.