Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Congressmen warn that US might have to stop remittances

Members of the US Congress friendly to El Salvador are concerned that the United States might have to cut off remittances to the country in the event the FMLN wins the presidential election on Sunday.

The cash flow into the country from Salvadorans working in the United States, the lawmakers say, would be used to support international terrorism.

Lawmakers cite the FMLN's connections with international terrorist groups, its not-so-covert backing from Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, and its leaders' hostility to the United States.

One of the most significant effects of an FMLN victory would be a US attempt to cut off the flow of dollars to the country's economy in the event it became a pro-terrorist regime.

"El Salvador receives nearly $4 billion a year in remittances—almost 20% of its annual gross domestic product—from several million Salvadorans living in the United States," notes Rep. Connie Mack, in a statement of support for the Salvadoran people. "As we look to the future, we must weigh the potential ramifications of this election and its impact on our relations -- more importantly, the longstanding and open policies related to TPS and the flow of remittances," he said.

"Should the pro-terrorist FMLN party replace the current government in El Salvador, the United States, in the interest of national security, would be required to reevaluate our polices toward El Salvador including cash remittances and immigration policies, to compensate for the fact that there will no longer be a reliable counterpart in the Salvadoran government," said Rep. Trent Franks in a speech on the House floor today.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who has supported El Salvador's democracy for more than 20 years, made a strong statement as well. "The country policy regarding the unregulated flow of remittances should be urgently reviewed, and, in most cases, those remittances must be immediately terminated, if a pro-terrorist party wins power or enters the government of a country," Rohrabacher said. The FMLN, he added, is a pro-terrorist party.

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