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Clinton Urges Funes to Take “Leadership” in Honduran Crisis

December 22, 2009


From the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Newsletter:


Clinton Urges Funes to Take “Leadership” in Honduran Crisis

On December 9th, Minister of Foreign Relations Hugo Martínez met with U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in Washington, D.C. At the meeting Secretary Clinton urged El Salvador to take on greater leadership in the resolution to the crisis in Honduras.  President Funes has yet to make a pronouncement on the results of Honduras’ controversial November 29th elections.  Recently, he acknowledged the repressive conditions under which the elections took place, but also called the elections a first step towards a negotiated exit.

The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, which carried Funes to an electoral victory on March 15 of this year, has condemned the Honduran elections as an attempt to legitimize the June 28 coup.  In their annual convention on December 12, the party reiterated its position that the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras represents a threat to democracy for the entire region.  FMLN General Coordinator Medardo González has acknowledged the party and Funes’ differing opinions, particularly concerning foreign relations.  In a recent interview, González spoke of the importance of the FMLN in maintaining its positions as a party despite the president’s position. He highlighted the difference between the current situation and the behavior of Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) administrations during their 20 years of governance, in which they were frequently denounced for fusing the party and government institutions and for using state funds and resources to promote the party.

Since his presidential nomination by the FMLN, Mauricio Funes has reiterated his desire to build a “strategic alliance” with the U.S. and emphasized the importance of maintaining friendly relations with the country where 2.5 million Salvadoran’s live and work, sending back an estimated $315 million each month.  Clinton’s push for El Salvador to take a more active role in the Honduras crisis was viewed by many policy analysts as an attempt to build regional support for the U.S.’ anticipated position of accepting the elections.

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