Thursday, March 12, 2009

Congressional debate reverberates in El Salvador

Congressional concerns about a pro-terrorist government coming to power in El Salvador are reveberating in the Central American country as the March 15 presidential elections approach.

The FMLN's ties to terrorism and to state sponsors of terror are increasingly viewed with alarm in Washington. Friends of El Salvador are worried that if the FMLN wins, the US will be forced to treat the longtime ally as a hostile regime. (Photo: FMLN militant waves Venezuelan flag at Salvadoran presidential campaign rally)

"The participation of [FMLN vice presidential candidate] Salvador Sanchez Ceren in a protest against the United States after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks will be one of the core reasons to terminate remittances [to El Salvador from the US] and TPS [immigration privileges for Salvadorans], El Diario de Hoy reports.

"California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher stated yesterday on the floor of Congress that shortly after 9/11, the FMLN 'issued a communique that argued that the United States, due to its policies, was responsible for having been attacked by terrorists,'" according to El Salvador's leading newspaper.

"'Four days after 9/11,' Rohrabacher stressed, 'the FMLN organized a protest in the capital to celebrate the Al Qaeda terrorist attack and to burn the flag of the United States. The leader of that march was Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the current FMLN vice presidential candidate.'

"That action of Sanchez Ceren prompted United States authorities to consider the FMLN as a group that 'promotes violent anti-American acts.'

"If the FMLN wins the elections, an anti-terrorist law created in the wake of 9/11 will obligate the United States government to review its foreign relations with El Salvador and to consider severe measures, like terminating TPS and the flow of remittances of Salvadorans if they are tied to terrorist groups or promote violent anti-American actions," the report states.

Not just the conservative ARENA party is concerned. The center-left Christian Democrat Party (PDC) is also worried - and agrees with the analysis. "'The United States congressmen are clear because they handle important, real information,' according to Rodolfo Parker, secretary general of the PDC, 'it is not speculative to speak of the relation that the FMLN has with Hugo Chavez and of Chavez with narcoterrorism and the FARC.'

"He continued, 'What the United States values are changes toward the future, but an FMLN victory would be a change toward the past, in the entire relationship, so El Salvador would enter the network of 21st Century Socialism and narcoterrorism."

No comments:

Post a Comment