Action Alert: Tell Your Rep to Defend El Salvador's Family Farmers!
The U.S. Embassy in El Salvador is using the pending approval of a $277 million compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to seek outrageous economic concessions from the Salvadoran government. The U.S. is demanding that El Salvador repeal the law that enables the government to purchase seeds from small farmers and cooperatives for its highly-successful Family Agriculture Plan. If this law is repealed, only corporations (including Monsanto!) would be able to bid on the seed contracts. Two weeks ago, CISPES delivered a petition (signed by many of you!) telling the U.S. to stop this unfair pressure on the Salvadoran government. We've got some good signs that the Embassy is feeling the heat - now's the time to turn it up! We need Congress to get involved THIS WEEK - and we need YOUR help to do it. Representatives Pocan and Honda are sending a letter to Secretary Kerry this Friday demanding that the U.S. government stop conditioning development aid on changes that would jeopardize family farmers in El Salvador, and they have asked your Congressperson to join them. Your Representative needs to hear from YOU so they know that their constituents care about this issue. CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE TODAY! There are two ways to take action. First: Email your Representative today. The more people they hear from, the more likely they are to pay attention. Second: Call your Rep using the sample call script below - calls can really make the difference. Use this link to find their number in DC. When you call, ask for the person who handles Foreign Affairs. Hi my name is ________, a constituent from [your city]. I am calling because we need Representative ______ to join other Members of Congress to ensure that negotiations for the Millennium Challenge Corporation compact with El Salvador don’t threaten one of the country’s most important food security programs. The Family Agriculture Plan currently helps 400,000 rural families by providing seeds, fertilizer and technical support to ensure that El Salvador has an adequate supply of corn and beans for its domestic consumption. The US Embassy is demanding that the Salvadoran government eliminate a law that allows them to buy seeds for this program from small producers, not just from corporations, even though this provision has been instrumental to reducing poverty in El Salvador. The US Trade Representative claims that they are "concerned" that the new mechanism for purchasing seeds from small-scale producers violates CAFTA, prompting the US Embassy to announce that unless the mechanism is eliminated, the MCC compact won’t be signed. I am very concerned that the State Department would allow development aid to be used as a vehicle to promote the interests of big business over small-scale farmers. Will Representative _______ sign onto a Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Representatives Pocan and Honda about this issue? [If so: Please contact Alicia Molt in Representative Pocan's office by the end of the day on Thursday]