What do you think caused the war ? I think that it has a lot to do with Soviet expansionism, especially as practiced by Fidel Castro, which seeks a Marxist take- over by force of arms. And they justify it by citing the social problems that plagued the country back in the 1970s. Do you mean that there were indeed do- mestic causes? During the previous decade people took part in street demonstrations for socioeco- nomic reasons. Social problems are now being used as an excuse so that the Marx- ists can take power. Is the military is on the right track? I think we're moving too slow. The cur- rent strategy does indeed have to be reas- sessed, because it is not working. We need suitable strategies, not experiments. Politi- cal and military pacification is essential. How are relations with the United States being handled? The current Salvadoran government has fallen into extreme dependency. The United States, we must admit, has been a generous friend. However, Washington has to realize that what El Salvador wants are Salvadoran solutions. We shouldn't be carrying out experiments designed elsewhere. What can you tell us about there being two factions in ARENA, one favoring civilian rule and another more militaristic one? In 1985 ARENA decided to open its doors to wide-ranging participation. It stands to reason that there can always be minor differences. Several viewpoints emerge on various issues, but not in the sense of one line and another. This is sim- ply Christian Democratic propaganda. Moreover, nowhere can two people agree completely on everything all the time. There are always minor differences. Word has it that you were selected as the ARENA candidate because your personal image helps the party. Yes, I think it is correct that Major Roberto D'Aubuisson has not enjoyed a good image. This is due to what has been unjustly said about him, though nothing has been proven about him up to now. Of course, now that I'm ARENA's presiden- tial candidate, nothing has been invented about me yet. Foreign journalists have been more objective, and that is one reason why I have been better received than Major D'Aubuisson. *From Proceso (Mexico) Sept. 5, 1988.
Tags: El Salvador, ARENA, propaganda, Elections, Cristiani