Video: FMLN Vice President-Elect at pro-Al Qaeda rally
El Salvador's Vice President-Elect, FMLN Comandante Salvador Sanchez Ceren, is seen in this September 15, 2001 video celebrating the 9/11 Al Qaeda attacks on the United States and issuing statements in approval of the vandalism and burning of the American flag. This after he visited the US Embassy to sign the condolence book.
Highlights of the video follow, with the number corresponding to the time on the video clip:
1:54 Headline in El Diario de Hoy, El Salvador’s largest newspaper: “A march in support of the terrorists.”
2:25 Politicians of all political factions in the National Assembly (unicameral parliament) go to the US embassy to sign a condolence book. Salvador Sanchez Ceren is chief of the FMLN faction of the National Assembly. He and the others express their condolences at the US Embassy, then go to a demonstration to accuse the United States and burn the American flag.
2:43. Salvador Sanchez Ceren: “The Frente we participate in this is a march to condemn the situation that the country is in, against dollarization, against privatization.” (Note: FMLN is the Spanish initials for Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. Farabundo Marti was the founder of the Salvadoran Communist Party. The FMLN calls itself “Frente” or “Front” for short.)
Men in FMLN shirts are shown spray painting vandalism, equating US-backed privatization in El Salvador with terrorism. Salvador Sanchez Ceren defends these actions.
The FMLN issued a communiqué about September 11, proclaiming that world peace is in danger. A US embassy spokeswoman compares it to the rhetoric coming out of Taliban-run Afghanistan.
2:57 Announcer: “Despite the leftist party assuring that its participation was different from those of the supposed students who committed the vandalism on September 15, the spokeswoman of the American Embassy said that an FMLN communique concerning the terrorist attacks has a tone heard only from states like Afghanistan.”
3:17 Newspaper headline “Support for terrorism,” concerning the FMLN protests. I believe the paper is El Diario de Hoy.
3:28 Schafik Handal, head of the FMLN and a member of the National Assembly, speaks about terrorism, blaming the US and Israel, and equating the US preparations to attack the Taliban with the 9/11 attacks: “Terrorism also happens continually at all hours of the day and night by the government of Sharon in Israel against the people of Palestine. The government of the United States at this moment has taken a tolerant position on this, to say at least. All of this is terrorism. And now it’s starting to be carried out over Afghanistan. It’s the same kind of thing.”
4:01. Salvador Sanchez Ceren press quote, defending the “students” who committed vandalism and burned flags at the September 15 protest: “There was no disorder in the protest (in support of the attacks), ask the students.”
4:04. Headline: “That was not the intention.” Text: “For his part, the chief of the FMLN bloc [in the national legislature], Salvador Sanchez Ceren – who participated in the demonstration on Saturday – rejected that there was any disorderliness. ‘What happened was that they made use of the regular characteristics of a demonstration: placards and paint,’ he said.”
4:10. Image of FMLN Legislative letterhead headlined, “World Peace Is In Danger.” The text is not legible on my screen. The sidebar says: “In the lead of the communiqué, the FMLN maintained that the terrorist acts against New York and Washington composed ‘the use of the pretext of the violence of the United States and of anarchic groups.’”
“They [the FMLN] condemned terrorism of all kinds that attack civilian populations and promote economic policies that affect humanity and the [words illegible].”
“In point number three, they [the FMLN] ask the United States to resolve its conflicts through political means and through dialogue, as a sign of political goodwill, and that safeguards social, political and economic tranquility and stability of all peoples.”
4:13: Photo of FMLN leaders on the steps of the National Assembly building in San Salvador. Salvador Sanchez Ceren is seen applauding, standing in the light shirt between the paunchy man in the red vest and the woman in the white blouse. “ANDES” is the teachers’ union front of the FMLN. At right is the FMLN banner.
4:14: Press clip: “The chief of the FMLN faction [in the national assembly], Salvador Sanchez Ceren, says that conflicts should be resolved by the political route and dialogue, in order not to endanger world peace.”
4:21: Press clip with quote from parliamentary FMLN faction leader Salvador Sanchez Ceren: “World peace is in danger. The options are either revenge or promotion of a new order of peace.”
4:25: Announcer commentary: “The position of the Embassy of the United States of America accredited in our country, before the declarations of the FMLN, were delivered by means of a letter in which Ambassador Rose Likins tells Mr. Sanchez Ceren, ‘Concerning the aforementioned, one cannot but be surprised and offended that the Faction [FMLN] decided to compare these mass killings with unspecified ‘economic policies.’”
4:59: Salvadoran President Francisco Flores speaks out in support of the United States: “It’s important to signal that to make declarations that justify acts of terrorism, like the declaration by the FMLN, saying that the terrorism was justified by the brutality or the economic policies of the United States, or even more, making a public act by people of high level in the FMLN, the chief of faction, members of the mayors office of San Salvador, constitutes enormous damage to our country.”
Bush: “You are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Note how even the Democrats gave him a standing ovation.
We're a group of Salvadorans and Americans concerned with promoting a stable democracy in El Salvador and preserving the freedoms gained there since the victory over the communist FMLN guerrillas in 1992.