U.S. Government Ties El Salvador USD 277 M Aid Package to Monsanto’s GMO Seeds

8 June 2014 — Sustainable Pulse

The President of the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technologies (CESTA), Ricardo Navarro, has demanded that the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, stops pressurizing the Government of El Salvador to buy Monsanto’s GM seeds rather than non-GMO seeds from domestic suppliers.

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Counterinsurgency, Death Squads, and the Population as the Target: Empire Under Obama, Part 4 By Andrew Gavin Marshall

1 November 2013 — The Hampton Institute

obamafourPart 1: Political Language and the ‘Mafia Principles’ of International Relations
Part 2: Barack Obama’s Global Terror Campaign
Part 3: America’s “Secret Wars” in Over 100 Countries Around the World

While the American Empire – and much of the policies being pursued – did not begin under President Obama, the focus of “Empire Under Obama” is to bring awareness about the nature of empire to those who may have – or continue – to support Barack Obama and who may believe in the empty promises of “hope” and “change.” Empire is institutional, not individual. Continue reading

El Salvador: The Truth Commission and the Jesuit Massacre

July 29, 2011 — COHA

This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Jennifer Nerby

  • Twenty Salvadoran soldiers await trial in Spain for crimes against humanity perpetrated during the Salvadoran Civil War.
  • The extradition of war criminals to be tried under the Spanish judicial system draws attention to profound weaknesses in Salvadoran trial.
  • A growing number of Salvadorans are beginning to show unease that the nation’s moderate President Mauricio Funes will move the country beyond the social causes of conflict in the 1980s.

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Black Agenda Report 30 September, 2010: News, Commentary & Analysis From the Black Left "No Knock Barack" –Stop the Raids at Home & Wars Abroad

30 September, 2010 — BAR

President Barack “Midnight Raid” Obama: End Your Wars at Home and Abroad
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford
Last week’s FBI raids likely signal that the Obama regime has begun a major campaign to criminalize and crush the Left. Think COINTELPRO, 21st century-style. President Obama, the constitutional rights lawyer who claims the right to kill at will, seeks to strangle the activist opposition to his wars and pro-Wall Street policies. “For targets not marked for oblivion, there awaits a grand jury with boundless powers to ensnare anyone.”

I Wanna Be A Macho Man: The Prosperity Gospel According to Eddie Long
by Sikivu Hutchinson
Allegations that Bishop Eddie Long lured young Black men to become his sexual playthings should come as no surprise, since his brand of “faith pimping spiritual ministry translates into emotional manipulation, psychological control, and sexual exploitation.” Long, a “self-proclaimed ‘spiritual daddy’ to a nationwide army of ‘wayward’ sons,” is the inevitable offspring of religious patriarchy and robber baron politics.

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Video: Gold, impunity, violence in El Salvador

Assassination of anti-mining resistance leader Marcelo Rivera part of terror campaign against activists

A 37-year-old teacher, community center founder, and anti-mining activist is found tortured and assassinated in Northern El Salvador. Authorities, despite all evidence to the contrary, attribute the death to common gang violence. In the following weeks, other critics of mining are victims of death threats, attempted kidnappings and shootings. Communities plunged into fear not seen since the Civil War of the 1980s place the blame on the presence of Pacific Rim, a Canadian gold mining company.

An Analysis of El Salvador’s Political and Economic Realities: Can Funes Succeed?

22 May, 2009 – Council on Hemispheric Affairs

  • The country must overcome partisan differences and deal with a crippled economy
  • Moderate views and a concession-minded president may be the wrong prescription for the troubled nation
  • Will El Salvador finally break its bad luck?

El Salvador’s President-elect Mauricio Funes is scheduled to take office on June 1, and will be confronted with some of the same grievances that have been perpetually plaguing the embattled Central American country. His situation, however, is unique, as he will be the first left-leaning president in El Salvador’s tumultuous post-war history. Even though he represents the leftist party Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), Funes sees himself as a moderate idealist in his political views and has high aims for his moderate administration. However, the opposition party, Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA) will heavily scrutinize the expected policy changes and is unlikely to meekly succumb to them. His success in actually implementing his policies will depend on the resolve of the opposition (possibly forming a center-right coalition to block the pro-FMLN legislation in the upper house), and his response to the political pressures being registered by radical elements in his own party. During his campaign, Funes vowed to respect ‘all Salvadoran democratic institutions.’ Yet campaign promises can be broken as easily as they are made, and it is not assured that these democratic changes will indeed be allowed to occur if ARENA is unwilling to compromise.

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Video: Past is present in Latin America Part One

At Summit Obama interested in looking forward, while many live the past every day – El Salvador report

In their first ever meeting, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave US President Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano’s classic historical essay, Open Veins of Latin America. A best-seller in Latin America, the book is arguably the most complete history of imperialism in the region. And the move by Chavez represents the importance of understanding the context of the rise of the left in Latin America if you want to work with Latin America. But when Obama got to the podium, he announced “I didn’t come here to debate the past, I came here to deal with the future.” The most recent country to join Latin America’s leftist block is El Salvador, with the election of the FMLN’s Mauricio Funes to the presidency. Salvadoran anthropologist Ramón Rivas believes that the only way mutual understanding can be achieved is with a commitment to understanding the present, by learning the past.

Ramón Rivas is the Founding Director of the Museum of Anthropology at El Salvador Technological University in the capital of San Salvador. Originally from the department of Cabañas, El Salvador, Rivas received his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. He has served as dean of the El Salvador Tech´s Art and Culture School, and sat on El Salvador´s National Council for Culture and Art. He writes a weekly column in the Salvadoran newspaper El Diario Co-Latino.
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COHA: A Step Towards Autonomy and Reintegration: The Rio Group and Cuba – Council on Hemispheric Affairs

  • Cuba was admitted into the Rio Group last November, an ad hoc Western Hemispheric organization that doesn’t include the United States
  • The island nation’s entry will expand Cuba’s role in the region and represents another bypassing of the spirit and letter of the U.S. embargo against Cuba
  • The Castro regime may be less likely to revoke newly announced reforms in the future, since the island increasingly is projecting itself internationally

It comes as no surprise that after decades of playing the role of hemispheric hegemon, the United States at the same time has created a critical mass that has inadvertently resulted in a backlash throughout Latin America. Founded in 1986, the Rio Group was created in response to the prevailing U.S. dominance in the region that helped spawn during this period a number of organizations with an autonomy-minded agenda. After its inception, the Rio Group came to consist of 23 Latin American and Caribbean states, and had two primary concerns. The first, exemplified by U.S. exclusion from the organization, was to ensure that Latin Americans nations had control over their own international affairs. Hemispheric groups, most notably the Organization of American States (OAS), were heavily dominated by the United States’ interests throughout the 20th century.

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El Salvador: Any real change with a new leader? By Stephen Lendman

Mauricio Funes likens himself to Brazil`s Lula, not Hugo Chavez or Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, and intends to be very friendly to business.

Like other Latin American nations, El Salvador has had a long and troubled history, ruled from one decade to the next by successive military dictatorships, then since 1989 by the right wing National Republican Alliance or ARENA Party.

Long-suffering Salvadorans recall the 1980s struggles when the Farabudo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) failed to end what the civil-military Junta leader, Jose Napoleon Duarte, told New York Times reporter Raymond Bonner in 1980:

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Marc Becker: "El Salvador: Voting in Rebel Territory"

Heading out from San Salvador to Chalatenango, the roads are covered with political propaganda from the ruling right-wing ARENA party.  In the lead up to the March 15 presidential elections in this small Central American country, all of the utility posts have been painted in the party’s colors of red, white, and blue.  Presidential candidate Rodrigo Avila beams down from billboards with promises that he will rule with ‘sabiduría,’ with wisdom.  Smaller banners promise a future of freedom and prosperity.

Once past the town of Chalatenango, however, the ARENA propaganda quickly disappears, replaced by the distinctive red graffiti of the leftist FMLN party and posters of their champion, journalist Mauricio Funes.  By the time we arrive at Cambridge’s sister city of San José de las Flores and Madison’s sister city of Arcatao, not a single ARENA marker is to be seen anywhere.

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Video: Historic power shift in El Salvador

Journalist leads former guerrilla army to left’s first presidential victory in country’s history

Just over 17 years since the 1992 Peace Accords brought an end to El Salvador’s vicious civil war, the country has seen its first peaceful transfer of power. V for victory hand signs and red flags were paraded throughout the country’s streets as the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, FMLN, won the presidency; thereby bringing to an end 20 straight years of rule by the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance, ARENA. El Salvador will be governed from the left for the first time since gaining its independence from Spain in 1821. The face of the victory was that of former television journalist Mauricio Funes, a political newcomer and the first FMLN leader to not have fought in the country’s horrific 12-year civil war.



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COHA: Salvadoran Presidential Election – A Brief Analysis of the Implications of the FMLN’s Big Win

Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) candidate Mauricio Funes emerged as the narrow victor in El Salvador’s March 15 presidential election, with 51 percent of the vote. Funes overcame the fiercely negative and patently unfair campaign waged by the opposition National Republican Alliance (ARENA) and other right-wing organizations backing their candidate, Rodrigo Ávila. Those who were worried, including COHA, that a massive plot would be hatched by ARENA to steal votes in order to throw the race to Ávila were proven mistaken, and first reports indicate that electoral tampering was not a major factor in the contest.

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COHA: A Warning for President Obama: Speak out on El Salvador or Jeopardize Prospects to Revive Latin American Relations

  • Salvadoran election campaign hijacked by right-wing scare tactics, threatening U.S. hostility
  • Republican congressmen call for sanctions in the event of an FMLN victory
  • COHA, scholars and representatives urge Obama and Clinton to speak out and promise a neutral stance from Washington

As the El Salvadoran population goes to the polls this Sunday, March 15, to elect a new president, there are serious grounds to doubt whether the vote will be free and fair. There is a huge disparity in campaign funding between the parties, rising levels of violence, and concerns over the impartiality of the Supreme Court, Electoral Tribunal and much of the media. Moreover, the right wing ruling party ARENA and ultra-conservative NGO fuerza solidaria have spread a campaign of disinformation that threatens to destabilize the country and undermine its democratic institutions.

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"Leftists Poised to Win Presidency in El Salvador: New Report Examines Implications"

After 17 years since the end of El Salvador’s civil war, the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) is poised to accomplish what its guerrilla predecessors never did: take over the national government.  Reliable polls unanimously project that FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes will win the March 15 presidential elections.  What all this means for El Salvador — and Latin America — is the subject of the new, in-depth report, ‘The 2009 El Salvador Elections: Between Crisis and Change.’

A victory by Funes would break 20 years of one-party rule by the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), opening a new progressive chapter in the country’s long, violent history of war and dictatorships.  ‘The historical importance of the FMLN taking power cannot be overstated for this small Central American country,’ says Teo Ballvé, a contributor to the report and member of the North American Congress on Latin America.

If the FMLN wins, El Salvador will be joining an ever-growing group of left-leaning governments in Latin America.  The arrival of Barack Obama’s administration augurs well for the FMLN’s aspirations.  ‘In the past, El Salvador has been squarely under Washington’s thumb,’ says Ballvé.  ‘But with Obama in the White House, the country has a better chance of charting a truly independent path.’

Although a majority of Salvadorans have high hopes for meaningful social change, a Funes administration will also face tremendous challenges: economic turmoil, grinding poverty, a virulent opposition party, rampant violence, and others.  Funes has promised a ‘people-centered’ government to tackle these problems.  According to Ballvé, ‘It won’t be easy or quick, but the FMLN has an incredibly strong grassroots movement in its corner to help it fight against the entrenched interests that have blocked reforms in the past.’

Topics in the report range from the campaigns and the economy, to militarization and the diplomatic front, and much more.  These sections are, in turn, divided into more specific issues, such as free trade, water privatization, Plan Mexico, regional integration, and potential relations with the new Obama administration.  This timely report seeks to reflect on El Salvador’s current situation as well as the possibilities and challenges ahead at this pivotal moment for the nation’s future.

The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), and Upside Down World collectively edited the report.

Download the Report: nacla.org/elsalvador2009.pdf

Source: MRZine – Monthly Review

For more information, contact: Burke Stansbury, CISPES, 202-521-2510, burke(AT)cispes(dot)org; and Christy Thornton, NACLA, 646-613-1440, teo(AT)nacla(dot)org.

COHA: Mixed Results In Salvadoran Elections

  • U.S. Embassy’s historically interventionist role
  • Ambassador Rose Likins, among others, had led campaign to block FMLN from winning the ballot
  • Tony Saca and his predecessors slavishly aspire to be Washington’s best friend in Latin America

A little over a week after polls closed in El Salvador’s municipal and legislative elections, the opposing parties began to prepare for yet another round of campaigning. Although the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) has lost the mayoral ballot in the capital city of San Salvador, it seems likely that, for the first time in twenty years of right-wing rule, the former guerrilla party has a good chance to win the upcoming presidential ballot in March. In the recently staged elections it was able to gain three seats in the legislative assembly, winning a total of 42.5 percent of the votes, trailed by the currently governing Nationalist Republican Alliance Party (ARENA), with 38.4 percent of the tally.

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