ARENA reverts to tactics of 2004

Ernesto Rivas-Gallont, blogger and former Salvadoran ambassador to the United States, has denounced in his blog the current propaganda which ARENA is using in campaign advertisements. For the past week, ARENA has been running advertisements warning that if the FMLN wins in 2009, family remittances from the US and Temporary Protected Status will be at risk. These were the same lies which ARENA used to some effect in the election campaign of Tony Saca against the FMLN's Schafik Handal in 2004.

Rivas-Gallont writes that he has begged US Ambassador Charles Glazer to state publicly that ARENA's propaganda is not true. So far the Ambassador has stated that the US will work with whatever government Salvadorans elect next year. Rivas-Gallont also asks that word of ARENA's lies be spread far and wide, especially in the US, so that "we will inundate cyberspace with righteous protests of this shameful conduct of ARENA."

Here's doing my part.

Thanks to Antonio for pointing me to copies of the ads on YouTube:


Antonio Vieira said…

This is the link to one of them
Antonio Vieira said…
The last spot being advertised is this one:
Anonymous said…
The 2nd Youtube video recycles the same fear mongering arguments used in the 2004 elections by ARENA and U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo: the FMLN wins the presidential elections there will be massive deportations of Salvadorans in the U.S. and the remittances will be cut off or greatly reduced. This is such right-wing crap. Call Congress today and demand No U.S. Intervention in the Salvadoran elections.
Anonymous said…
Wha? El Diario still has not printed ol' Frente ofensiva images of San Miguel early 80s and 89 san Salvador to "freak out " the peeps?, This Mirrors the ignorance also of the right up here of Palin statements of "Socialism" -Obama /gasp up here in the states
Anonymous said…
The commercials ARE DEVIOUS in the sense that Funes is NOT the FMLN. He most probably has a project of his own and DOES NOT intend to become Chavez, but IN FACT Funes would be more like Lula da Silva if left to his own devices in governing El Salvador, in which case we would all win.

But the commercials are right in pointing the relationship of the FMLN with CHAVEZ, and eventhough they do not point to the fact that the Comision Politica would like to get Funes out of its revolution's way, that is unfortunately the most likely scenario for El Salvador.

The rest on the remittances and the alliance with the US and the deportations is pure hype.

The remittances are going to dwindle with the coming recession, and the deportacions will just keep increasing as they have every year, wether we have troops in iraq or not. And the immigration phenomena, that will follow the darwinic way of weeding out the weak in the way to the US, since that is what seems to be happening in Mexico, where the tragedy, just keeps on getting bigger.

Not a nice pic, but again, when did El Salvador had it all rosy and happy clappy?
Anonymous said…
TV ,radio, newspaper political ads can show whatever
they are paid for. Perhaps the only way to prevent distorted and dishonest political ads in El Salvador would be having a legislation making liable those who
authorize false and malicious statements issued by the correspoding Party Propaganda Coordinators.
Jorge Ávalos said…
I think that when you hear a song on the radio saying over and over "Those in the FMLN are liers" and nothing else we are before a truly mindless and unsubstantial spot, politically speaking, but in the end these type of ads may be the most effective that Arena might run. These are sickening because of how twisted they are, because of the way they underestimate the voters and because ultimately they undermine the democratic process itself.
Anonymous said…
I've watched the ads in El Salvador, and they are definitely the lowest form of negative campaigning. However, I have not seen a single ad answering these by the FMLN, they are definitely not on TV here. Nor, in fact, in print.
Where is the FMLN's answer?
Anonymous said…
The soft, commanding, creepy voiceover, the flow chart, the sounds effects that simulate a cell door closing or a door shutting very hard or a foot stomping down, the word over and over "peligroso! peligroso!", and money money money (with wings!) tell you much more about the psychology and method of those who made the commercial than about the personalities that are being projected upon.
Anonymous said…
"I've watched the ads in El Salvador, and they are definitely the lowest form of negative campaigning. However, I have not seen a single ad answering these by the FMLN, they are definitely not on TV here. Nor, in fact, in print.
Where is the FMLN's answer?"

You would have to read Diario Colatino, which doesn't happen to have as much of an audience as El Diario de Hoy and Prensa Garfica. Simply put, ARENA controls the country's media, and the small opening that independant and free media have in this country doesn't appear to be getting any bigger. And that is large part of the problem. In El Salvador, you don't have to have a recipe for all of the country's problems following an extensive and thorough step by step plan, have a reputation of being transparent or anything like that... the promise of a t-shirt, pollo, a nice hip slogan and a massive appeal to the emotions will get you all the way.

Put it this way, ARENA has ransacked the state, sabotaged the country's agriculture along with the nation's capacity to sustain itself and an important pillar of thousands of people (El Salvador never ceased to be an agriculture-centric economy in the first place), sell off all your banks, discard your own currency, send all hopes of a monetary policy to hell, and they can still go on and say that it is the FMLN the ones that are selling off the country... and get away with it.

And here we are talking about the same group that opposed an land reformed, opposed the creation of cooperatives, of small land-owners, etc., but that coming election day, to those same small land-owners they claim that if FMLN is to win THEY WILL LOSE THEIR LAND.

That has been the ticket for ARENA in the past 20 years. For every and all problems FMLN has been the fall guy. The last civil war, not to mention the one before it, were not the result of a society in decline with grave injustices in which a large percentage of the populance chose to insurrect-- not necessarily to bring forth a regime change because a lot of those who did revolt didn't know squat about Angels, Marx or Communism, but did know that they were hungry and that they wouldn't take it no more (it was more of a visceral knee-jerk reaction than anything else)--, but product of an international communism conspiracy that resulted with the invasion of the country, as if UFOs, or beings completely alien to the country had suddenly decided to invade and do with the country as "they" saw fit (pretty much what USA is doing in Iraq, and the major reason why support over there of the population is luke-warm). But there you have it. People don't have access to information, don't know their own history, doesn't know what this means to them in the present, so they continue being vulnerable again the same old silver-bullet that got them in the first place: TERROR and enshrining a love of country so dear, that any criticism of the status quo is labeled as heretic anti-patriotic, even if the country is in shambles. Pretty much like Mexico, really, with left-wing guerrillas controlling the poorest states in the south, cartels and mafias doing pretty much what they want near the coasts and to the north, in many cases embedded with the federal government, and millions migrating, and thousands following every single year, but they always have their slogans of "Mexican Pride", here is the same. That over-inflatted sense of pride blinds the population to study itself and recognize the problems and treat them accordingly, and ARENA cashes in on this. And of course, it doesn't help that the people sincerely don't trust the democratic system which is evident in the lack of voter-turn out.

So, put it this way. Remittances have been in decline, deportations increased, the promise of making El Salvador the maquila of the hemisphere was cut short with more maquilas and factories closing down to move operations elsewhere (China, Honduras, etc.), the ever increasing price of food, because the geniuses running the country figured that importing the food was much better (better business for them, if we review the list of people that make up the regions greatest exporters of medicine and food, you'd find the likes of Alfredo Cristiani in place) has happened even with Saca's victory, making the whole political montage tha made up his 2004 campaign nothing more of the biggest scams in history, yet people are not entirely aware of this, just as it hasn't dawned upon many the ramnifications of US's crisis and its impact on El Salvador.

And this will continue to be because there is not an equal access to information, and this will continue to be, because ARENA and the oligarchy (not that both of them aren't one and the same) never did root for an educated population, how could they if this would put and end to the cronyism and the unjustified privileges they have institutionalized?
Anonymous said…
Tim, I've going nuts trying to find a video featuring Ana Sol Gutierrez in which she says the TPS is not linked to the party in control in El Salvador. If you find it, I think it will be good to post it here. ARENA's discourse is ridiculous. I have voted for ARENA always and had never given it a second thought until the time Hector Silva ran for president. The right has always had a "them versus us" stance that has grown tired and sickening. I trace my political coming of age to that election when I, an upper middle class young adult, decided to actually see what the candidates were about and cast my vote accordingly.
Are we truly a democracy? Social circles in the upper middle class frown upon anyone that is not an ARENA supporter. But I am thankful to find more and more people that are waking up and at least accepting its shortcomings. A democracy asks for power to alternate. It is time for power to alternate in El Salvador. The FMLN has shown it an govern municipally in an effective fashion, I say give them a chance in the executive. Talks on how Sanchez Ceren fought during the war and how FMLN members were there with them simply make me ask too - and what about those in ARENA that were in the Escuadrones de la Muerte?
I won't lie, his figure as part of the the presidential formula is daunting to me. But I firmly believe we need a change. And I think Mauricio can bring it.