Funes visits Chavez in Venezuela

Mauricio Funes paid a courtesy call on Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela today. Chavez spoke of Funes' election as a victory for the Salvadoran people. Funes thanked Chavez for Venezuela's support of El Salvador. It's worth noting that Funes visited Brazil's president Lula, whom Funes regularly cites as a model, in the first week after his election, but is only now visiting Chavez, the iconoclastic left-wing leader of Venezuela.


There is a fuller description of Funes' trip to Venezuela in English at this link.


Anonymous said…
OMG I guess even pigs get their day, even is we do not like them at all. I wonder if Funes meeting with him was about the taking over of El Salvador?
Anonymous said…
Of course Mauricio Funes would want to first visit his brother in law, Brazilian president Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, whose government Funes has often cited as a model for his own presidency in El Salvador. Brazil has become the 6th largest economy in the world and is a primary trading partner with China. Lula can definitely become an important asset and friend to El Salvador. As for the Mauricio Funes visit to Venezuela, we all know that El Salvador needs a friendly government that can supply it's oil energy needs at cut rate prices. Although Hugo Chavez, is a "chafarote" by definition and is the personification of a "tin horn dictator," he is after all Venezuela's problem, and if El Salvador can get some needed benefits from him, then more power to that effort.
Anonymous said…
> Although Hugo Chavez, is ... the personification of a "tin horn dictator," he is after all Venezuela's problem, and if El Salvador can get some needed benefits from him, then more power to that effort.

I'm sure that Neville Chamberlain had his rationalization also.
john said…
Rationalizations about mass murder didn't appear to overly concern Ronald Reagan and his acolytes, including the doyenne of rationalizers for authoritarian right-wing dictatorships (where would that put Hitler on the political spectrum?), Jeanne Kirkpatrick.
Salvadoran mass murderers such as Jose Garcia, Eugenio Casanova, and Nicolas Carranza, were found guilty in U.S. courts of crimes against humanity and torture, which Reagan and his apologists--apparently anonymous among them--failed to recognize. Inaccuracy and insincerity about history serve no one's interest.
Hitler is always the convienant straw man in excusing the crimes of criminal murderers who happen to be on the payroll (CIA), as Carranza was to the tune of $90,000 a year.
Anonymous should review the historic struggle of indigenous people in the Americas for some respect and reparations from their heretofore white overseers, before making facile comparisons of little substance.
Anonymous said…
Bottom line is that Hugo Chavez and his "Bolivarian" experiment is simply one more symptomatic US problem, brought on by 8 years of neglect, and by our relentless exploitation of that region for the past 150 years. There is no doubt that we live in a fluid and changing world, and there will be only three economic blocks in the future: Asia, Europe, and the Americas. It's about time that the US wakes up to the realization that it's never the end of history, and that "the rug" is being pulled from under its hegemonic feet.
Anonymous said…
People in the know have always known that companies in El Salvador raise the tarrifs/prices on oil crossing the border from Nicaragua via the Ortega Chavez connection. Love the new telephone biz too, hopefully the vergatorio can be released in el sal and dar verga to telemovil *)
Anonymous said…
Mauricio Funes and only Mauricio Funes is responsible for the recent FMLN electoral victory in El Salvador. The ARENA party, that held political power for the past twenty consecutive years has now peacefully passed to being the principle opposition party. This demonsration of civil maturity is a clear demonstration of Democracy at work in El Salvador. With Mauricio Funes, the FMLN has been able to finally reach their long-time dream of reaching political power, but this was realized with ballots and not with bullets. The FMLN obviously realized that they needed to present a new breed of moderate and popular candidate, the geriatric old guard faction learned the lesson when their champion, Shafik Handal, was sounding defeated in the last presidential race. Clearly times have changed and no one wants to go back to the violence of radical extremist doctrines. Mauricio Funes must now realize and fully understand that only he stands in the way of the die hard extremists dream of a Castro style dictatorship in El Savador. The obvious danger to Funes lies in his choice of vice presidential running mate, who would immediately step in if for any reason he were to become incapacitated. The violent geriatric old guard must surely realize that this is perhaps their final opportunity for a last hurrah, which brings to mind the old Mexican folk song that says, "cuidate Juan."
Anonymous said…
I notice that John mentions various memebers of the Salvadoran Armed Forces as alleged "mass murderers such as Jose Garcia, Eugenio Casanova, and Nicolas Carranza." But then, John conveniently omits any mention of leftist guerrillas who murdered town mayors and so many other innocents, even purging from their own ranks. Cayetano Carpio, considered "father" of the Salvadoran insurgency, Melida Anaya Montes, then president of the teachers union, and Roque Dalton the renown Salvadoran poet whose murder was justified by Joaquin Villalobos, then ERP comander, as "errors of youth." John should understand that his partiality does nothing for his credibility, or perhaps he simply doesn't understand the complete story or know the whole truth.
canopus said…
Chavez is not a dictator, he has been democratically elected a number of times, up to and including his current term as president.

Whatever you think of his style and methods, there is no pile of bodies to be laid at his feet. US `special friend` Uribes of Colombia on the other hand is up to his neck in death. Journalists, unionists and peasants murdered wholesale by the army and Rt wing paramilitaries, who naturally received their special training courtesy of the US and their weapons bought with US funding.

When people strive for adequate wages and a share in the national wealth, it is a good thing, a natural development in civilisation. Why oppose it with arrests and murders ? That`s when it becomes a `Left wing insurgency` . Why hate Chavez, who does seem committed to helping his people, particularly when compared to say GW Bush et al ?
Anonymous said…
I agree with Canopus 8:04 when he says, "Why hate Chavez, who does seem committed to helping his people, particularly when compared to say GW Bush et al?" But then perhaps besides the good that Chavez may be doing, what people are also witnessing is that Hugo Chavez is strangling freedom of speech by closing down radio and TV stations and threatening those who don't parrot his official government line. Another important Chavez maneuver has been to limit all opposition parties threatening to outlaw them with off the cuff labels such as "terrorists." Perhaps worst of all is the Chavez sponsored reform of the "presidential term limits" clause in the Venezuelan constitution. This reform of the constitution would allow Chavez to be reelected indefinitely and thus become a new caudillo and president for life. As far as his bringing Democracy to Venezuela, Chavez needs to not only talk the talk, but he also needs to walk the walk.
Anonymous said…
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez tells his opponents that his constitutional reforms (that would give him dictatorial powers) are necessary to protect the changes he has made in favor of the people. Machiavelli also said that "the end justifies the means." Obviously neither man is well versed in Democratic principles.
john said…
To Whom It May Concern:
Nicolas Carranza as a matter of historical record was convicted of crimes against humanity, a charge less formerly known as mass murder. Therefore, he is a mass murderer. Although Garcia and Casanova were convicted for command responsibility in torture, cases could easily be made against them for command responsiblility in crimes against humanity such as shooting down hundreds of unarmed demonstrators on the streets of San Salvador, and other cities, in late 1979-early 1980, among other heinous crimes (see yesterday's Diario Latino for Chaletecos looking for justice in the November 9, 1982 Las Aradas massacre).

According to the UN Comision de la Verdad, the ratio of human rights violations in El Salvador was about 5/1, FAES/FMLN.

The unrepresentative elections held in El Salvador in the 1980s, built on a bloody U.S./El Salvador, human rights and Geneva Conventions violating counter-insurgency strategy, pushed the FMLN to take some measures in repudiation of the early 80's demonstration-elections, where the death-squad ARENA, and sadly the Christian Democratic--fronting for flawed and bloodily imposed agrarian reform--, parties shared power.

Carpio killed himself, after Ana Maria's murder, and Juan Jose Dalton and other family members are free to call upon British prosecutors to charge Villalobos in Roque Dalton's death.

To the shame of many U.S. citizens,
the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Military Group became in the 1980s--from the standpoint of armaments and airmobile tactics--central to the Salvadoran military's strategy of mass murder, although FAES' human rights violating strategy stemmed from the events of 1932 and earlier.

The Salvadoran Human Rights Commission (CDHES)--as well as the Socorro Juridico del Arzobisbado--have abundant documentation from the era pointing the finger of blame for the most egregious violation of the laws of war (Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, anyone?), as well as massive human rights violations, at the FAES and their disreputable "security forces"--GN,PH, PN--thankfully annihilated for the most part by the FMLN.

I suggest skeptics review that documentation to supplement partial views they may hold about culpability of responsible parties in the tragic events in El Salvador in the last quarter of the twentieth century.
Anonymous said…
It's really nice that someone like John 12:52 is so knowledgeable and is so interested in "El Pulgarcito de America." Although rational, many of his interjections are basically supported by sophism's with little emphasis on the stupidity of war and of the ensuing human tragedy resulting from a generalized insanity running a muck. It seems that it's always the most innocent civilians who suffer the highest casualties in any war. (Review the Iraq and Afghanistan statistics of civilian casualties resulting from the ongoing U.S. "surgical pin-point" bombings). In El Salvador, the twelve years of conflict between government forces and the radical leftist insurgency ended in 1992, when the combined guerrilla factions (ERP, FPL, FARN, RN and Communist Party that together formed the FMLN) accepted to put down their weapons and sign the peace accords with the Salvadoran Armed Forces. As part of the peace process, a general amnesty was granted to the warring parties, and the old governmental Guardia Nacional, Policia de Hacienda and Policia Nacional were dissolved and a new police force was formed (the Policia Nacional Civil). This newly created police force would incorporate into its ranks ex-guerrilla fighters and demobilized government units. The responsibility of maintaining public order would now fall upon the newly created Civil Police force, while the regular Armed Forces would continue to maintain their principle mission as protectors of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of El Salvador, and more importantly, the Salvadoran Armed Forces would also continue their mission of guaranteeing the rights and obligations as defined by the national constitution. This will surely become a point of contention now that the radical old guard in the FMLN will want to have a say in government policy. Their new champion, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who is the vice presidential running mate of Mauricio Funes, will clearly be the man to watch because now only Mauricio Funes stands between the geriatric old guard and their Castro style dictatorship dream that they have so longed for. This is definitely getting interesting because it's Democracy in action, and it was ballots, not bullets have been victorious in El Salvador...
john said…
FAES historical role has been to maintain the interests of a ruling clique of agro-exporters (anil, cochineal, coffee, sugar cane, cotton, beef cattle) and damn the rest of the population. The 1969 fight with Honduras was about Salvadorans who had been thrown of lands in their home country, migrating to Honduras to survive, and then being thrown out because they aren't Honduranas. And Chele Medrano makes a big name for himself, instead of being known gangster #1 of the National Guard.

Why couldn't the Salvadoran army dissolve itself, as the army of Costa Rica was dissolved 60 years ago. Too busy parasiting off the people and killing civilians, cuando le ronca la gana, I guess.

As for the Amnesty Law passed in early 1993, conveniently passed by ARENA with no organized opposition (before the 1994 elections) from the FMLN, here's commentary on the Amnesty Law taken from a 2001 U.S. Institute for Peace analysis of the Peace Accords:

"Immediately following passage of the amnesty law, Salvadoran NGOs petitioned the
Supreme Court to find it unconstitutional. The Court dismissed their challenges by
terming the amnesty a political question not subject to judicial review. The Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has found that El Salvador’s sweeping
amnesty law contravenes its obligation to investigate, prosecute, and sanction those
responsible for human rights violations under the American Convention on Human
Rights. The IACHR has specifically stated that the Truth Commission process did not
relieve El Salvador of these obligations.
However, reliance by the international community and domestic courts on the jurisprudence
of the Inter-American Court and Commission on Human Rights implies
that a state cannot use an amnesty law to abrogate its obligation to investigate, prosecute,
and punish serious violations of human rights, and that a Truth Commission is not an
adequate substitute. Recent treaties have placed specific obligations on states to investigate
and prosecute those responsible for torture, forced disappearances, and violence against
Courts in Argentina and Chile, for example, taking account of international law developments,
have both recently ruled that forced disappearance is a continuing crime for
which responsibility cannot be extinguished even if the fate or whereabouts of the victim
has not been established. In October 2000, the Salvadoran Supreme Court finally ruled on
the constitutional challenges to provisions of the 1993 amnesty law. Although the Court
found that the amnesty law was not unconstitutional per se as it could be applied in a
manner consistent with other constitutional provisions, the court rejected its predecessor’s
position that the amnesty law was not subject to its constitutional control. The
Supreme Court’s decision clarifies that lower courts must analyze any cases involving
crimes that might be subject to amnesty to determine whether the amnesty can constitutionally
be applied to the case at issue."

As Socrates said to the Sophists, more to chew on.
Anonymous said…
Yawn... John, this has been fun but it's becoming redundant and a little boring. But at least one last thought for you regarding current events in El Salvador. Have you realized that with their new champion, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the geriatric FMLN old guard is crawling out of their political graves one last time. These Marxist-Leninist old timers have been stuck in a ideological time warp for more than twenty years now, and I'm sure that these salivating radicals realize that now only one man, Mauricio Funes, is left (pardon the pun) standing and blocking their path to the realization of their Castro style dictatorship dream. The conflictive situation developing in the core of the FMLN is in reality a crack in the facade of the party ideologues, and the danger level is rising dangerously within their ranks. I actually am feeling a bit sorry for Mauricio Funes, who has unfortunately placed himself in a deadly and precarious situation (he has clearly not surrounded himself with alter boys). Funes seems like a good and like-able enough guy, and perhaps he is the most qualified president in any of the five Middle American republics. So my honest and most sincere advise to Funes now would be to not give his back to any of his party members, not for a moment, and much less to his vice presidential running mate. Albeit and hopefully he'll be OK, but at least it's great to witness that true Democracy finally has a chance to flourish in El Salvador, and that it was ballots, not bullets that made it all posssible. Best of luck to you, Mauricio Funes. We'll all be watching, praying and hoping with fingers crossed. ... As for you, John, thanks for the smiles.
Anonymous said…
Hey, anybody know what happened to that guy who skipped the country with the guerrilla war chest? I heard someplace that after the war he just headed off to the UK with his girlfriend, and leaving his commie pals high and dry and very pissed off. Ha ha ha. Like they say, "a thief who steals from a thief has a whole bunch of years of pardon." Imagine all that cash from so many bank robberies, kidnappings, extorsions and stuff like that. I wonder what became of that slick dude.
Anonymous said…
Are You talking about Safie? That bastard that stole the money from a U.S. bank and can not be persecuted in El Salvador??? Or Are you talking about someone else???
Anonymous said…
Gosh, I don't know who that Safie guy is but like they say, "if you steal less than a million then you're a crook, but if you steal more than a million you are a financier." But from what I've been reading all on all those banana republics, the people there are mostly all crooks, and if it's no nailed down they'll swipe it. They don't make money there by creating wealth, like here, they make money there by ripping someone else off. Maybe it's the water or too many tacos, but they definitely need to get a life.
john said…
In 1977, the scores of pro-democracy activists murdered in Parque Libertad by the thuggish Salvadoran Armed Forces enforcing their dictatorial imposition of Humberto Romero, might have the last word on the dispute about "ballots, not bullets" in El Salvador.
How boring to ask for justice in their deaths or for the suffering of their family members!
Sneering militarist chest-thumpers should consider if their arrogance is well-placed in dissembling arguments on behalf of the abuses of the Salvadoran Military, security forces, and para-military death squads?
The victims of historic May massacres: May 9th 1979, at the National Cathedral steps and May 14th, 1980 at the Sumpul River, cry out for justice!
Anonymous said…
I came accross this blog and only wanted to say that I recently visited the small Central American country of El Salvador with my church group and was astounded by what I saw there. As I travelled around the country, Red flags come up all over the place, screaming to me of what could ultimately happen to us here if we don't take care of our environment NOW! Rivers in El Salvador are still used as sewers for already overcrowed cities. One river I vividly recall is the Acelhuate that takes the wastes from the capital city to another larger river that then takes it to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, the people are actually bathing, fishing and irrigating with these pestilant and toxic waters. What I witnessed couod fill volumes because in El Salvador the entire eco-system is an overturned garbage can. What struck me as most amazing was that the so-called politicians were haggling over the spoils of the recent elections but not one of them talked about improving the lives of the people by cleaning up and doing something viable for the environment they occupy. These people squabble over government jobs while they live emersed in their own filth and waste. No wonder that El Salvador's main export are its people who sneak accross our boder and walk the deserts to get away from that hell hole. Believe me when I tell you that my visit to El Salvador was a horrific and nasty experience. El Salvador named not as 'The Savior' but as 'The Hell Hole' May God show his mercy.
Anonymous said…
My friend John is obviously stuck in a time warp and continues ranting about things that supposedly happened more than thirty years ago. If we were to follow his rationale, we could also be talking about Geronimo's exile to Florida, or about the "Trail of Tear." In the here and now, there is a struggle brewing for power in El Salvador in the very core of the FMLN, a power struggle between president elect Mauricio Funes and the FMLN radical old guard. We must remember that Funes was never a member of the FMLN, but that they mutually used each other to present a viable alternative to the stagnated ARENA Party that had held power for twenty consecutive years. Now the struggle is about who will have control? Will it be Funes, the president, or will it be the FMLN old guard, the Party? Sanchez Ceren, the new champion of the extremist militant old guard demands that he be given the powerful ministry of "Gobernacion" that would allow him to mobilize masses at will, and control the country's mayors and internal infrastructure. ....... Oh, and as a note to the religious writer above who was so shocked by what he witnessed in El Salvador, no one in the FMLN is fighting to become minister of health or minister of the environment. Flora and fauna be damned. And even Funes, before becoming president elect already moved from his middle class home to a luxurious mansion overlooking the capital city. I wonder how many new millionaires will come out of this presidential fiasco. There's a Spanish saying that goes, "El que nunca ha tenido y llega a tener, loco se puede volver."
Anonymous said…
All these South and Central American countries including Mexico, need to stop whining and start taking responsibility for their own history and for their own actions. In that impoverished region of the world, how many so called "leaders" throughout their history have simply ransacked their countries and then happily waltzed off into the sunset to live a "Life of Reilly" happily ever after. Mexico has shown itself to me perhaps one of the worst case scenarios, it's obviously one of the wealthiest countries in the world because where else can there be so many thieves stealing whatever is at hand while the country can still maintain some semblance of national integrity. I think it's shameful that so many poor and disenfranchised Mexicans and Latin Americans only have "El No rte" to look up to as their sole recourse to alleviate their pain of abject poverty and despair. From the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors to the present day, the history of that despondent and turbulent region has been a parody of a "Paradise Lost." Like the previous above writer states, the happenings in El Salador should be getting interesting.
john said…
Above writer overlooks and fails to mention how the U.S. government's policy of military and political intervention in the region, from the mid-19th century onward, helped to shape the witnessed politics of desperation since.
"Progress" for Latin America is not synonymous with U.S. economic interests, nor with backing the local economic elites ruling with blood and iron.
Anonymous said…
The above writer seems content to be spinning his wheels in a quagmire of antiquated "Yankee go home" rhetoric that has long gone the way of the Victrola and the hand-crank telephone. As Pres. Obama has put it, we hope to build on our relations with the rest of the continent but Latin Americans must accept responsibility for their our actions. The above writers "feel good" attitude of blaming others for ones own problems is a counterproductive projection of the victim mentality that has been so prevalent in Latin America during most of its history, and only leads to a state of perpetual self pity and generalized misery. Like it or not, reality dictates that the United States of America is the number one power in the world and obviously mistakes have been made. We are not "The Savior" but rather we are the "United States" and as people we are not perfect but it's never the end of history for us and we are in a continual state of improvement and advancement. The above writer can visualize it like this if he/she may: The U.S. is like the mother hen, and the Latin American republics are the chicks who run to the mother hen for protection and guidance at the first sign of danger. The above writer should also realize and accept that Spanish America has always looked to "El Norte" for hope, for guidance and for inspiration. In fact, I think that Los Angeles has become the second largest city of Mexico, and the principle source of "divisas" to El Salvador and many other Latin American countries comes directly from Salvadorans working here in the U.S. who send money back home to their families. That's just the way it is.
Anonymous said…
Funes meets Chavez, and? Presidents are supposed to visit one another, whether they personally like each other or not.

As for several postings here, I agree with those who know the real history of Latin America. Any and all crazy screws who trashed their countries at the behest of foreigners were backed, trained, and supported by the US. If you wouldn't sell-out your country, just wait for the US sponsored coup.

It was not in the US interest to have strong neighboring countries ... where's the US gonna get cheap labor and substandard industrial procedures if people are actually educated and modern?

I hope Funes administration will be able to bring about an entrepreneurial environment, educational reforms, and job creation for Salvadorans.
Anonymous said…
I think John is doing a good job.
History can prove a point and whats the harm in being repetitive if all you guys are still discussing stuff? He's free to post what he wants I think it's rather interesting from what I have read.
Anonymous said…
I'm somewhat bewildered by the above posting and would like to ask the writer why he/she would think that the U.S. is not interested in having strong and affluent neighbors. It's seems more than obvious that the stronger, better educated and richer neighbors make the better trading partners and markets for our manufactured goods. It definitely beats being surrounded by languishing neighbors perpetually feeling sorry for themselves and only looking for a hand-out. In response to the above posting, if the need were to ever arise when the U.S. needs "cheap labor" we would obviously offer worker visas and pay the going minimum wage. The above writer should know that we don't pay "cheap labor" and that we clearly don't tell the illegal workers to stay, but all to the contrary it's the illegals themselves who demand to stay and not be deported to their native lands. People don't sneak across our borders because they want to be exploited, they cross illegally into our country because they are looking for decent jobs, they come to make money and,to have a better life for themselves and for their families. They sneak across our borders and walk for days in the desert heat with the hope of someday finding the American/Human Dream that is denied them in their own countries. It's irrefutable that Latin Americans need to stop whining and take responsibility for themselves. They need to let go of that silly victim mentality that is like an Albatross hanging around their necks. The United States is a strong industrialized and technological country that needs quality technicians and professional workers. And it's time to realize that the Latin American worker is not competing with the U.S.worker for jobs, but rather they are completing with the highly motivated and skilled Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Etc. work force. Illegal aliens who sneak across our borders come to mow our lawns, wash dishes, do field labor work and clean hotel rooms, and they do these menial jobs eagerly because they are here ILLEGALLY.and it sure beats the hopeless poverty left back home. As the writer above espouses, I too hope that Mauricio Funes will be able to bring about an entrepreneurial environment, educational reforms, create sound environmental policies and create needed jobs for all Salvadorans. President Obama and the United States clearly support any and all efforts to improve the quality of life for Salvadorans in their own country. Hopefully now it seems that these Democratic ideals have finally been made possible by the demonstrated political maturity of the parties involved, and by a wonderful victory of ballots over bullets in El Salvador. The ball is now in their court.
john said…
A few points for some of the above posters:

1) Where has the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy disappeared to? It has disappeared to low wage countries offering wages workers are unable to survive on (thus, forcing them to become undocumented workers in higher wage countries), and that US economic sector has been replaced with the "financial industry". We see now the economic effects of that debacle.

For those agricultural laborers and service sector workers cited, the US in fact does not offer visas and minimum wage. Up to 750,000 undocumented mostly Latino harvesters work in the Western US seasonally. Because of the US historic disrespect for this essential workforce, a minsicule few thousand visas (not H2b agricultural work visas) are available to put food on the Gringo's table. I don't see much political inside the beltway momentum now in favor of the AGjobs bill languishing in Congress, which will legalize those millions of undocumented workers. Republicans lash out at the undocumented Latino community every chance they get, sensing a useful vote-getting scapegoat, beating their chests at how they are protecting Americans from "terrorist" or "criminal" broccoli pickers!

2. "The Silly Victim mentality": Let's see, when a brutal counterinsurgency war is imposed that forces you and your family into refugee or internally displaced status by driving you from your home and away from land that could have been used to feed your family (El Salvador: Chalatenango, San Vicente, Morazan, La Paz, Usulutan) or out of your homes in the cities by right-wing death squads(Cuscatcingo, Soyapango, etc.) because you or your family members might hold poltical views different from the "Protection Racket State" gang, then you are poltically persecuted and must seek asylum in another country. That was the reality for many Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and other Central Americans in the 1970s, 1980s. Ronald Reagan didn't recognize the "blowback" effect on immigration policy from his nifty counterinsurgency wars and the denial in general of asylum status, until his successor was forced by the American Baptist Churches class action suit agreement that forced reajudication of thousands of improperly rejected asylum applications and by the Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans.

Fancy free trade agreements in the 1990s further drove Mesoamerican people off the land by making imported corn cheaper to buy than growing native corn (NAFTA's impact on Mexico)

Those "silly victim mentality" people seeking justice through universal jurisdiction to bring perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice? Oh, how silly of them!! Even sillier, some "silly" victims have been successful. Just ask Carranza, Casanova, and Garcia how much they've had to fork over in civil damages?

By the way, "the stupidity of war and of the ensuing human tragedy resulting from a generalized insanity running a muck" is not an acceptable perpetrator's defense in a war crimes or crimes against humanity trial.

Also, a general amnesty in El Salvador was not agreed to--especially for torturers/murderers from the GN, PH, and PN--in the "peace agreement", but was passed by the ARENA dominated legislature in 1993. Whether that holds up remains to be seen.

4. And spare us the "Mother Hen" USA and her little Latin American chicks analogies. Those are demeaning and patronizing.
john said…
As for Geronimo and the Trail of Tears, the shameful US history of genocide of the northamerican native american population is now airing--a sanitized version--on your local PBS station. A five part series.
African-Americans talk about reparations for slavery and Native Americans talk about reparations for genocide.
The arrogance of power prefers to sweep concepts of justice under the historical rug. There are too many people with their testimonies--the Cry of the People--for their voices not to be heard.

Throughout most of El Salvador's history, the Salvadoran Armed Forces walked all over the constitution(s). Who says the 1983 constitution is written in stone? Why not write a constitution dissolving the Salvadoran Armed Forces? Aw schucks, too much gringo money invested? Imagine all that fancy Internal Security doctrine taught at Fort Benning to safeguard El Salvador's rich, being put into the trash bin of history.
Anonymous said…
Dear Church lady:

Thank you for visiting the "Gates of Hell" or as you call it " Hell Hole" , We named it El Salvador so more people like you could come here and visit, and go back to the States, be judgemental about it and feel good about themselves.

Even though what you saw in El Salvador is not close to the pictures in your church bulletin, we hope that you had a good time.

El Salvador was not what you were expecting, but you were not exactly what we were expecting either. we were hoping missionaries with the face of Angelina Jolie, body of Carmen Electra, and the voice of Beyonce,
Simple as that!!! and I am sorry but we can not give you your money back!!!

We, still used rivers as sewers not because we don't want to do something about it...but because we want to demostrate in a practical illustration how trickle down economy works...the Rich guy is on the mountain top sending his excrements down to the last poor guy in the lower altitudes in the beach...

What you saw and called garbage dump it was my house, we love to build houses with that stuff. and it's not because we can not build with my salary that is $250-300 per month, but because we like the garbage decor with used pallet accent, and trash bag look. We love that stuff...

When you see my cousin Pedro sneaking in the US, he wants to do better for himself...maybe he could hope to mow your loawn, or clean your house, or make your food.

Hopefully as you came to give us something perhaps the Word of God,or the Love of God...or the Wisdom of God (and by doing that you appeased your conciense) Hopefully We, Salvadoreans gave you something in return...May God
show his mercy!!!
Anonymous said…
Regarding the above posting, this fellow, John, only confirms my contentions with his foaming barrage of clap trap rantings. In his amazing litany of excuses for what is in fact the result of a continuous chain of corrupt governments, tin horn dictators and iron fisted Marxist-Leninist crazies who have kept the Latin America masses languishing in the dark ages, John's response only makes it more and more obvious and urgent that Latin America needs to stop looking to the past for sympathy and lame excuses. It is precisely this form of silly simpleton mentality that goes no where, but only serves to perpetuate the hopelessness of the victim by spoon feeding him with small doses' of "it's not my fault" satisfaction. And so, I again repeat myself that Latin America needs to surpass the looser mentality of blaming others, and take responsibility for itself and for its state of affairs. We should always try to look forward because this is the last day of the rest of our lives and the past is past. Gone, finished, done, finito... It's true that humanity learns from the past but then moves on to the future, but those who insist on simply dwelling in the past become like ghosts whose mission becomes to haunt the living with their relentless chain dragging and moans. As for the manufacturing sector moving U.S. jobs to China and India, Etc., perhaps John hasn't realized that we are currently adjusting to a new global economy that is forming before our very eyes. Change is an ongoing day to day process, and either we all keep up or we're left behind. Every country needs to contribute to the general good and well being of mankind, and the U.S. has undeniably been a leader in this effort by always being there with extended helping hands to those nations in need. And moving forward with this response, the past eight years have been nightmare years for the people of the U.S. and therefore of the world. We have the strongest economy in the world, and when the U.S. sneezes, the whole world catches a cold. Bush and Cheney and their draconian administration was soundly defeated by "We The People." Let's pray that Barack Obama can fulfill his campaign promises and make this country and this our world a better place for us all to live our lives in. I believe in the doctrines of life that Sun Tzu shared with us over two thousand years ago, and I firmly believe in the stupidity of war as a viable means to move forward. Countries don't have friends, countries have national interests and rulers must realize this fact. And as far as justice and trial go, the only ones brought to justice are the week and no longer necessary, and the losers. Winners write the history books while the losers and those who become unnecessary serve as examples or fade away into the sunset. At the Nuremberg trials, one ardent Nazi was asked to repent before the hang mans noose and he only said that the only thing he repented about is having lost the war. I'm sure that would be the case with many of today's rulers whether they be Marxist-Leninist, Fascists, or simply corrupt self serving a-little-here-a-little-theorists. And, John, what brought to mind the "Mother Hen and her Chicks" metaphor was the historical fact that when Mexican Emperor Iturbide invaded Guatemala and El Salvador, the Salvadorans were quick to see the dark clouds of danger forming on the horizon and they sent an envoy to the U.S. to ask for immediate statehood and recognition and to thus sward the Mexican attempt at empire building. Of course the U.S. did not accept, obviously the Salvadoran delegation had not read "Manifest Destiny" and the Mexican army only got as far as the small village of Mejicanos on the outskirts of the Salvadoran capital. But then, this is the past and I don't want to become what I'm arguing against. Comprende amigo. Oh, one last thing, the general amnesty may have been passed in El Salvador by the legal, elected, and representative government of the country at that time. So what?
*to be continued....
Anonymous said…
And so, It did serve it's purpose and that was to end that stupid useless war and bring peace back to the Salvadoran nation. You must understant too, that if we don't get on with our lives and we continue to insist on some crazy notion of edited justice, we'll end-up chasing little old ninety year old men in their wheel chairs around and around the block. Whew!
Anonymous said…
Little old lady says, bless you child. I'm glad you enjoy living in your own garbage and basking on the shores of the Acelhuate. To bad more of your countrymen don't feel the same and continue to rist their lives on that dangerous trek across the Arizona desert. God bless their souls. And, yes, I will continue to place coins in the collection plate at church. And I'll be thinking of you when I do. In fact, this week I'll slip in an extra dollar. Isn't love wonderful. Remember, God is Love.
Anonymous said…
While surfing the Web, I came across this blog and I think it's grrrrrate!!!!! I love these commie bastards releasing all their pent up stomach acid frustration. Show me a commie and I'll show you a social resentful fool whose only crutch is blaming others for his incompetence. Commies remind me of the guy who said "it's not that I'm a failure in life, it's just that I was born at the bottom and I love it there." I love Tim's Blog and just had to write. Keep it up! One other thing, the "Little Old Lady from Pasadena" is fabulous, I loved reading about about her travels through that third world ahhhhhhh country.
Anonymous said…
Thank you Little Old Lady for your blessings, your extra dollar will help me feed my family of 5 for some time, by the way say "Hi" to your dear husband mr. Potter. Wanting to turn Latin America into Potterville?? OHh wait a minute he already did!!!
Anonymous said…
"Little old Lady responds"... Five Kids!!! Sonny, haven't heard of protection. Don't believe them when they tell you those things are balloons,and that all those Tampax cartriges tossed around your favorite Acelhate basking beach are "beach whistles." Don't you believe a word of it, sonny. I have great news for you. Since we last spoke, I had a friend hire another gardener to tend her lovely flower garden and hervegetables. He was so thankful for the job, and we told him it was because of you and that story you shared about your living in a garbage dump. That is awful. You and all those buzzards together like raisons and chocolate pudding. But then if you like it, best to luck to you, and who am I to criticize. Me, I enjoy laying back in my sauna bubble bath and loving the privilege of living in a land of freedom where one can actually say what one feels without the worries and concerns you must feel when you have a vice president with such a colorful nickname as "machete." Makes one wonder, doesn't it.
Anonymous said…
Little old lady responds... Potterville!??? Are you sure you don't mean "pottyville" What you need is a good coyote, one who has friends in the Migra and can help you get away from the garbage. The smell is so noxious that it seem never to go away. I actually burned the clothes I used on my trip. How can you stand it, or have you become a a part of it now. Let me see, mmmmmmm.. an unforgettable scent like that deserves a name unique to El Salvador. Yesterday a friend was nice enough to suggest, "Agua de los dos Zanjones." What do you think?
Anonymous said…
Dear old Lady:

I knew that Bernie Madoff was close to you, but I didn't know that he was your uncle.
Old Lady doing the ponzi tricks. My cousin Jose that the pudding was kind of rotten like your teeth, but enough with your beautiful smile. Jose also told that you promise to pay him for the work that he did $4.00 per hour, when all was set and done you pay him $10 dollars and called INS. I admire your lovely honesty, and yes I'll be very careful in the rio Acelhuate next time I go fishing, perhaps I'll find the dentures that you lost when you came to El Salvador....
Anonymous said…
Little darling old lady says, ... I can only imagine the kind of surprises you'll find when you pull your fishing net out of the Acelhuate river. Explain to me how in a country of so many so called educated and civilized people can a pestilant river like Acelhuate even exist. I've seem photographas taken of that river sometime in the 19th century and it was a lovely stream passing through the captal city. What in God's name is wrong with you people? You live in an overturned garbage can and even the poorest of the poor can have pride in themselves and keep themselves and their kids clean. Spanish people I've known are very nice, and Indian people I've met are exceptionally polite and proud. But you mix both races together and you get an amalgamation that is too nasty to describe. If it's not nailed down you'll steal it, a favor done for you becomes an obligation, and like a companion said in Spainsh, "son sin verguenzas y se enojan." I don't see how you can live there.
Anonymous said…
Darling little old lady says: .... Aha! So you weren't expecting someone as brilliant as me at all, but rather you were hoping our missionaries would have faces like Angelina Jolie, bodies like Carmen Electra, and the voice of Beyonce. That's really funny and sad all at the same time; you sound really hard up, don't you have decent looking women there in El Salvador? Are they all dogs to look at. My son travelled to Mexico and told me there were plenty of beautiful women there who would throw themselves at him and do anything for a young gringo man. Imagine that he was offered on more than one occacion to marry one of them and bring her back with him to the States, that they'd pay him $15,000 dollars plus he could have all the fun he wanted with her for a week or two and then dump her. Simple as that!!! And really sweetie, I don't want nor do I expect to get my money back. You obviously need it much more that I. For your information, from now on I'll be putting more and more coins in the collection plate at church for you and yours. Remember deary, "Dios Provee." Best of luck to you, now.
Anonymous said…
Sweet Old Lady says: ... Oh, and talking about lost or misplaced dentures, did you, your mother or one of her friends lose some newer ones? Seems there was a denture found in Pastor Olson's dirty underwear when he unpacked and, of course, I immediately though of you. And don't worry, we all understand that in the heat of things it's easy to lose or forget something like that. Especially for a hot Latina Chiquita.
Anonymous said…
Sweet dear old lady respondes: My dear Uncle Bernie is a self righteous and Christian man, he even has a strong resemblance to George Washington. What you refer to as his Ponzi scheme was in fact just an investment club that made and lost money. I made out like a bandid and am able to go on trips like my last on to the hell hole I wrote you about. My mistake! but talking about making money fist over fist, let's wait and see how many new multi millionaires come out of that new "peoples" government in "The Savior." Remember that the one they call "machete" was nothing more that a small town teacher, but I bet you'll soon see him cruising in a Porche SUV and with a house overlooking the city, and another one overlooking the ocean. Places that he wouldn't even know how to act in. Remember the Spanish saying, "El que nace para maceta no pasa del corredor." This guy "machete" will be like an elephant in a China house of crystal. Be sure to let me know when you are planning to visit our little church, there is always room for one more.
Anonymous said…
Sweet old lady acknowledges: .... Oh yes sweetie it definitely was a miracle talking to you over the phone, and I hope you do decide to come up and visit our congregation. Like I told you over the phone, we have plenty of space and there are two bedrooms that you and your cute children are very welcome to use during your stay. But, no, we are not planning a near future trip back to what we refer to as "The Hell Hole" because it's filthy and we believe that it is a pestilent place of antibiotic resistant exotic microbes and bacteria. People tell us that they love to live in the garbage dumps and that they bask, fish and bath on the shores of rivers which are actually sanitary sewers. It's a dreadful place and the people living there are like pickled herring. I believe that pastor Olson is organizing a nice field trip to Macchu Pichu in the mountains of Peru were we will find ancient culture and fresh clean air. Please call, deary, and tell us the date of your planned arrival. We will be anxiously awaiting your response and your visit to our beautiful little church. Until them, God willing.
Anonymous said…
To Whom it may Concern: U.S. Court Reverses $54M Verdict Against Salvadoran Generals Convicted of Torture.
A 54.6 million dollar verdict against two retired Salvadoran generals accused of torture in their home country two decades ago was reversed this week by a federal appeals court which ruled that the victim’s claims failed to meet a 10-year statute-of-limitations rule. We speak with one of the plaintiffs in the case who was tortured in El Salvador and one the lawyers in the suit.
Anonymous said…
I notice in the last posting (above) that retired Salvadoran Army officers, Generals Eugenio Vides Casanova, Jose Guillermo Garcia, and CIA paid informant, Nicolas Carranza of the now defunct Policia de Hacienda, who had been accused of using "enhanced interrogation techniques" in their war against the Cuban and Nicaraguan Marxist-Leninist inspired insurgency in their country twenty years ago, have finally had their verdicts reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals and these men are now free to finally get-on with their lives of ease in retirement, enjoying the amenities offered by Miami with it's natural beauty, great weather and deep sea fishing along the Gulf Stream. A well deserved reward for these battle hardened men with so many years of sacrifice and service to their country and the free world under their belts, as depicted by the shoulder patch of one Salvadoran elite commando unit, "Communism Stops Here." El Salvador was perhaps the last decisive battle of the Cold War and these are the heroes responsible for that final victory.
john said…
To Whom It May Concern:

Get your facts straight!
If you can't get your recent history straight, then who knows what you'll attempt to foist on unsuspecting readers about the great beneficence of states in the 19th century!

The previous post's cited court decision was reversed: the details are below. The $54.6 million judgement stands.

The following was abstracted from the website of the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), the lead plaintiff's counsel in the civil suit.

"In January 2006, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld our [CJA] $54.6 million jury verdict against Generals Jose Guillermo Garcia and Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, two former Ministers of Defense who oversaw the worst period of human rights abuses in El Salvador's history. The case was originally filed by CJA on behalf of Juan Romagoza, Neris Gonzalez and Carlos Mauricio in 1999. In 2002, after a four week trial, a West Palm Beach jury found the generals responsible for the torture of the three plaintiffs.
Romagoza Arce is one of the first cases in which a jury in a fully contested trial found perpetrators liable for human rights abuses solely under the doctrine of command responsibility. The command responsibility doctrine, used in the Nuremberg trials after World War II, provides that commanders may be held responsible for abuses committed by their subordinates if the commanders knew or should have known that abuses were taking place, and failed to take all reasonable measures to prevent the abuses or punish the perpetrators.

In July 2006, with the judgment final, Defendant Vides Casanova was forced to relinquish over $300,000 of his own funds. This collection represents one of the first human rights cases in U.S. history in which survivors have recovered money from those found responsible for abuses. Almost all of the proceeds have been donated to charity by our heroic clients."

more info at about the Garcia, Casanova, and Carranza cases.
john said…
So many torture supporters flocking to Tim's Blog...seems like a veritable family runion.

Ah the memories of El Salvador for those "battle hardened men": burning flesh, gang rapes, "la capucha con cal", electric shocks to the genitals, strangulation, disembowlment, dismemberment, hung from their thumbs, fingernail extraction,...and that most beloved of all by the neo-con (unreconstructed Reaganites) advocates of Enhanced Interrogation...that namby-pamby Waterboarding.

Training texts for that next generation of depraved sadists waiting in the wings to fill the shoes of "battle hardened men" such as Carranza, Casanova, and Garcia, could be written for even later generations of "enhanced interrogators".

The techniques would be mostly al estilo Salvadoreno, but with that special help only Gringos can provide: from their "enhanced torture" trainers at the Fort Benning, GA located School of the Americas, aka, School of the Assasins.

To bad Florida is rotten with these types. Strange Fruit seem to hang together. Not unusual though, since this is where the Orlando de Sola crowd hatched its most nefarious mass murder schemes of their fellow Salvadorans.

Perhaps de Sola and his buddies will have their special day before a Florida jury empaneled to try those with "command responsibility" for crimes against humanity, or at least those who paid the blood money.
Anonymous said…
Here's a gem of a comment from one of the above posters:

"I believe in the doctrines of life that Sun Tzu shared with us over two thousand years ago, and I firmly believe in the stupidity of war as a viable means to move forward."

Congratulations, you've probably ascended many ranks by being wo stupid!
Anonymous said…
The above post continues insisting and tells us now to "Get your facts straight" but then the writer gets starry eyed and wild with excitement mentioning some pittance payment of three hundred thousand dollars, a drop in the ocean in relation to a verdict seeking fifty four million! If it's true that all it took was three hundred thousand dollars to let these Salvadoran heroes go on to enjoy their golden years in retirement, I'm more than sure that the hat would have been passed around and that sum would have been completed in a couple of days at the most. We here in the U.S. have become very familiar with these "enhanced interrogation techniques" the posting talks about and of which these Salvadoran generals have been accused of tolerating. But how can we ever forget that these same heroes won a great and decisive battle for us all, perhaps the last decisive battle of the Cold War. Next time I'm in Miami, I'll have to invite these heroes out fishing on the Gulf Stream. Meanwhile, I'll drink to that!
john said…
Let's see: heroes are torturers. Sure you haven't drunk too much already, buddy.

As for the "last decisive battle of the Cold War," many historians believe the Salvadoran and Guatemalan rebellions/revolutions/civil wars had more in common with the Mexican Revolution! Were Francisco Madero, Pancho Villa, and Emiliano Zapata commies too?
Anonymous said…
To the next to the last writer whose above posting clearly serves to demonstrate an alarming lack of all qualities that make us peace loving human beings, I can honestly say to you that although I realize that perhaps I shouldn't even be responding, I will because as a fellow human being I feel obliged to extent a helping hand to someone who from my observations to his conclusions, I can only visualize a pitiful soul wandering this life that for him is most likely resembles Limbo.

To start with, I suppose that I should recommend to the above writer that he start with the memoirs of Vietnamese General Võ Nguyên Giáp, who using the enlightened thought of Sun Tzu and only had at his disposal what were basically peasant troops, completely defeated and routed the most modern and powerful, best equipped army in the world. This great victory was the result of human persistence, tactical brilliance, and the enlightened thought of Sun Tzu. War is definitely the stupid man's alternative to conflict resolution, and I'm sure the the military, industrial and financial complexes are in "tall cotton" as long as there are wars and idiots willing to use the as an extension of their hegemonic foreign policies. I hope that one day I too can congratulate the above writer for his enlightenment.
Anonymous said…
To the confused but earnest writer who states: Let's see: heroes are torturers. Sure you haven't drunk too much already, buddy?

Heroes? Torture? "Harsh Interrogation Techniques" "GITMO" does Abu Ghraib, sound a bell for you, pal? If not, then how about G.W. Bush, Cheney and that cabal. I hope this Is that more helpful? Oh well, as for Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Madero, and Porfirio Diaz, Etc . You must know that the Bolshevik Revolution when the Czar and his family were murdered happened in Russia, in 1917, not in Mexico. Trotsky was the hard liner who was assassinated in Mexico by order of Vladimir Lenin. I hope this small history lesson is helpful. Ciao..
Oh, and as far as your suggested drink, although a bit early, a Tequilita sound nice. Thanks.
john said…
To some of you late arrivals, this post exchange began's been an intersting slog, but something might have gotten lost in translation.

Sorry for any misunderstandings!
Anonymous said…
Deveras no. Pues para que lo sepas, creame que me importan mas los miados de una gallina que todas las babosadas que han escrito usteded aqui.
john said…
Pues si, es cierto lo que dices; es puro babosada de todas formas; tal vez mejor ocuparse en algo que le rinda mas benefico en vez de pasarse el tiempo ver dos gringos de no se que pelear por puro gusto.

Agradezco la paciencia
Anonymous said…
Just a thought: If all of Latin America went commie, would we call the U.S.- Mexico border something colorful like "Tortilla Curtain?" Mmmm I wonder.
Anonymous said…
El encuentro entre Mauricio Funes y Hugo Chávez, que se produjo el pasado martes en el Palacio Presidencial de Caracas, ya no es noticia en sí mismo, pero las verdaderas implicaciones y consecuencias para nuestro país aún están por verse.

Realidad es que dichas consecuencias no pueden ser muy alentadoras.
Anonymous said…
A lo mejor conseguimos abonos of combustibles a precios de me lo llevo. Funes ya demostro con el FMLN que es bueno para besar fundillos. Porque crees que se divorcio 3 veces ya, pues no hay mujer que aguanta ese aliento.

Lito Cader
Asuncion Mita