El Salvador at a crossroad


@9point non = BRISBANE — "Get on the phone to all your relatives, friends and those you know in El Salvador to urge them to vote for the FMLN in the elections in 2009\", Jorge Shafik Handal Junior, a leader of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, told a 60-strong audience of mainly El Salvadoran migrants at a public meeting on May 17. He also called on Australian supporters to visit El Salvador next year as international observers, to limit the right-wing ARENA government's attempts to use fraud to prevent an FMLN victory in the January parliamentary elections and the March presidential election.

Handal outlined the progressive platform being advanced by the FMLN to confront the economic and social crisis facing the country after years of neoliberal policies under the US-dominated ARENA regime. He expressed confidence that the rise of left-wing governments in Latin America, spearheaded by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, would provide a favourable context for an FMLN government from next year.