Who Said This About El Salvador?
February 5, 2007 10:19 PM   Subscribe

Some time during the past few years, I'm sure I read a quote from someone connected with the Bush administration, but I can't seem to find it now. Something along the lines of "El Salvador's current government is the political ideal." Can anyone point me to the quote, and some context for it?
posted by maryh to Law & Government (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like something John Negroponte might have said but it turns out he was in Honduras.
posted by claudius at 10:30 PM on February 5, 2007

I just spent some time Googling, but I don't think I have it. Do either of these sound like they're on the right track?

Dick Cheney in a VP debate against Edwards:
CHENEY: Twenty years ago we had a similar situation in El Salvador. We had -- guerrilla insurgency controlled roughly a third of the country, 75,000 people dead, and we held free elections. I was there as an observer on behalf of the Congress.

The human drive for freedom, the determination of these people to vote, was unbelievable. And the terrorists would come in and shoot up polling places; as soon as they left, the voters would come back and get in line and would not be denied the right to vote.

And today El Salvador is a whale of a lot better because we held free elections.

The power of that concept is enormous. And it will apply in Afghanistan, and it will apply as well in Iraq.
A Condoleezza Rice speech to OAS:
The General Assembly of 1974 was long on talk and short on action. For seven days, leaders of unelected governments waxed hypocritically about the "ideal" of democracy. Between the lines, however, the message of the dictators was clear: As long as freedom was a threat to tyranny, democracy would remain an "ideal" — not a reality.

Well, my fellow colleagues, today in the Americas, democracy is a reality.

Over the past three decades, the people of Latin America and the Caribbean have transformed our hemisphere through their desire to live in liberty.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:23 PM on February 5, 2007

Response by poster: Those speeches seem to be along the right track, ibmcginty, but the quote I thinking of came from, I'm pretty sure, a functionary in the administration as opposed to a higher up like Condi. It was seen as a gaffe, although it was probably part of the same set of talking points that Cheney and Rice are working here. I keep thinking Ledeen? but I can't find the exact quote through Google. I think it might have been more pointedly about economics.
posted by maryh at 11:50 PM on February 5, 2007

Hmmm.... I don't think I have it, and I'm giving up, but this article has a bunch of quotes from obscure US functionaries in the runup to the last election:
The last ambassador to El Salvador, Rose Likens, warned that an FMLN government would have consequences for US-El Salvador relations. State Department functionary Dan Fisk compared Schafik Handal to "firures of the past" such as Daniel Ortega and Rios Montt. When current US Ambassador Douglas Barclay met with Schafik Handal, and the FMLN later published their picture together, he requested they retract the photo and not use it anymore. On February 6, the Assistant Secretary of Western Hemispheric Affairs for the U.S. State Department, Roger Noriega, said: "I think it is fair to note that the FMLN campaign has emphasized its differences with [the U.S] concerning CAFTA (Central America Free Trade Agreement) and other subjects. And we know the history of this political movement, and for this reason it is fair that the Salvadoran people consider what type of relations a new government could have with us."

The Special Envoy of the White House to Latin America, Otto Reich, laid it directly on the line on March 13, in a telephone interview conducted from the ARENA offices in San Salvador: "We would not be able to have the same confidence in an El Salvador led by a person who is obviously an admirer of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, as we have today in (ARENA President) Flores." Reich continued to warn that a win by the FMLN would cause a reevaluation of the United States relationship with El Salvador.

In the days before the election, the major daily newspapers ran front page articles about the efforts of United States congressmen such as Dan Burton of Indiana, William Diaz Ballart of Florida, and Thomas Tancredo of Colorado introduced bills threatening remesas and immigration should the FMLN take the Presidency.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:05 AM on February 6, 2007

(there was also the whole thing about John Negroponte suggesting an "El Salvador option" for quelling violence in Iraq. Not economics-related, though)
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 3:40 AM on February 6, 2007

(oh, except Negroponte denied everything, and my previous link only connects him vaguely to the story)
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 3:42 AM on February 6, 2007

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