Tuesday, March 17, 2009

El Salvador has just gone left. El Salvador has elected its first FMLN president.

It's official...

Another Latin American country has just gone left. El Salvador has elected its first FMLN president.

Congratulations, Mauricio Funes.

UPDATE: Videos (in Spanish) below.

Walter Araújo, president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador, makes his remarks on the occasion. He stresses the free, fair and transparent nature of the elections. This is especially important in light of the interference that came from the right-wing in the US, and their equally right-wing Venezuelan lackeys; of course, the English-language media (especially the Dissociated Press) chose to frame the issue as a "ZOMG, El Salvador's democracy is under threat from the guerrilla left!!!11eleven!!!" panic. Which it is not. (The Christian Science Monitor's resident Chicken Little, Sara Miller Llana, waxed especially stupid on the issue, framing it as a referendum on Chavecito--which, again, it is not.)

Meanwhile, a woman of note from neighboring Guatemala has also weighed in. Here's Nobel prizewinner and human rights activist Rigoberta Menchú, giving her dos centavos:

She sees this historic election as an opportunity to put the Cold War, its associated fears and hatreds, its terrorism and violence, behind. She expresses the hope that this will bring about peace in what has long been a violence-torn nation. She would know; the violence has affected Guatemala as well. Both countries have long been US pawns in the "Great Chessboard" strategy of the Cold War hawks, and indigenous peasants have suffered disproportionately in the violence. For this reason, her remarks carry special weight.

A portion of Funes' victory speech also appears in the latter part of the clip.