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Diario Co Latino , El Salvador

ARENA Loses in the US


Translated By Robert Sullivan

8 November 2012

Edited by Vic­to­ria Denholm

El Salvador - Diario Co Latino - Original Article (Spanish)

The presidential election result last Tuesday in the U.S. left the Salvadoran opposition party ARENA [National Republican Alliance] as the clear losers since its leaders had bet on a victory by the Republican Mitt Romney. Even when the voting was over and the count was indicating a Barack Obama victory, the former vice president and current ARENA deputy Ana Vilma de Escobar said in a television program that she was betting on "change," i.e. the triumph of multimillionaire candidate Romney.

This affinity between the Republicans and ARENA is no accident. Romney represents the rich minority (1 percent of the population) and more recalcitrant faction of the American right, and ARENA defends the interests of the most obstructionist oligarchy in the country. Romney even did business with the businessmen who financed the Salvadoran death squads that horrified the country before and during the civil war.

Additionally, former candidate Romney had similarities with the ARENA presidential candidate Norman Quijano. For example, Romney said without hesitation that he was not interested in helping the poor and the middle class, and Quijano threatens to eliminate subsidies and social protection programs that benefit the vulnerable because they seem to him to be a waste of resources.

Statements like those Norman Quijano gave in Spain, where he said that the Salvadoran government is Marxist-revolutionary, are not unlike Romney's remarks that linked Obama with Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Romney’s cave-dwelling fundamentalist perspective is similar to Quijano’s slanted and idealized vision of reality.

That’s how ARENA lost the election in the United States, as they did in Nicaragua, Chile and Venezuela, where their right-wing counterparts succumbed to progressive forces.

Last weekend in Nicaragua, the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) crushed the right-wing opposition in local elections, winning 134 of the 153 municipalities and getting 75 percent of the total vote. In Chile, a week earlier, the center-left opposition recovered and defeated the ruling coalition of conservative business mogul Sebastian Pinera with 43 percent to 28 percent of the vote. And in Venezuela, on Oct. 7, President Hugo Chavez won with a difference of 10 percent of the vote over opponent Henrique Capriles, the favorite candidate of ARENA and the continent's other rightists.



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