MAP Member Opinion "Peace"  

Spreading Our "Democracy"
by Tom White
Submitted to Star Tribune, 3/24/04

Dear Editor

Sunday, March 21, I served as an International Election Observer in El Salvador, representing the U.S. as one of the 300 Observers from 17 countries. The position of Observer was guaranteed to the El Salvadoran people in the 1992 Peace Accords to assure that the Salvadoran people, free of outside influence or internal violence, would determine their government.

The United States was a signee to that agreement. However, when I arrived in San Salvador for orientation a week before the election, I was told that our Assistant Secretary of State, Roger Noriega, and Jeb Bush, the President's brother had made vists to El Salvador just 2 weeks prior to the election. The message they sent through the El Salvador media was "that a vote for the wrong party would seriously jeopardize any aid from the United States."

Then, just two days before the election we International Observers were totally shocked when the headline in the main San Salvadoran newspaper read, "U.S. Congress threatens bill to cut off any remittances (money) sent to Salvadorans by relatives living in U.S should FMLN win." The indisputable evidence of our involvement in all cases totally violated the Peace Accords and International Law.

Well, I don't have to tell you we got our way. Fear struck the Salvadoran people and the ARENA party, responsible for the killings by the "death squads" in the 1980's, will continue in power for the next five years. Just another small country where we got our way and the poor people lost!

Tom White

(952) 922-3401
Management Consultant

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