The communist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) is poised to win El Salvador’s presidential election today, taking power through the very democratic process they had at one time pledged to eradicate.
FMLN Presidential candidate Mauricio Funes, a preening former correspondent for CNN en Español, considers himself the Salvadoran Barack Obama and liberally employs the Obama trademark slogan “Yes we can!” Most observers see the political neophyte Funes as a charismatic front for the movement, a designer jean-wearing puppet being utilized to secure votes from an impressionable electorate.
The real muscle in the FMLN is vice presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a hard-core communist terrorist who has overseen the murder of 1,200-1,500 political opponents, some even within his own party, as reported by John R. Thomson in The Washington Times in November 2008. Ceren is a determined enemy of the United States; four days after the 9/11 attacks he led a demonstration in San Salvador in which he celebrated al Qaeda for giving payback to the U.S. for its misdeeds around the world, and then burned the American flag. Consequently, it is laughable when front-man Funes says he will seek closer ties with the U.S. if elected.
The FMLN has demonstrated ties to terror groups outside El Salvador. Colombian security officials uncovered emails from FMLN leader Jose Luis Merino on computers captured from the narco-terrorist FARC guerillas in which Merino was arranging arms sales. The FMLN is also a close friend of Tehran’s, and the Iranian flag flies at FMLN rallies. An FMLN victory will contribute to growing Iranian influence in the Americas.
The real winner on Sunday, assuming the FMLN prevails, will be Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.
Chavez has been the FMLN’s sugar daddy for years. Venezuela underwrites the movement by selling severely discounted diesel fuel to an FMLN front organization, “ALBA Petroleos,” which then marks up and resells the fuel. The same system helps prop up Sandinista president Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. ALBA, which means “Dawn” in Spanish, is an acronym for the “Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America,” Chavez’s anti-U.S. Latin American alliance system which includes Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Honduras.
A pro-terrorist political party taking power in El Salvador is a grave development that underscores the need for urgent action in Latin America. Our friends in Colombia are being surrounded, and Mexico is inching toward a social meltdown that Chavez and his cronies will leap to exploit.
If the FMLN takes power, Congress should immediately reconsider the Temporary Protective Status (TPS) of immigrants from El Salvador, and the president and Congress should act swiftly to review the status of the U.S.-Salvadoran relationship and take other appropriate steps, up to classifying the government of El Salvador as terrorist supporters. The U.S. Southern Command must be reinvigorated, and the administration must overcome its ideological prejudices to reassert the role of the CIA in Latin America. Overall the United States must end the policy of neglect toward Latin America that has gone on for some years and has allowed the Chavez regime to construct a growing bloc of states hostile to the U.S. and which threatens to make our southern border the front line in a new cold war.
By Rand Paul
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