Back in the 80’s and the Reagan admin there was much delight over El Salvador…….it was a proxy war for the US in their attempt to block the influence of Nicaragua, with its Marxist leader, from extending the “revolution” beyond its borders……I know I am old but I recall this situation vividly…….these were the CONTRAS….remember now?
But all the drama that went with our support and it played out….it played out in reality and in the media…..we had a couple of hearings that were just as humorous as they are today…..and then the 90’s appeared and a new direction……GLOBALIZATION……..the Clinton admin went into a frenzy to get all those free trade agreements passed…..for the jobs and the wealth and the (insert whatever you choose here)……..we can talk about that disaster at a later date…….
But in the 21st century the US is still interfering in the doings in El Salvador……….some things seldom change………
It seems the the US government is doing all they can to promote the privatization of industries in El Salvador…….
Unions in El Salvador are fighting a bill that would auction off everything from highways, ports, and airports to municipal services and higher education to private companies—mainly foreign multinationals.
The United States government, which helped draft the bill, is pushing hard for its passage. If the Public-Private Partnership, or P3, law is approved, workers in those areas will be vulnerable to the massive layoffs, wage cuts, and anti-union persecution that already.
According to economist and National University professor Raul Moreno, the increased foreign investment and privatization promoted under earlier U.S.-backed administrations have only worsened labor conditions and sent profits overseas. P3s, says Moreno, are part of a model that has already “demonstrated its failure in El Salvador and throughout the world.”
At the heart of opposition to the proposed P3 law are El Salvador’s public sector unions, who have been on the frontlines of the country’s labor movement for decades. In the face of a 2003 attempt to privatize health care, for example, 200,000 public health care workers and supporters poured into the streets and forced the government to abandon the effort.
Privatizations at the ports and airports in 2001 had similar results. Security, cargo, and cleaning services at the airport were all privatized. Today, those workers earn about $240 a month, while the unionized airport workers, a principal target of the proposed P3 law, have a minimum salary of $552 a month. At the Acajutla port, nearly 1,000 workers were laid off. Longshoremen’s daily wages dropped 90 percent, and their union was dismantled too.
The U.S. government is exerting ferocious pressure on the Salvadoran legislature to approve the law. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte has even publicly threatened to withhold a multimillion-dollar development aid project if P3 is not passed. (So much for the Obama Admin hates corporations)……….
This massive attack on infrastructure will do little to help El Salvador…..it will make some wealthy people more wealthy….and could lead to a massive upheaval like Chile in the 70’s……….or maybe that is the idea the whole time………after all we will have lots of military hardware laying around once we leave Afghanistan…….I know a stretch…..but ……….