SPEAK UP FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS IN EL SALVADOR!
CALL OR WRITE YOUR US REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!
Call or write your US Representative and ask him or her to sign onto a Dear Colleague letter in support of free and fair elections in El Salvador. The letter is being circulated by Congressmen Jim McGovern (MA) and Dennis Moore (KS), and the staff contact person is Cindy Buhl in Congressman McGovern’s office.
The letter is currently in circulation in the House of Representatives and signatures will be collected throughout the month of November. Below is a list of talking points to include in your message:
We would like to encourage you to sign on to a Dear Colleague letter, sponsored by Representatives Jim McGovern and Dennis Moore, in support of free and fair elections in El Salvador.
- With the upcoming Municipal, Legislative Assembly, and Presidential elections that will take place in El Salvador on January 18th and March 15th, 2009, I believe the United States can help ensure that the 2009 Salvadoran elections are free, fair, and conducted under the most transparent conditions.
- According to Salvadoran public opinion polls, 54.4% of the population has little or no faith in the 2009 electoral process, and 55% predict fraud in the upcoming elections.
- These will be the most fiercely contested elections in Salvadoran history because the opposition party is leading in public opinion polls, which could lead to changes in long-established patterns of political control.
- I respect the Salvadoran people’s sovereign right to choose their leaders, and I believe the US State Department should encourage the Salvadoran government to:
- Encourage domestic and international observation of the entire electoral process;
- Urge political parties to stop the use of deceptive or misleading advertising that aims to sway voters’ decisions based on fear and misinformation; and
- Carry out a comprehensive investigation of acts of political violence in the period leading up to elections, on Election Day, and during the post-election transition period.
Presenting these points to your representative will express to them the importance of supporting democracy and free and fair elections in El Salvador.
To contact your representative, call the US Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121, or click here to write your representative an email.
For more information, contact Michelle Petrotta at email@example.com.
Sample E-mail to Your Representative:
Dear Representative ______________________:
As a constituent of your district, I am asking you to sign onto Congressmen Jim McGovern’s (MA) and Dennis Moore’s (KS) Dear Colleague letter that you should have received during the last week of October. The letter is addressed to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, asking her to encourage the Salvadoran government to:
Encourage domestic and international observation of the entire Salvadoran electoral process;
Urge political parties to stop the use of deceptive or misleading advertising that aims to sway voters’ decisions based on fear and misinformation; and
Carry out a comprehensive investigation of acts of political violence in the period leading up to elections, on Election Day, and during the post-election transition period.
If you have not yet signed onto the letter or have questions, please contact Cindy Buhl in Representative McGovern’s office. Thank you for your dedication to democracy around the world, and I hope you seriously consider signing onto the letter in support of free and fair elections in El Salvador.
Salvadoran Foreign Minister calls for more U.S. involvement in Latin America
El Salvador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marisol Argueta, has publicly urged the U.S. government to help prevent the leftist FMLN party from winning next year’s presidential election in El Salvador. Act now to ensure that the U.S. does not repeat its electoral intervention of 2004.
Call your Congressional Representatives TODAY to insist they make a commitment to free and fair elections in El Salvador. Congress must refute the ruling ARENA party’s call for intervention by declaring its neutrality and willingness to maintain a positive relationship with any government freely elected by the Salvadoran people.
In a speech on September 18 at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-wing think tank in Washington, D.C., Argueta called on the U.S. government to be more active in Latin America, lest countries such as El Salvador elect “dangerous populists” in upcoming elections. Along with her open-ended exhortation for the U.S. to “do more” to prevent an opposition government from being elected, she specifically lobbied for the U.S. to pass immigration reform legislation and to increase its funding for El Salvador’s police. For a summary of Argueta’s speech, go here: http://www.aei.org/events/filter.,eventID.1794/summary.asp
The panel discussion in which Argueta took part was moderated by Roger Noriega, who himself perpetrated electoral intervention in El Salvador while serving as Assistant Secretary of State in 2004. At the time, Noriega publicly threatened that U.S. relations with El Salvador would be ruptured in the case of an FMLN victory at the polls. Such threats led many Salvadorans to fear that their relatives in the U.S. – whose remittances make up nearly 20% of the Salvadoran economy – would be deported if the FMLN were elected.
1) Call your Congressional Representative using the following number and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office: (202) 224-3121. See below for sample script.
2) Sign the petition calling upon Salvadoran President Saca to ensure that government employees do not use their positions to influence the results of upcoming elections: http://www.share-elsalvador.org/
3) Sign onto CISPES’ “People’s Pledge to Defend Free & Fair Elections in El Salvador” and accompany the Salvadoran people by standing in solidarity with them during their struggle for REAL democracy. Go to www.cispes.org/pledge2009
You can use the following script to talk to your Congressional Representative. Call (202) 224-3121.
1. I am calling to urge Representative ___________ to publicly support democracy in El Salvador by declaring that Congress will not seek to influence the results of the 2009 elections.
2. In speech on September 18, El Salvador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs called upon the U.S. to help ensure that the opposition FMLN party does not win the country’s March 2009 presidential election.
3. In 2004, officials from the Bush Administration and some Members of Congress publicly threatened that the election the FMLN’s presidential candidate would jeopardize the relationship between the U.S. and El Salvador. In one glaring example, Congressman Tom Tancredo threatened that the U.S. would restrict the money that Salvadoran immigrants living in the U.S. send home, but only if the FMLN’s candidate were to be elected.
4. This statement, among others, caused many Salvadorans to vote out of fear of U.S. retaliation, rather than as their own convictions led them. As someone who believes in democracy, I want to make sure the U.S. does not intervene in El Salvador’s elections again in 2009.
5. It is extremely important that Members of Congress stand up for the Salvadoran people’s right to freely elect their government, without foreign manipulation. I am calling on Representative ____________ to declare neutrality toward the 2009 Salvadoran elections, and to assert that Congress is willing to seek a positive relationship with any government freely elected by the Salvadoran people. We are also interested in having your office co-sponsor a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice U.S. calling for neutrality in the Salvadoran elections.
If your representative’s office agrees to make a statement or co-sponsor the letter, ask for the contact information of the person that the letter should be sent to. Then contact Burke Stansbury at firstname.lastname@example.org to pass on the contact information and Representative’s name. We will follow up with that Representative.
More background information about past US intervention can be found here
Say NO to U.S. Intervention in the Salvadoran Elections!
The Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marisol Argueta, is already lobbying the U.S. to intervene in the upcoming Salvadoran elections.
In her speech at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on September 18 in Washington, DC, she stated that “losing El Salvador (if the opposition wins) will be a lose-lose situation for the national security of both El Salvador and the United States.” She exhorted the U.S. to “do more” and to “pay close attention.”
Please sign the petition asking President Saca:
- To ensure that public employees do not use their positions to influence public opinion on who should win the elections;
- To ask the Foreign Affairs Minister to explain her statements;
- To respect the sovereignty of the Salvadoran people to choose their leaders freely.
To watch or listen to Minister Argueta’s speech, click here.
SHARE Foundation is collecting signatures for the petition that we will send to President Saca. If you wish to sign the petition, please contact us and list your name, city, and state at email@example.com by:
Friday, October 10, 2009.
To read the letter in English, click here.
ACTION ALERT UPDATE
400 citizens and organizations signed the petition addressed to President Saca. To read the Press Release about the results of this effort, click here: https://freeandfairelections.wordpress.com/get-involved/