On Tuesday July 17, Senators Robert Menéndez (D-NJ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a press statement calling for the Obama administration to threaten the Salvadoran government with the suspension of aid money and advisers if they do not resolve the “constitutional crisis.” The so-called constitutional crisis stems from a decision by the Constitutional Court of El Salvador to invalidate the 2006 and 2012 election of magistrates to the Supreme Court. In an unusual show of unity, parties from both the left and the right have rejected the ruling of the Constitutional Court in the Legislative Assembly. Notably absent from this group is the right-wing ARENA party, which stands to benefit from the ruling because they would have significant influence over the election of two-thirds of the court. Read more background on the dispute here.
In addition to encouraging the Obama administration to threaten the withdrawal of aid to El Salvador, the Senators also demand that Obama deny visas for anyone “participating in the existing unconstitutional order.” These demands are putting even more pressure on what is already a very tense situation – one which many have described as a right-wing attempt to destabilize the government. The Salvadoran people and government should be allowed to resolve this dispute without interference by the United States.
The Senators actions may forecast the types of threats that will be made in the lead-up to the presidential elections of 2014. Therefore it is urgent that we call on the State Dept commit to neutrality now and throughout the upcoming electoral period.
Contact the State Department TODAY! Ask them not to interfere in the sovereign affairs of El Salvador.
1. Call Melanie Bonner at the El Salvador Desk at the US State Department at (202) 647-4161
Sample phone script: I am calling because I am deeply concerned that members of the Senate have called on the State Department to threaten to cut aid to El Salvador because of the current conflict between the Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Court. Not only did these Senators misrepresent the facts of the situation, it is highly unacceptable for the United State government to use international aid as a threat to interfere in El Salvador’s internal and sovereign affairs. Will Secretary Jacobson commit to a position of US neutrality and noninterference?
2. Email Roberta Jacobson Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs.
¡Que viva la soberanía latinoamericana!