However, it was El Salvador’s 2004 elections they “intervened” in.  While the news itself may not be too shocking to those of us paying attention to what Bush and his administration are willing and able to pull off, the fact that Ambassador Charles Glazer admitted to U.S. intervention in the 2004 Salvadoran Presidential Elections is a bit of a surprise.  The State Department, and the Bush Administration, didn’t seem very interested in letting “democracy run its course”, as they used very public statements about their preferred winner and the threat of back-door economic sanctions against the people of El Salvador if the left candidate were to win-out over the conservative Antonio Saca (who, of course, did go on to win).  Apparently Glazer’s admission came during a recent meeting with outraged community leaders:

In their meeting with the Ambassador, the group focused specifically on the history of U.S. political and military intervention in El Salvador. They cited statements made by US State Department officials denouncing the leftist Farabundo Marti Liberation Front (FMLN) party during the 2004 presidential campaign. The delegates also referenced legislation put forward in Congress by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) that threatened to cut off remittances sent by Salvadorans in the U.S. to their families in El Salvador should the FMLN win. “The U.S. Embassy in El Salvador never countered this absurd threat or clarified the impossibility of such legislation being passed,” said Rosa Lozano, a delegate from Washington D.C. “Ultimately, such intervention helped turn a close race for the presidency into a decisive victory for the right-wing National Republican Alliance (ARENA) party.”

Read the rest of the article here.

So the people of a country- a poor country- want to hold elections and there’s the now classic Latin American dichotomy between the business-oriented, conservative and the populist/socialist candidates.  Then the U.S. State Department, through the Embassy, denounces the left candidate while a Republican Congressman introduces legislation that would stop Salvadorians in the States from sending money home to their families- essentially economic sanctions directly targeting the poorest and most vulnerable people of El Salvador.  Despite the fact the Bill had no chance of passing, the U.S. Embassy fails to adhere to its diplomatic mission of encouraging communication and positive relations in hopes that the news of the proposed legislation would scare people from voting for the “wrong” candidate.

The U.S. Embassy claims there will be no chance of a repeat in El Salvador’s 2009 elections, since they will be heavily monitored by U.S.-supported (quasi-) NGO’s like the IRI:

In 2007, the IRI (International Republican Institute)– headed by Republican presidential candidate John McCain – presented President Saca with its ‘Freedom Award’, showing its clear ideological preference in the polarized Salvadoran political process

God, I love this country.

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