- The Washington Times - Friday, February 12, 2010


President Obama keeps promising change, but we have heard this rhetoric before. Change is what former Salvadoran President Francisco Flores promised in 2001, when the country adopted the dollar as its national currency. He promised unparalleled economic prosperity and growth for all Salvadorans. But that has not been the case.

In 2001, Mr. Flores promised more foreign investments for El Salvador, and as a result, he proceeded with dollarizing the currency. This has had a negative impact on domestic small-business owners, while the foreign large-business owners have benefited from it.

Recently, El Salvador elected its first leftist president, Mauricio Funes. When running for office, Mr. Funes compared himself to Mr. Obama and continually said change and hope were coming to El Salvador and that he could deliver on his promise of change by persuading the Salvadoran National Assembly to eliminate the dollar as the monetary system.

Indeed, El Salvador is not better off under the dollar. The currency actually has created more poverty and an increase in murder and other crimes.

President Funes must deliver on his promise of hope and change. Returning to the colon would allow the domestic small and large businesses to return to higher production rates. This, in turn, would contribute to independence from foreign investors and, ultimately, decrease crime and violence in El Salvador.


Pasadena, Calif.

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