US says it won't take sides in elections

An article in the Salvadoran newspaper El Mundo reports statements by a US official that the US will stay neutral in El Salvador's 2009 presidential elections. The United States will not intervene in El Salvador's political process nor will it take a stance for or against any of the participating political parties, according to remarks attributed to Director of Central American Affairs in the US State Department, John Feeley.

That would be a marked contrast from the US actions impacting the 2004 presidential election in El Salvador. An article in the Christian Science Monitor noted at the time:
[C]omments by US officials may be bolstering ARENA's message. Last Sunday, White House Special Assistant Otto Reich gave a phone-in press conference at ARENA headquarters. According to local newspapers, he said he was worried about the impact an FMLN win could have on the country's "economic, commercial, and migratory relations with the United States."

In February [2004], Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega told voters to "consider what kind of a relationship they want a new administration to have with us." He met with all the candidates except Mr. Handal. Last week, 28 US Congress members sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell saying Mr. Noriega "crossed a boundary" and that his remarks were perceived as "interference in Salvadoran electoral affairs." This week two US congressmen blasted Reich's comments as inflammatory.

Former Salvadoran Ambassador to the United States Ernesto Rivas-Gallont noted in his blog that ARENA is likely to feel disappointed that it is not getting the same overt backing which it enjoyed in 2004.


Anonymous said…
The U.S. also says that they treat immigrants housed in for-profit immigrant detention centers humanely. As the wife of a man requesting political asylum from El Salvador, who has witnessed the effects of his psychological and physical torture in this prison, by corrupt I.C.E. agents, I'm here to say NEVER BELIEVE THE PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGNS OF THE U.S. The same PR machine also said we were fighting the war in Iraq because of "weapons of mass destruction" and those lies were discovered. The same PR machine also denies global warming, in spite of the warnings of one of the nation's top geoscientists.

The U.S. has been involved in Latin American elections any time we could have an effect. If we fear the FMLN, we will most definitely be involved, although we will adamantly deny it. Just as they have tried to deny drugging my husband with Cogentin, five days before every hearing for his asylum case, and just like they hide his requests for medical treatment for pain from a root canal in progress when he was forced to come to the border and request asylum. And just like they took information from him and the two I.C.E. agents lied and said he didn't give it, until tapes of his statements were given and proved he was telling the truth. The U.S. right now, has lost credibility. Hopefully, some day soon, we can get it back and be a nation we once were, where citizens are proud to be a part of a great nation and where our flag is something of pride, not just a symbol for racism and hate.

I'm hoping so anyway, because I'd hate to think I brought a decent man here to be tortured by immigration for a year, just so I could introduce him to a country filled with hate and intolerance.
Anonymous said…
Of course not! The intelligence report claiming that Chavez is funding the FMLN was never intended to influence the outcome of the election!
Bosque said…
...""economic, commercial, and migratory relations with the United States." ..."

What would that migratory economic and commercial relations be? Immigrant Salvadoreños being a cheap labor pool to wash his toilets while those still in El Sal working 12 hrs a day can't afford a bag of beans?
Caminante said…
I'll believe this tidbit when I see it. Having lived in ES during the 2004 lead-up to the elections and having observed them, I was appalled by Reich's, Tancredo's et al's meddling.
Anonymous said…
If the right wasn't so polarized blind and stupid in the States, they would realize that with their xenophobic immigration policy propaganda/media, they ire pushing El Salvador and all others to the left. El Salvador Left Will win in 2009. Just as did Nica and Guate.