US press taking notice of El Salvador's election race

With the release of several recent opinion polls in the past few weeks all showing Mauricio Funes with a double digit lead in El Salvador's presidential race, the press in the US is starting to take notice. But the spin they place on the story depends on the political leanings of the media outlet. For example, the liberal-leaning Washington Post had this to say in a recent article:
The left has never won an election in El Salvador, and picking a moderate candidate for the March 2009 vote reflects a determination by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, to shake off its Marxist roots.

The former rebels, who battled a series of U.S.-backed governments in a 1980-1992 civil war, has lost the last three presidential elections to the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance, or ARENA, which has been in power since 1989.

However, the FMLN has moved closer to the political center and now has the largest bloc in El Salvador's national assembly.

"Choosing Mauricio is a reflection of the changes in the FMLN," said Gerson Martinez, an FMLN lawmaker and a rebel during the civil war that killed 75,000 people.

In contrast, the conservative Weekly Standard in an article titled, Losing El Salvador?, expressed a different view of the rising prospects of the FMLN and Funes' candidacy:
But the chief reason for the FMLN's robust standing is clever electioneering. Breaking with tradition, it has chosen a presidential candidate from outside the party. Funes is a former TV anchor who appeals to independents and has been able to parlay his name recognition into broad political support. Most Salvadorans do not view him as a left-wing extremist. The Chicago Tribune reports that Funes "wants to remake the FMLN into a pragmatic party."

Here's the problem: While Funes cuts a relatively moderate figure, he does not have any real sway over the FMLN's structure and ideology, which are inspired by old-fashioned Marxism-Leninism. The FMLN is a party that continues to defend the leftist narcoterrorists in Colombia, and refuses even to call them terrorists. Many analysts question how much its core beliefs have really changed. "If it flies like a duck, swims like a duck, and eats like a duck, it's a duck. The FMLN is a communist party," President Saca said recently.

Of course, Saca is not a disinterested observer. But it is hard to set aside the feeling that Funes is merely being used as a vehicle to win power for the FMLN. Should Funes become president, he still would have little control over the party. He could be made an ineffectual figure, or even pushed aside, by the FMLN's more radical power brokers, such as vice presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren. Indeed, it is reasonable to think that a Funes victory could lead to a sharp leftward turn in Salvadoran domestic and foreign policy.

Back to the Washington Post, which today ran another story on the election, this time focusing on support for Funes among the Salvadoran immigrant popiulation in the US:
Funes, a former journalist whose nonviolent past and embrace of centrist economic policies distinguishes him from previous FMLN frontmen, has been polling as much as 21 points ahead of the ruling Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party's candidate.

He is also proving to be the catalyst for a notable political awakening among the sizable Salvadoran immigrant business community in the United States, including dozens of influential entrepreneurs and professionals in the Washington area, where an estimated 133,000 Salvadoran-born residents make up the region's largest immigrant group.


El-Visitador said…
«"If it flies like a duck, swims like a duck, and eats like a duck, it's a duck. The FMLN is a communist party,"»

There really is no need to quote sources outside FMLN to figure out it is a Communist party today.

Here is its main puppetter, Comandante Ramiro, today formally an FMLN member of the Central America Parliamente, in his own voice, on April 17, 2006:

I am Communist and openly acknowledge my Communism. FMLN is a Socialist revolutionary party and being a Communist is part and parcel of that.

- * -

By the way, this is the same guy who is involved with the arms trafficking with the Colombian terrorists and with the FARC "joint venture" kidnapping plot in Panama in order to secure funds for FMLN campaign funding in El Salvador.
Hodad said…
Tim, I love this you publish this nonsense so prevalent and onesided

E-V are you off your meds again?
you have
got to be a CIA paid mouthpiece
Communism would never work in Latinolanidia
however socialism would be mil veces mejor than what corporate greed and arrogance have given the masses,
not to mention that devil, the Catholic church
which is not much
again, all these rich oligarchs would have nada w/o the backs of the masses in Latin America
thank GOF for revolucions,
and GOD is prevalent in social networks and parties like the FMLN vs eastern European thought
Anonymous said…
I think Hodad needs to pull his head out. EV does not need his medications, he is probably the most rational person that writes to this blog. Look at history Hodad, Communism might not work but that will not keep the FMLN from trying. History seems to show that socialism doesn't work either. England tried it for some years and finally gave it up to become one of the more vibrant economies of Europe. In fact if I remember my history, National Socialism (read Nazi party) tried to do in communism and the only thing that kept communism afloat was democracy spoon feeding them until they could send millions in cannon fodder to the eastern front.

If the FMLN wins, El Salvador will only be trading one set of corrupt, greedy bastards for another. I don't have the feeling that eny politician to date has feelings for the poeple and Funes will never have the support from his party or the Asamblea to effect any real social change if he lives that long. The only thing that will change will be the pockets the graft goes into.
What El Salvador needs is a Moses thing. All the politicians need to wander around in the desert for 40 years and die. Get rid of the Hodad/FMLNistas and the ARENEROS and come up with a group of honest rational folks who are willing to work for change instead of hiding behind their panuelos or their estate or university walls.
Hodad said…
true all politicians are greedy, you must be new to here, obviously
at leat the Funes win will help 'the people' I am sure more than the ARENAZI ever has
you should read the history or maybe you are CIA also
communism is Handel's tome, not the new party

wake up
this guy that spoke those words is not part of new wave
all the old farts need to go, whatever party they are in
and 'antipolitico'
just what do YOU positively for El Salvador?
actions speak louder than words