Phone calls to the U.S. State Department, demanding an official statement of respect for the results of El Salvador's March 15 presidential election, are needed today! Yesterday, two Republicans gave speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives threatening that Salvadorans living in the U.S. will lose their immigration status and be outlawed from sending money home to their families if voters in El Salvador exercise their right to elect the opposition FMLN party's candidate on Sunday.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said, “Should the pro-terrorist FMLN party replace the current government in El Salvador, the United States, in the interests of national security, would be required to reevaluate our policy toward El Salvador, including cash remittance and immigration policies to compensate for the fact there will no longer be a reliable counterpart in the Salvadoran government.”
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) stated, “Those monies that are coming from here to there I am confident will be cut, and I hope the people of El Salvador are aware of that because it will have a tremendous impact on individuals and their economy.” Indeed, these threats carry considerable weight for Salvadoran voters, as 25% of the Salvadoran population lives in the U.S., and 20% of the nation's economy consists of remittances from those family members.
We fully expect these open, blatant threats to be plastered across the front pages of newspapers across El Salvador in the coming days. In fact, the guarantee of such media coverage for these statements is the very reason that they were made in the first place. These threats endanger the sovereign right of the Salvadoran people to elect their own government, free from outside manipulation.
Call the State Department to demand an immediate public declaration of U.S. neutrality toward the Salvadoran election!
CALL: (202) 647-1510 (El Salvador/Nicaragua desk)
(SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT BELOW)
The Republicans' statement stand in stark contrast to last week's declaration by over thirty House Democrats and one Senator who publicly committed to U.S. neutrality, to respect the election results, and to maintain a positive relationship with whichever government is elected. In a March 5 press conference in Washington, D.C., Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) stated, “the proper position of the U.S. Congress and government is one of neutrality and respect for El Salvador’s independent democratic process.”
With the election less than a week away, it is imperative that the State Department declare this same position of neutrality and respect for El Salvador’s independent democratic process, and reject the Republicans' threats and lies about immigration status and remittances. The integrity and fairness of El Salvador's presidential election is in danger as long as such a statement is not made.
The U.S. must respect the will of the Salvadoran people!
1) Call the State Department to demand an immediate, public declaration of respect for the results of the Salvadoran election!
CALL: (202) 647-1510 (El Salvador/Nicaragua desk at the State Department)
“I am calling to urge Secretary Clinton to immediately make a public statement declaring that the United States will respect the results of Sunday's presidential election in El Salvador and seek a positive relationship with whoever is elected.”
“On Wednesday, Members of Congress publicly threatened to revoke the immigration status of Salvadorans living here in the U.S. and outlaw the remittances they send back to their families. These threats have been extensively covered by the media in El Salvador. Without a statement by the State Department refuting these threats, the integrity and fairness of the Salvadoran election will be severely compromised.”
2) Then call the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador and ask to speak to acting Ambassador Robert Blau.
From the U.S., CALL: 011-503-2501-2999
“I am calling from the United States to ask that the Embassy publicly declare that the U.S. government will respect the results of Sunday's election, and that the threats made by Members of Congress this week about immigration status and remittances are false.”