The peaceful transfer of power
Video of the swearing in ceremony for Mauricio Funes as president of El Salvador.
Today should be a day of great celebration for all friends of El Salvador. The inauguration of Mauricio Funes as president of El Salvador marks the first true peaceful transition of power in the country. The country has a left wing president, and his victory came through the ballot box in peaceful and fair elections.
Raúl Gutiérrez at IPS described the inauguration:
At his inaugural ceremony Monday, the first-ever leftwing president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, said his main goal was to ”beat poverty, political backwardness, the marginalisation of broad sections of society, desperation, and the lack of future prospects for our young people.”
The insurgency-turned-political party Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) will invest 474 million dollars in the next 18 months to generate 100,000 direct jobs, the new president announced.
Funes received a two-minute standing ovation when he arrived at the convention centre where his swearing-in ceremony was held, attended by 72 foreign delegations and 4,000 special guests, including Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The veteran TV broadcaster who took 52 percent of the vote in the March elections said the rightwing ARENA, which ruled El Salvador since 1989, ”governed for the few” and had been ”complacent towards corruption, due to fear of, and complicity with, organised crime.
”I guarantee that the new government will not be about family privileges, cronyism, or shady patronage,” said the new president, who had 82 percent support in the latest survey carried out by the University Institute of Public Opinion (IUDOP), at the Central American University, in late May.
”We need to reinvent the country. We need to carry out a peaceful, democratic and ethical revolution; the change is starting today,” said Funes, considered a moderate leftist, flanked by 12 Latin American heads of state and other international leaders and personalities.
He also pledged to improve infrastructure and basic services, and build and repair 25,000 low-income housing units in urban areas, while implementing a plan to fight malnutrition, targeting 85,000 children under the age of three....
In his 50-minute inaugural address, Funes reiterated his preference for a government along the lines of the administration of Brazilian President Lula, who he said was his ”reference point” in terms of social programmes for the poor.
”Lula has shown that it is possible to have a democratic government of the people along with fair distribution of wealth,” said the new president, looking over at the Brazilian leader.
Funes also announced that his government would reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, which El Salvador broke off in the early 1960s. The socialist island nation will thus once again have direct ties with all of the countries of Latin America, nearly five decades after it was isolated at Washington's behest.
He was interrupted as many of those present chanted ”Cuba, Cuba, Cuba.”
Anglican Bishop Martín Barahona, who attended the ceremony, said he hoped ”the changes that this country needs will be carried out, and that everyone will now have opportunities.”
You can read Funes' complete inaugural address here or watch it here.
A symbol for US relations with El Salvador could be seen in Hillary Clinton's choice of what to wear to the inauguration, reported a Washington Post story:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton attended the inauguration dressed in bright red, the color of the Farabundo Marti Liberation Front. It was an image that would have been unthinkable in the 1980s, when the United States poured $6 billion into El Salvador to fight the rebel group backed by Cuba and the Soviet Union.
The FMLN laid down its arms in 1992 and joined the political system. But some U.S. lawmakers still worry about the party, fearing it could propel El Salvador into the orbit of anti-American countries such as Venezuela. Forty-five House Republicans wrote Clinton in March warning about "potential threats to our security interests" if the FMLN candidate, Mauricio Funes, won.
Clinton, however, told reporters here that she expects "a positive relationship" with Funes, who is considered by many Latin Americans to be a moderate. Her visit signaled the Obama administration's effort to reach out to a more assertive Latin America altered by a "pink tide" of socialist victories in recent years....
In his inaugural speech at an amphitheater packed with men in red ties and women in red jackets, Funes hailed his two political heroes: President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, a moderate leftist, and President Obama.
The men, he said, were "proof that progressive leaders, instead of being a threat, represent a new and secure road for their countries."
He also singled out Clinton, saying: "This woman honors America."
In this slide show put together by El Diario del Hoy, some of the promises of Funes in his inaugural speech are put together with images from the lives of the Salvadoran people. A photogallery from El Faro shows world leaders arriving before the inauguration.
Funes' administration and cabinet members have also been announced and you can read about them (in Spanish) here. I'll have more to say about Funes' cabinet in an upcoming post.
After reviewing Funes' cabinet appointments, I have to say that he was true to his of forming a pluralistic cabinet, and not one entirely consisting of FMLN members (as the opposition tried to make people believe it would happen). In fact, it feels like a pretty balanced cabinet, with people like Lopez Suarez (ex-Hacienda minister, removed from his position by Saca, after he declared his desire to promote a fiscal reform after realizing the magnitude and scale of corporate tax evasion), and filled with competent members.
However, some nominations can't help but to raise some doubts. For example, the choice of giving Vice President Seren the control of Education, in my opinion was not necessary, and in fact, I believe he isn't even the man for the job, despite him being a "teacher". Other nominations that bother me is Humberto Centenos tenure over Gobernacion, and Nicolas Salume Jr.'s keeping of CEL, which some could argue that he kept as a form of payment by Funes to Salume for his political-monetary support over the election period.
This financial support in itself could shed a shadow of doubt upon Funes' claim of non-cronysm, and give way to the possibility that Funes' presidency will be conditioned to respect Salume's patronage, going as far as not investigating claims that MOLSA and HARISA in El Salvador possess a bona fide duopoly on baking goods in El Salvador, doing whatever necessary to keep prices high (price fixing).
Hopefully though, Funes will ensure that the system itself will allow the citizenry possess greater participation, involvement and capacity to monitor gov., by enacting a Freedom of Information Act, as his first legislation. This would ensure that the population had the tools necessary to try and keep Funes/gov. in the path they say they aspire.
Like they've always said, "Being the opposition is a lot easier and a lot more fun." Ain't it a bitch!
Although it true that Funes brought them to power, but it's also true that he used their organization to be reach that power. So, obviously, he had to spread a little butter around by giving them a few government posts. Albeot, the core elements of the Funes cabinet are very competente professionals with the capacity to make it work for El Salvador.
I think things are well under control with Funes and that he's no fool. I hope we don't become to complacent, because the latent and still pending problem for Funes and for El Salvador remains, that only he (Funes) stands in the way now of the FMLN extremist radicals and their 1970's revolutionary ideals. Only Funes blocks their gaining the political power they've craved during so many decades. They know it, that this oould be there last chance.
I'm not overconfident, and I can still see buzzards circling the blue skys overhead. Don't you?
Let's not forget that he is the alledged mastermind of the Zona Rosa massacre in which many foreign and unarmed persons were slaughtered in a sidewalk Cafe.
And let's not leave behind nor forget the nefarious, Merino, the infamous gun smuggler and FARC pal who's out there kissing butt and trying to land a juicy post in the cocaine corridor.
With so many experimented assassins and outright crooks wating a piece of the pie, all this has the potential of becoming a drug haven like Mexico and Guatepeor. Dark days for forecast, no doubt. Poor Funes is trying to block the sun with his fingertip.
Proculo y Meches Caxito
En El Salvador we're seeing a problem of our own brewing... the rise of the turcos. First there was Tony Saca and his mismanagemtne and now we have Funes' buddy Salume who definitely bet on the right horse and now expects his payoff. Funes has the word.
Te queremos del exterior!!!
Thank you ARENA for respecting the vote of the people in the elections,
and the democratic voice of many Salvadoreans,
we need you,
and your people,
in order to make a stronger El Salvador.
We, as Salvadoreans, we need to heal the wounds from the past,
Life is short for this to last.
The pains of loosing a father, a mother, a son or a daughter;
The pains of injustice and silence.
The pains of experincing violance.
The mothers that left their weeping sorrows,
crying for help in the altar where there ain't tomorrow!!
They cried for their sons that disapear,
and untill today "justice" is not clear.
La Junta, la junta they took them away,
The trust of the people they know they betray.
And now in Miami they stay.
Mi tio, mi tio se fue...
Mi tio, mi tio no regreso.
And now I am crying with sorrow!!
He was the hope of tomorrow!!
He was 19 when he disapear,
Nothing was found no shoe, no hair, not even his ears.
My grandma cry with many tears,
for his son is not near.
Please Jesus come back soon here!!!
It was in the 80's I was told,
What a tragic moment that unfold.
When some (D'Aubuisson) men took him away,
And gave him his personal doomsday.
We want justice...we want peace.
We need help pretty pretty plaese!!
We need to heal the wounds from the past,
Life is short for this to last.
We need to move forward in order to accomplish greater things.
Mauricio Funes is the simbol that we are moving forward!!!
"Roses are red, violets are blue Funes is president but there's a lot of pinkos there too".
"Roses are red, violets are blue let's hope 'machete' don't shoot the boss he wants to be president too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue so along with Saca, ARENA got the boot too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue now all the commies want to be millionaires too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue Salume is a turco who wants to be a big-shot now too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue besides boring commentaries Funes now must produce too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue Funes will find the masses demand the impossible too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue Funes well knows the wolves want in too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue those sitting back watching are victims of the mess too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue let's build that wall before we're inundated here too.
"Roses are red, violets are blue the zopes keep circling the skies above too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue Fuenes be careful those aren't alterboys you've tied yourself too.
"Roses are red, violets are blue coke means big-bucks the Reds wants in too."
"Roses are red, violets are blue gun-running was great but cocaine is good too."
Yeah, that was fun! I'm guess i"m a poet too, just like Longfellow.
Good luck Mauricio Funes.
V. L. Dong
Not true: we've had several throughout the centuries. There is no need to beclown yourself.
If you are ahistorical enough to insist on just the ones for the current Republic, well, since 1983 we've had several.
If you are narrow-minded enough to think that only party changeovers count, then surely you are not foolish enough to forget the switch from the DC to ARENA?
- * -
And don't come back and say that the DC-ARENA transfer was not peaceful just because the Soviet-sponsored guerrillas happened to be at war with the Nation. When one refers to "peaceful transfer of power" one refers to the transfer itself, not to the surrounding situation, unless one is being disingenuous as to what a "transfer of power" is.
How did the slave masters treat the slaves before the civil war/revolution that overturned that wonderful plantation society of the Carolinas?
The South Will Rise Again, But Not in Central America!
Fijense bien, my tio Rodolfo, era un hombre bien habil y hacia los dolaritos casi perfectos alli en su casa. Nos dada a todos y comprabamos en la tienda y el se compro una yunta de bueyes y carreta casi nuevecita.
Adivinen ustedes lo que le paso. Pues lo fueron a coger los Policias y se lo llevaron preso. Ahora lo tienen en San Vicente por que sabe cuanto tiempo.
Imaginense que si tuvieramos mas gente como me Tio Rodolfo, todos tuvieras plata hasta por joder. Pero ya ven, el gobierno no lo permite. Solo quieren que los ricos tengan pisto.
La preeba hay se las di.
My dear Sir who in his post referred to yours truly, and said:
How did the slave masters treat the slaves before the civil war/revolution that overturned that wonderful plantation society of the Carolina's?
The South Will Rise Again, But Not in Central America!"
And how should I know the story of salves in the Carolina's, other than from reading our history books? You see, contrary to you Latins, we Americans don't dwell on what allegedly happened more that 150 years ago!
And besides me being of the negro race, I'm perfectly content with my life in this marvelous country of ours. In fact, the white man did us a favor bringing us here. You cannot compare our standard of living here in the U.S.A., with that of so many African countries.
Just why do you think that you and the rest of the world all want to come up here to the U.S.A.? As you yourself well know from first hand experience, we enjoy our right to freedom of speech and even morons partake of that privilege.
Miss Jennifer Swanson
You obviously are not familiar with the reasons for the American Civil War.
You see, slavery was never an issue at the onset, but became one later when Mr. Abraham Lincoln delivered the Proclamation of Emancipation whereby all slaves would be freed on the first day of January of 1863.
I'm sure you know that the Civil War started in 1861 and ended in 1865. Therefore your error and contradiction.
If you are wrong on this very simply historical fact, then I'm sure your total credibility is worthless and your arguments invalid.
Miss Jennifer Swanson
The War Between the States was not a war over slavery but rather a war between "The Traditional Agrarian" vs "The Financial Industrial" complexes of both Northern and Soutnern States.
As a rusult of our war, we became an industrial power that has become the envy of the world. To the contrary, your puny civil war in Salvador, was it, was a war between have nots and have little. Have you realized the King Ranch in Texas is larger that all of Salvador?
The war over land tenue in Salvador was only a demogogick ruse to inflame the little guy and give the communists hope to gaining political power.
In a ountry as small as Salvbador, 21 thousand square kilometers, each person would end up with a flower pot of dirt. The country would become (and has become) a checker board of parcels and useless homesteads up for sale.
I won't continue becuase it's your problem not mine to resolve. And besides, you must understnad that no one really cares. Did you know that the annual budget of the University of South Carolina is larger than the entire Salvaodran budget for the year! It's all simply relevant.
Miss Jennifer Swanson
Someone as learned as yourself could disabuse yourself of this notion...
"The war over land tenue in Salvador was only a demogogick ruse to inflame the little guy and give the communists hope to gaining political power."
...by a little reading in history about how "industrial powers" such as the USA carry out in tandem with the "agrarian power" (El Salvador, Guatemala) effectively a strategy of domination and mass murder.
I offer in the Central American case as an example, the 200,000 killed in genocidal murder--according to the United Nations--in Guatemala over 35 years by various Guatemalan military regimes. The USA was complicit in that by overthrowing through the CIA a democratically elected government in 1954.
In your misreading of history--the Guatemalan Case--land reform of the 1950s was part and parcel of communist demogogery, "to inflame the little guy", giving tacit justification to mass murder--on the scale of genocide--by successive military regimens.
Back to the USA by comparison, if the rhetoric of justice is just demagogery, what was the point in Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation," since the American Civil War in your view was about power, and not justice?
It appears that in your view, land tenure in an "agrarian power" should serve the interests of the "industrial power" and the "agrarian power" elites, and not those who are treated unjustly--dispossessed of lands, paid wages of immiseration--living within the confines of the "agrarian power."
I'd call that form of subjugation to imperialism, wouldn't you Ms. Swanson?
In the Salvadoran case, by the way Ms. Swanson, political parties not allied with the Salvadoran militry and the coffee oligarchy had no hope for 50 years of political power--that's one of the reasons why it unfortunately took a civil war to break that unjust system apart.
Ha sido un placer!
You too seem to have joined the ranks of the demagogic few who insist on living the past which only exists in their wildest hopes and fantacy minds.
Don't you realize, Mr. sin Tierra, that you are living in a time warp? The things you argue are non-existent, they are done, gone, over, finite. You seem to be awakening from a years long sleep, to now find a new and changed world.
The traditional agrarian complex is no more, and learned businessmen have long ago invested in more profitable ventures.
For your information, the traditional family farm is rapidly becoming a ghost of the past, and is fast being replaced by huge corporation giants that the "little guy" simply cannot compete with. Think Big, not small, this is the 21st Century!
With regard to the defunct Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala that you refer to, Arbenz was overthrown by the United Fruit Company interests because Abenz didn't want to honor the established land rental contracts that were in effect and which gave the Fruit Companies the assurances that their investments would be respected.
As you may know, these companies and corporations are responsible to their stock holders, and the entire world economic matrix rests on certain of these inalienable principles. Therefore, Castillo Armas marched into Guatemala and kicked Abenz out of office.
With regard to your question about President Lincoln, you'll remember that the Civil War was ongoing at the time, and by signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln sought to further weaken the Southern cause. It may oome as a surpise to you, but the Civil War here in America was fought between two conflicting economic systems, slavery became a secondary issue after 1863, to agian weaken the South.
With regard to Salvador, no one in his right mind would invest even a nickle in that country's agriculture.
Why would they, there's no money to be make in agriculture there, and the lands have all been parceled out into useless squares that are for the most part all for sale. Salvador could possibly become a land of vegetable gardens.
My daddy's money is invested in high tech companies around the globe. India and Indonesia are very good choices, and let's not forget that the U.S.A. continues to be the biggest and most profitable market by far. Therefore, Daddy also has stock in Walmart and other important outlets.
Well, I certainly hope this information has been helpful to you, Mr. sin Tierras. Perhaps instead of land, you should be thinking "maquilladoras." People in poor countries will always need clothing as a matter of fact.
Miss Jennifer Swanson
For added security, rare stamps are always fluid assets with great demand anywhere in the world.
And if you have to have land assets and a place to travel to, I'd recommend La Patagonia, It's a s beautiful land, the people that are cultured and very nice, and above all honest and respectful of others. And the fishing is simply fabulous there.
I had to luck to purchase 200 acres on a fiord there with a comfortable house and a wonderful caretaker.
In winter here, it's summer there, and we travel and stay the entire three months. but then, I'm retired and can take the time.
Clifford de la Rocha
Me parece que lleva Ud. una vida muy similar al rumbo que yo segui.
How gentile of you to offer a justification for mass murder as protection for economic interests!
The people, Ms. Swanson, are those with the inalienable rights, not stockholders.
Therefore, United Fruits stockholders calling on then-US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to overthrow the democatically elected president of a sovereign nation--which in fact he did--was an illegitamate and illegal abuse of the rights of the people of Guatemala.
Oh I'm so thrilled for you Ms. Swanson that you are enjoying so much sucking on your Sugar Daddy's Big Lollipop!!!
You, Sir, have shown yourself to be a limited, cretin and vulgar individual who encases the very essence of what is commonly referred to as "chusma" in your country.
Clearly you are not an educated person worthy of my interest, and surely not someone who merits any respect from an educated and refined person such as I.
You, Sir, should try and realize your blaring limititations, and maintain yourself with those of your own kind. Don't bother yourself with a response because you do not exist to me. Thank you.
Thank you for your kind suggestion.
You see, the individual who so vulgarly addressed me is simply what we call "shlido" which is the precise moment when doggy doo, that has been out in the sun too long, starts turning a disgusting dusty whitish color. I think that "shlido" very appropriately describes for Mr. sin Terra.
Tus insultos revelan la calidad baja de tu caracter.
Quedate tu en tu pais senorita altanar, porque en El Salvador, como tan soberbia que eres tu, no te van a querer mucho.
Como suelen decir: Yankee Go Home!
Now I've heard everything! You see, I am home and do not have any wish whatsoever of leaving this wonderful country that so many people like you anxiously want to come to.
Perhaps those who should go home are so many illegals who come to America, sneaking across our borders, risking their lives in the Arizona desert without regard or respect for our laws.
This is a land of immigrants and a land of laws and opportunity. It's disgusting to witness those who do no respect the rights of others nor the laws of the land.
Perhaps since these poor people come from terrible and lawless lands, they just don't get it.
I hope my words help to clarify your obvious lack of reality and understanding.
America's invasion of Guatemala in 1954 was a lawless act. America's arming to the teeth with helicopter gunships and torture cells, facilitating vast human rights violations by the "governments" of Guatemala and El Salvador, were lawless acts.
So, as the saying goes, "what goes around, comes around."
Have a pleasant day, Ms. Swanson.
Realmente eres un gran pendejo, mano.. Por lo visto lo unico que se te ocurre es hablar babosadas de hace 60 decadas. Ay animal!
Mejor hablaras de Pedro de Alvarado y como fue que salio herido en la batalla de Acajutla.
Pedro con Tierras
America's invasion of Guatemala in 1954 was a lawless act. America's arming to the teeth with helicopter gunships and torture cells, facilitating vast human rights violations by the "governments" of Guatemala and El Salvador, were lawless acts."
sin Tierra, aka "shlido"
And who do you think makes the law?
Tha "law" is simply for the week and helpless, to ensure that they are not abused by the strong and powerful. That is why America is a land of laws. And that's why the ignorant and week like you will do anything to come and live here.
Democracy and Freedom is the word. Got it, LeRoy.
Don't give me that duplicitous blowhardary! Jingoistic sophisms only have a place in the minds of apologists for those who facilitated Guatemala's mid-twentieth century bloody, tragic history: John and Allan Dulles (not to mention good ol' Ike).
That means you, sir!
These three imposed a "might makes right" solution that incited mass carnage. You can't cover that up with your contortions of illogic and misrepresentation of the facts.
!Entiendes lo que te digo, compinche!
Y no seas tan seguro del lugar de mi estadia, mi residencia, ni de mi lugar de origin, porque lo mas probable es que te equivoques! Como te equivocastes anteriormente.
You know what I'm saying young!
Referente a sucesos en Guatemals de hace casi 6 decadas, que usted insiste como sucesos actuales, no se da cuenta que montones de cosas han pasado en el mundo desde entonces. Tome en cuenta que la United Fruit Company ni siquiera existe y en Guatemala hay un gobierno corrupto de un comunista assesino llamado, Colom.
"those who facilitated Guatemala's mid-twentieth century bloody, tragic history: John and Allan Dulles"
You're a regular hisotry buff, aren't you gaspar. To bad that the order of things, names, place, Etc. are all off in your Howdy Doody presentation.
There's one work that summarizes your stgatemente: "Confusion"
Got that, LeRoy.
Mencione UN pais comunista que haya sacado adelante a su poblacion, y que sea considerado un pais modelo por el resto del mundo.
Comunismo es synonimo de fracaso. Si todabia lo duba, pregunteselo a cualquier Cubano balsero.
"America's invasion of Guatemala in 1954 was a lawless act"
Tell us more, I had never heard that America aka U.S.A. ever invaded Guatemala. In 1954 there was some local rukus when Castillo Armas overthrew Arbez.
Get your facts straight.
What a silly and unrealistic comment. Facts are that if the awesome power of the U.S. Air Force were unleashed on a tiny and insignificant target as you mention, that target wouldn't now exist but would have been totally obliterated.
So stop your silliness, and for the sake of your own credibility, try to keep your facts together. Although I do realize that 1954 was a very long time ago, but then it's you who insist on dwelling on old history but your facts have been mired by your prejudice and the cob webs of time.
It's true that there was a peaceful transfer of power in Salvador and that lowest sort of subhuman elements, also known popularly as "chusma" now run the place.
This criminal cabal of assassins, kidnappers and thieves now have control over that tiny country and it can only be downhill for them from here on out.
While I actually pity the poor folks who are stuck living down there, I hope we can hurry and finish building the wall on our borders before the entire population of Salvador stampedes up here.
It was their choice and now they should live with it. It's not our problem.
Chester F. Mullen
We've gotta protect our borders from all this riff raff, and get that wall built up fast.
We need these lawless immigrants here like I need a good case of itchy or bleeding Hemorrhoids.
Every country has the right to protect its sovereignty and national integrity. Go Obama!
Why don't the go to Cuba and cut cane?
I guess his dreaming of dropping the soap in the shower and when he pend down to pick it up, the south behind him will rise again. Keep on wishing Pal.
I'm wondering if the statistics are accurate that there are 39% of young men in their 20's who are gay in Salvador. From reading these posts, I guess that sounds about right. Mariposas, no?
Honduras really stuck it to'm didn't they. I just loved it!
Seems Ortega is so grateful that he's gonna give Chavez a special seranade with the lead song being, "Lollipop, Lollipot, Oh Lolly Lollipop"
The only other countries in the Americas even worth mentioning are: Canada, Mexico, Colomubia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
Yup, the rest is just fill.