The Salvadoran fair-trade party FMLN (Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberacion Nacional) - vehement in its opposition to CAFTA - is leading the presidential race, but facing typical last-minute shenanigans from the right wing. And given the recent interventions by Republican congressmen - not unlike Bush administration's meddling in the CAFTA Referendum in Costa Rica - the FMLN is holding its breath.
A recent Washington Post piece reveals that while polls show the fair-trade FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes up by 18 points on the CAFTA-fans and privatizers' candidate Rodrigo Ávila of the ruling ARENA party, there's always a chance that something will give.
That something might just be the not-so-veiled threats made by GOP congressmen yesterday, orchestrated to dominate the Salvadoran headlines the final moments of the campaign. As highlighted by CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (who also urges you to take action to make the clear U.S. neutral position):
This sort of meddling was full anticipated, which is why Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) coauthored a letter signed by 33 members of Congress to the State Department, calling for a preemptive declaration of U.S. neutrality in the Salvadoran elections. Now we clearly see why this was necessary.
You can see Grijalva's press conference here, or below on yesterday's Democracy Now:
Eyes on Trade will be watching and will keep our readers posted.