Search

 

Cablegate: Fmln Pushes Pragmatism

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSN #0915/01 2131954
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311954Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9885
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SAN SALVADOR 000915

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/30/2018
TAGS: PGOV PREL ES
SUBJECT: FMLN PUSHES PRAGMATISM

Classified By: Charge Robert Blau, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: On July 29 three high ranking members of the
(left-wing) FMLN told us that they accepted U.S. assistance
to counter crime and drug trafficking and were supportive of
International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). They
reiterated the FMLN,s intention to withdraw Salvadoran
troops from Iraq if they win the 2009 elections and indicated
that the FMLN might seek to modify CAFTA but recognize the
difficulties of doing so. They said that the FMLN wants a
strong relationship with the U.S. They declined when asked
to identify where on the Latin American left spectrum they
would place themselves. They said they would open diplomatic
relations with Cuba. End Summary.

2. (C) On July 29, Charge and Poloffs met with FMLN General
Coordinator Medardo Gonzalez, Legislative Assembly Deputy and
FMLN Campaign Manager Roberto Lorenzana, and Legislative
Assembly Deputy Hugo Martinez to discuss the presidential,
legislative, and municipal elections to be held in 2009 and
other related issues. Each took turns explaining that the
FMLN had a more pragmatic approach than in past years and
took a &longer view8 than some of their left-leaning
counterparts in the hemisphere. They pointed out their
partnership with the National Conciliation Party (PCN), as
well as occasional agreements with (conservative, pro-U.S.)
ARENA on legislation that coincided with the FMLN's political
program, as examples of their pragmatism and willingness to
reach out to other political parties.

-----------------------------
SEEKING ADJUSTMENTS TO CAFTA?
-----------------------------

3. (C) Lorenzana stated the FMLN's current line on CAFTA,
which the FMLN strongly opposed during negotiations and even
after its passage. He suggested that the FMLN might seek to
make "adjustments" to CAFTA in order to improve the
agreement, but backed away when the Charge suggested how
difficult that would be. They asserted the FMLN,s support
for maintaining the dollarization of the Salvadoran economy,
something they previously opposed. (Note: FMLN candidate
Mauricio Funes and his economic advisor have also stated
publicly their support for maintaining dollarization. End
note.)

---------------------------------------------
FMLN ACCEPTS U.S. ASSISTANCE TO COMBAT CRIME
---------------------------------------------

4. (C) All said they recognized the need for U.S. assistance
to fight narco-trafficking and agreed that the U.S. and El
Salvador must work together to combat crime. Lorenzana said
that the FMLN has no intention of following the same path as
Guatemala, where criminal elements have co-opted political
and security structures. Gonzalez mentioned the 2007
killings of the Salvadoran PARLACEN deputies as an example of
the crime problem.

5. (C) Martinez, echoed by Gonzalez, expressed the FMLN,s
support for International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA). He
said that much of the FMLN,s early opposition stemmed from a
lack of information about the nature of ILEA training, but
that a recent visit organized by the Embassy for FMLN members
fully addressed these concerns. Martinez added that the FMLN
was already on record favoring the continued presence of the
counter-narcotics cooperative security location at the
military side of Comalapa International Airport.

---------------------
FMLN WOULD LEAVE IRAQ
---------------------

6. (C) Martinez asserted that if the FMLN wins the 2009
elections, they would pull Salvadoran troops out of Iraq. He
said there were many reasons, including that the war was
unpopular in the U.S. and thus hard to defend here. (Note:
Public opinion polling has consistently shown Salvadorans
opposed to having troops in Iraq. The latest poll shows 82
percent of Salvadorans oppose President Saca's plan to
continue the Iraq deployment.)

---------------------------------------------
SEEKS TO MAINTAIN GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH U.S.
---------------------------------------------

7. (C) As the conversation turned to the broader relationship
between the U.S. and El Salvador, each FMLN representative
said that a GOES under their leadership would want to
maintain a good relationship with the U.S. Gonzalez cited the
long historical relationship between the U.S. and El
Salvador, and said that they would like that to continue,
particularly with so many Salvadorans living in the U.S.
Responding to Gonzalez's comment regarding a FMLN government
broadening its diplomatic relations to include Cuba, Charge
highlighted Cuba,s failed economy which would be a disaster
for El Salvador to emulate. Gonzalez replied that El
Salvador is very different from Cuba, and that the FMLN would
work with the business community and even enjoyed support
from small and medium businesses. Martinez said the FMLN
wants good relationships with entire region, including trade
relationships.

8. (C) Gonzalez reported that the FMLN,s governing platform
was almost finished. He said that the FMLN had been working
on it for nearly a year, had consulted with all sectors and
regions, and was on track to adopt it in August.

9. (C) Comment: The FMLN representatives tried to emphasize
pragmatism repeatedly throughout the meeting as if to
distinguish themselves from the FMLN of years past. Their
message was consistent with the public message they have
cultivated for the past several months ) moderate and
reasonable. Their whole campaign strategy aims to convince
voters of this, but they are running into obstacles. This
week business leaders publicly challenged Mauricio Funes'
claim to be pro-business, noting that the FMLN is everything
but. We take note of the FMLN's relatively benign
statements, but do not accept their claims of pragmatism and
willingness to cooperate with the U.S. at face value.
Salvadoran municipal and legislative elections will be held
January 18; presidential elections will be held March 15.
BLAU

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC