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Obama meets with El Salvador's president

By Scott Wilson
President Obama and President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador met in the Oval Office Monday to discuss the central elements of the administration's agenda for Latin America -- trade, security, and the environment.

Funes, a former television journalist, was elected president last year from the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. The group led the Marxist insurgency against the U.S-supported government during the country's long civil war, which ended in 1992. The leftist coalition now identifies itself as socialist, and Funes himself did not fight in the conflict.

After their meeting, Obama applauded "the steps he's taking to try to break down political divisions within the country and move it forward with a spirit of progress and focusing on prosperity at every level of Salvadorian society."

Obama noted that 2 million Salvadorans live in the United States, sending home money that is the lifeblood of El Salvador's economy. Funes acknowledged that "traditionally, Central America has been seen as a migratory problem for the United States."

"But Central America, and in particular El Salvador, needs to generate the opportunities of work in order to be able to keep people back in El Salvador," Funes said, adding that he is seeking a "strategic alliance" with Obama "to combat poverty."

Regarding the shared threat that international gangs pose to El Salvador and the United States, Obama said there has been "progress within Central America, but we still have concerns, obviously, about drug trafficking, about gangs."

"The security challenges obviously are connected to the economic challenges within the region," he said.

Obama called for expanded trade between the countries, and said the United States, Brazil, and El Salvador are interested in pursuing biofuel projects that could benefit each of them.

Funes noted that many of El Salvador's problems cannot be solved from the outside, saying "I'm not here to ask President Obama to do for us what we haven't been able to do for such a long time."

Among the "big challenges" he listed was improving the national tax collection system, which would bring the treasury more money to promote bottom-up economic development.

"We definitely cannot blame the United States for the situation that we are in," Funes said. "Instead, we are looking for the United States to become a strategic partner, as President Obama so well said. Not a bigger partner or a lesser partner, but an equal partner and an efficient partner."

By Scott Wilson  |  March 8, 2010; 6:15 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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This article is about El Salvador and Salvadorans, not all Spanish speakers from many, many, other Spanish speaking countries.

I don't think there are any Salvadorans left in El Salvador, because the majority of El Salvador's citizens seem to be in the United States, particularly the D.C. area. El Salvador had rid itself of it's poor uneducated citizens and pushed them off on the United States. Most Salvadorans live like animals in El Salvador and they are illiterate in their native Spanish.

Posted by: Ward4DC | March 9, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Wrong, miguel5! Informed and pro-U.S. Latin Americans are horrified with Obama, who supports and acts as the Marxist thugs who are destroying Latin America.

The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front is a terrorist, anti-U.S., anti-democracy, Marxist group. The fact that Mauricio Funes comes from such group demostrates that he is a U.S. hating Marxist... like Castro, Chavez, Morales, Correa and Obama.

It turns out that North Americans were FOOLED as the most ignorant Latin Americans were fooled by CHANGE, YES WE CAN; Marxists like Castro, Chavez, Morales, Correa, Funes and Obama, and "help-the-poor" SCAMS like Obamacare and cap and trade.

North Americans should have seen how the Obama-like Castro brothers transformed an imperfect but happy and prosperous island into a GULAG of abject misery, where the only hope for most is being able to escape.

Unfortunately, it seems many North Americans had been brainwashed and dumb down through a substandard and politicized education as per the warnings of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov:

Fortunately, most North Americans have waken up and wised up. Most Americans are NOT sheeple! Most Americans are ready to defend their FREEDOM and the freedom of their children and grandchildren from the abomination of Obama's criminal scams and socialism/Marxism.

Posted by: AntonioSosa | March 9, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama has deserted the Hispanics completely.
Scalded as he is by the health reform issue, he will even less have the guts, let alone whether he is interested in Hispanics at all or just used them for the vote, to face a reasonable solution for the undocumented. Ain't the history of the US underclasses? Humped and spitted.
Ain't Obama the history of the US underclasses? Climb up and forget about your own.

Posted by: SouthStar | March 9, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

They should of had a talk about the social consequences of 20 Salvadorans living in a 3 bedroom house in the U.S.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | March 9, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Some people still have the cold war in their minds.

The anti communism obsession of americans goverments was one of the worst things we ever have seen in the world.

Supported every kind of dictatorship in Latinamerica, because of fear of the communism, spent thousands of millons of dollars in weapons and millitary support to an Army who killed priests, americans nuns and childrens.

After all the effort and fight to stop something you were afraid, see what's happenning now in the entire continent and learn about it!

Your mistake is to see the entire world as a big corporation that belong to you.

Let Obama to show us the friendly card of the americans.

Posted by: miguel5 | March 9, 2010 4:47 AM | Report abuse

Biofuel is a dead end. It costs more energy to produce than we get out of it. How did the "professor" miss this truth? Sugar or corn its a miss miss.

Posted by: Homunculus | March 9, 2010 4:13 AM | Report abuse

The 2 Marxist meet.
Good Grief.

It is the first honset move Obama has made.

He assigned the entire Middle East to Biden , to meet his own kind.

Posted by: dottydo | March 8, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

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