Union leader invited to CISPES National Convention denied visa by U.S. Embassy in San Salvador
Call State Department TODAY and demand that María de los Ángeles Pleitez be allowed to travel to the United States
AND call for President Obama to appoint an Ambassador to El Salvador
Staff at the U.S. Embassy denied a non-immigrant visa application last Thursday for María de los Ángeles Pleitez Carcamo, a director of the SIGEESAL health care workers union who had been invited to participate in CISPES' upcoming National Convention in Seattle.
The Embassy determined that Pleitez Carcamo cannot be trusted to return to El Salvador when her visa expires, despite her family connections and high profile job at home, and despite CISPES' 30-year history of hosting Salvadoran organizers and political leaders without once having a guest overstay a visa. The Embassy refused to fully review Pleitez Carcamo's application, limiting her visa appointment to approximately one minute. Among other factors ignored, Embassy staff did not review several letters of support from prominent figures, including three Members of the U.S. Congress, the Salvadoran Vice-minister of Labor, and the presidents of the international Teamsters and SEIU labor unions.
Last Thursday's visa denial is the latest in a series of attempts over last few years by the Embassy in San Salvador to limit interactions between Salvadoran social movement leaders and the U.S. public by preventing Salvadorans from traveling to the U.S. The Embassy has been without an Ambassador since President Obama was inaugurated in January, leaving Bush-era diplomats in charge of representing the U.S. in El Salvador.TAKE ACTION CALL THE EL SALVADOR DESK AT THE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: (202) 647-41611) Demand that María de los Ángeles Pleitez Carcamo be immediately granted a visa to travel from El Salvador to the United States in early August.2) Call for President Obama to nominate a new Ambassador to El Salvador. [CLICK HERE for a list of criteria for the new Ambassador.]