El Salvador's FMLN warns US: ‘Stop supporting right-wing youth’

March 10, 2017

El Salvador’s ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) warned the US Embassy in San Salvador on February 27 to stop supporting the country’s right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party. 

Socialist FMLN leaders accused the US of meddling in the country’s affairs by supporting ARENA youth working to destabilise the government, La Pagina reported.

Earlier this month, for example, US Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes appointed Erick Ortiz, a far-right ARENA youth leader, to head a new US-Salvadoran youth council in the country.

“An embassy cannot do political work,” FMLN secretary general Medardo Gonzalez reminded the US Embassy, HispanTV reported.

“We consider that it is an attitude of intrusion, of interference, we should not politically accept this type of interference.”

Gonzalez also presented evidence of “clear coordination” between the US Embassy and ARENA to recruit Salvadoran youth for anti-government, anti-socialist campaigns.

Criticising its double standards on national sovereignty, Gonzalez said the US would not like it if El Salvador or any other country “started creating agencies to proselytise American youth toward socialism.”

Manes, who has served as the US Ambassador to El Salvador since 2015, frequently calls on private companies and institutions affiliated with ARENA to “be part of the change” and to “raise the voices of optimism.”

“Change” and “optimism,” for Manes, means rolling back the country’s progressive gains and implementing neoliberal economic policies that have impoverished El Salvador for decades. 

Since the FMLN took power in 2009, El Salvador has increased government spending on healthcare, education, housing and free programs for youth at risk of joining gangs. The socialist party has also implemented heavy regulations on multinational corporations seeking cheap labour and commodity exports. 

Earlier this month, the Salvadoran government demanded that Canadian-Australian mining company OceanaGold pay a US$8 million fine for failing to adhere to environmental standards.

ARENA, promoting “economic freedom” and environmental deregulation, sided with OceanaGold against paying the fine. 

The FMLN and the multinational giant are still in arbitration. 

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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