Last chance to get your Representative to stand up for democracy in El Salvador
ACTION ALERT - CALL YOUR REP!
Join CISPES, SHARE, and US-El Salvador Sister Cities in taking action today!
Given the US government's appalling eagerness to rubber stamp the dirty elections in Honduras and recognize the contested right-wing "victor" Juan Hernández, it's critical that we push for truly free and fair elections - WITHOUT US INTERVENTION - in neighboring El Salvador. Call your representative today and ask her to sign onto the letter sponsored by Reps. Vargas (D-CA), Pocan (D-WI), and Honda (D-CA) urging John Kerry to declare US neutrality in El Salvador's February elections. The deadline for signers is December 12 -check here to see if your rep is one of the 30 signers and to read the letter. Why is this letter critical to free & fair elections in El Salvador? We'll give you 3 reasons. -In 2004 and 2009 US officials threatened to deport Salvadoran immigrants if the left-wing candidate was elected, knowing that there are over 2.5 million Salvadorans living here in the US working to support millions of family members back home. In 2009, Congressional letters like this one were instrumental in pressuring the State Department to declare neutrality. We did it before, and we can do it again, but not without you! -Transnational gold mining corporation, Pacific Rim, has hired Reagan and Bush crony Otto Riech to lobby our Members of Congress to get ARENA back in office. We can't let them have the last word! -Salvadorans in the US can vote by absentee ballot for the first time ever; these voters, like all Salvadorans, should be able to vote their conscience at the ballot box - not out of fear for US retaliation.
- Call the Congressional switchboard in DC to be transferred to your Representative's office: (202) 224-3121. Ask to speak to the staff person in charge of foreign policy. If that person is not available, leave a voicemail.
- After you call, let us know how your call went by sending an email to [email protected] or your local CISPES chapter contact.
2) If you are not able to call, you can still take action by emailing your Congressperson. Click here to urge your Rep to support democratic elections in El Salvador. 3) Amplify our pressure on Congress by asking others to call their Reps too! Click here to invite others to take action with you or send your own email and include this link: http://www.cispes.org/?p=7041 SCRIPT You can use the following script to talk with the congressional aid of your representative. If at any point you get cut off, be sure to make the final statement – “I encourage Representative _____ to sign on to the Dear Colleague letter initiated by Rep. Vargas in support of free and fair elections in El Salvador! ” Here's what to say (the first two paragraphs are the most important):
- “My name is ___________ and I am calling as a constituent from [your city or town] to ask that [Representative's name] sign on to a Congressional letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that has been initiated by Representative Juan Vargas. This letter calls for US neutrality with respect to the upcoming presidential election in El Salvador, and pledges that Members of Congress will seek a positive relationship with whichever party is elected.”
- “To sign on to this letter, please contact Aaron Allen in Representative Vargas’ office before the December 12 deadline. His phone number is (202) 225-8045.”
- “This public neutrality statement is urgently needed. During El Salvador's 2009 presidential campaign, various Republicans in Congress threatened to punish the people of El Salvador if they elected the opposition party's candidate. Fortunately, the Obama administration neutralized these threats by making a clear, public commitment to maintaining positive relationship with whomever the Salvadoran people elected. This was a welcome change from past administrations. It’s important that the State Department once again make this position clear well in advance of any attempts to manipulate or intimidate Salvadoran voters.”
- “Salvadorans, including those living here in the US who will be voting for the first time by absentee ballot, also need to hear a clear message from Congress that assures them they can vote according to their own free will, rather than in response to threats and manipulation from anyone in the US government.”
- “Thank you for your time, and again, I encourage [Representative's name] to sign on to this important statement in support of free and fair elections in El Salvador."
BACKGROUND The 2014 elections will be the first presidential contest where the country’s leftist FMLN is the incumbent party. The right-wing is desperate to stop the FMLN’s momentum and is currently laying the groundwork to challenge the electoral results, much like they did with the election of President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Salvadoran voters - including those living here in the US who will be able to vote by absentee ballot for the first time in February - are awaiting assurance that the US will respect their right to elect their own president, free from outside manipulation. Call on your Congressperson to assert that the US must respect the democratic will of the Salvadoran people. Thanks for your ongoing support for the sovereignty and self-determination of the Salvadoran people.