>– Predictions in 1989 Heritage Foundation Report Outlining Dangers of FMLN Victory in Salvadoran Civil War Confirmed (in Spades)
– Chavez Hosts, Sanchez Attends Communist International Encounter of Left Parties in Caracas; Venezuelan Dictator Calls for “Fifth International”
Salvadorans joke that Sanchez Ceren is only nine millimeters away from the presidency [with reference to 9-mm bullet].
— US academic J. Michael Waller, March 23, 2009
At the request of Cuba’s communist dictatorship, Salvador Sanchez Ceren arrived in Havana today. Sanchez is El Salvador’s vice president and former commander of the Soviet/Cuban/Nicaraguan-backed guerrilla army-turned-political party Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). In what was the first high-level Salvadoran delegation to visit Cuba in 48 years, Vice President Sanchez met with his Cuban counterpart, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura (pictured above, seated right). No doubt Sanchez and his Cold War-era backers in the Communist Party of Cuba will discuss El Salvador’s integration into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). A similar arrangement, of course, provoked the current turmoil in neighboring Honduras.
Cuba and El Salvador reestablished relations on June 1 when the FMLN’s “moderate-left” frontman Mauricio Funes was inaugurated as president. In October the two countries exchanged ambassadors. So, although the Cold War supposedly ended 18 years ago, the communists finally conquered El Salvador earlier this year. Instead of using guns, like it did during the 1980s, the FMLN patiently waited for the country’s electorate to grow weary of the ruling Nationalist Republican Alliance’s (ARENA) headlock on the presidency.
During a recent visit to Venezuela, where he attended the International Encounter of Left Parties between November 19 and 21, Sanchez declared: “It is necessary to support the socialism of the 21st century in the face of the U.S. threat.” The International Journal of Socialist Renewal also reported El Salvador’s VP as saying: “We cannot continue simply debating … we need to clearly define what it is that we want, and the alternative project for Latin America is socialism.”
Venezuela’s communist dictator Hugo Chavez hosted the meeting, which brought together delegates from 55 leftist parties in 33 countries. Latin American delegates came from Cuba, the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front, Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party, Bolivia’s ruling Movement Toward Socialism, and Ecuador’s ruling Proud and Sovereign Fatherland Alliance. European delegates came from Germany’s Left Party (which descends from East German’s ruling Socialist Unity Party), Portugal’s Left Bloc, and France’s Left Party.
During this communist conclave, Chavez demanded: “The time has come for us to organise the Fifth International.” Afterwards, Chavez repeated his call in a speech to the congress of the PSUV: “I am asking you to include in its agenda for debate, the proposal to convene political parties and currents to create the Fifth Socialist International as a new organisation that fits the time and the challenge in which we live, and that can become an instrument of unification and coordination of the struggle of peoples to save this planet.” A majority of the delegates resolved to found the “Fifth Socialist International as a space for socialist-oriented parties, movements and currents in which we can harmonise a common strategy for the struggle against imperialism, the overthrow of capitalism by socialism.” They also determined that the new “Fifth International” would be launched in April 2010.
Sanchez and Chavez will no doubt make sure that El Salvador is subservient to the plans of this new Fifth International of communists. After the FMLN clinched last March’s election, Venezuela’s red tyrant Hugo Chavez sent his comradely greetings to Funes, taking a stab too at ARENA’s (justifiable) attempt to portray Funes as a Chavez puppet:
This victory strengthens the historic wave [of leftist regimes] that, in this first decade of the 21st century, has arisen in all of Latin America and the Caribbean, and opens its doors to other sibling peoples in the challenges they will face.
Today the Salvadoran people did not waver; they stepped forward and displayed their clarity and courage, defeating a campaign of lies, trash and manipulations unleashed against the Bolivarian Republic and against progressive [leftist] and dignified leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean. These disgraceful campaigns fomented by the international right wing in our continent were destroyed today by the consciousness of the majority of the Salvadoran people.
President Hugo Chavez congratulates President-elect Mauricio Funes, reminding him that the unity of our peoples is the only path to overcome the crisis unleashed from the heart of capitalism in the North [USA]. In this crucial moment, the children of Bolivar offer our hands in solidarity to President Mauricio Funes, so that together we may advance in the strengthening of this new era we are living through, together overcoming under-development and poverty.
Today we Venezuelans are happy, and in this hour of happiness we recognize the leader of peace, Shafik Handal [deceased leader of Communist Party of El Salvador], and the many men and women who gave their lives [during the FMLN insurgency] for the rebirth of the Salvadoran people.
Sanchez began his insurgent career in the 1970s, when he joined the Popular Liberation Forces (FPL) “Farabundo Marti,” one of the five guerrilla armies that merged into the FMLN. The other groups were the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FARN) under the leadership of Eduardo Sancho Castaneda; People’s Revolutionary Army (ERP) under Joaquin Villalobos Hueso; Armed Forces of Liberation/Communist Party of El Salvador (FAL/PCES) under Palestinian-Salvadoran Handal (who died in 2006); and Revolutionary Party of Central American Workers (PRTC) under Francisco Jovel.
In May 1980 El Salvador’s insurgent leaders met in Havana where, in exchange for Cuban aid, they organized a central political-military command called the Unified Revolutionary Directorate (DRU). The 15-member DRU included three representatives each from the FPL, FARN, ERP, FAL/PCES, and later that year the PRTC. Even before the FMLN’s formation, relates one history of El Salvador, the PCES had become a tool for Soviet Bloc subversion in Central America: “While serving in the reformist government that came to power in a civil-military coup in October 1979, the PCES continued to prepare for guerrilla activities by sending its recruits to training camps in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Cuba, and Nicaragua.” In 1984 Sanchez became the FMLN’s commanding general, holding that position until the cessation of El Salvador’s civil war in January 1992.
Writing for The Washington Times in November 2008, John R. Thomson, citing a website maintained by two ex-FMLN guerrillas, describes the horrid methods used by the communist insurgents to murder their own if suspected of collaborating with the government. “One of the favorite interrogation techniques was to bludgeon presumed enemy [government] spies with wooden clubs,” relates Geovani Galeas, who fought for the ERP until it merged into the FMLN. Comrade Galeas continues: “They first assaulted their arms and legs, brutally breaking them in futile attempts to get them to talk—futile because they had nothing to confess. Eventually, they realized there was nothing forthcoming and they turned their clubs on the victims’ skulls, beating them until they succumbed.”
Thomson then writes:
These were not ordinary murders; they were committed by guerrillas against other guerrillas on the order of the commanding general in the San Vicente region, known in the FMLN as El Frente Para Central (Auxiliary Central Front). What’s more, virtually all the murders were based on unproven hearsay allegations that the victims were Salvadoran military agents trying to undermine the terrorist cause.
Salvadoran military did in fact infiltrate undercover agents into the FMLN, but Geovani Galeas contends all those murdered were eliminated without benefit of a trial and with virtually no substantial evidence.
The commanding general who approved every assassination, with the alias “Leonel Gonzalez,” was none other than Salvador Sanchez Ceren, vice presidential candidate of the FMLN in the country’s March  presidential elections. Sanchez Ceren has long been a top FMLN leader and is considered one of the most orthodox hard leftists in the organization, together with party secretary-general Melando Gonzalez, whose terrorist moniker was “Milton.”
US academic J. Michael Waller was invited by ARENA to monitor the Salvadoran election campaign earlier this year. In a post-election analysis Waller rightly observes that Funes is a figurehead for the ardent communists who run the FMLN:
The FMLN won by only 60,000 votes, and it pulled fewer votes this month than ARENA did in the last presidential election. Its president-elect, Mauricio Funes, is “moderate” by FMLN standards and is only a figurehead. Real power rests with vice president-elect Salvador Sanchez Ceren, one of the five FMLN commanders during the war who is known as a ruthless murderer and remains a doctrinaire Leninist.”
Sanchez Ceren is unrepentant about those killings and the killings of thousands of his own countryman, including more than a thousand of his own people in the FMLN itself. He cheered the September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on the United States and remains an open supporter of terrorism around the world. El Salvador is a longtime ally but risks becoming a different country under an avowed supporter of terrorism. Salvadorans joke that Sanchez Ceren is only nine millimeters away from the presidency.
During the 1980s the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the first Sandinista regime in Nicaragua propped up the FMLN insurgency. After Chavez took over Venezuela in 1999, the Communist Bloc handed over the task of subverting El Salvador to the new red regime in Caracas. Waller concludes: “Victory for the FMLN is not a victory for democracy. It’s a victory for Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez who invested in the FMLN while Washington neglected the region.”
Indeed, Jorge Castaneda, Mexico’s foreign minister between 2000 and 2003, writes: “As recently as a year ago, anyone who visited FMLN headquarters in San Salvador to interview, for example, Ceren, its secretary general, would be struck by the overwhelming presence of Chavez: red shirts, red berets, pictures of the Venezuelan caudillo, quotations from his teachings and musings.” Chavez, Castenada continues, “helped the FMLN by giving free or cheap oil to its mayors in many parts of the country.” The Mexican politician also notes that “the Cuban presence remains strong” in the Central American country: “Ramiro Abreu, who ‘ran’ El Salvador for Cuba’s Department of the America’s in the 1980s and 1990s, remains active, but now more as a businessman and a senior statesmen that as a Cuban operative. But Cuba’s influence on the old FMLN leadership remains intact.” Formerly a communist, Castaneda’s comments are worth noting.
“Ruthless murderer” and “doctrinaire Leninist” Sanchez Ceren: This is the man who is El Salvador’s vice president and who has just touched down in Communist Cuba to confer with his superiors. What sort of bloodshed awaits the Salvadoran people now that the Red Axis has conquered their country? Exactly 20 years ago, in a report issued on December 5, 1989, the Heritage Foundation warned of the dangers of an FMLN victory as a result of the violent insurgency then taking place.
Kim R. Holmes begins his report by writing: “The victory of the Marxist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in the Salvadoran civil war would endanger the United States and Central American security and set back for years the cause of democracy in the region. Yet some in Congress do not see what is at risk in El Salvador.” In 2009 the Democratic-controlled US government still does not see or care about “what is at risk in El Salvador” or anywhere else in Latin America. Apart from the international drug trade (which is promoted by the Soviet strategists), the Obama White House has yet to acknowledge the geopolitical aspirations of the Western Hemisphere’s Red Axis.
Holmes continues: “Like their patrons in Havana and Managua, the FMLN preaches a ‘revolution without borders,’ promising to spread revolutionary violence to all countries in the region. A victory for the FMLN would produce yet another state in Central America dedicated to exporting terrorism; joining Cuba, Nicaragua, and Panama in that deadly enterprise.” The FMLN, as demonstrated by Sanchez’s recent remarks in Caracas, still holds to the vision of communizing El Salvador, albeit now employing Chavez’s terminology, such as “21st century socialism” and “Bolivarianism.” Incidentally, when this Heritage Foundation report was published, Panama’s narco-dictator Manuel Noriega, who was covertly allied with Cuba via the drug trade, was only several weeks away from being deposed by the US military.
Holmes then relates how in the 1980s the Soviets used Cuba and Nicaragua as middlemen to supply the FMLN insurgency: “But most harmful to US and Central American security would be the expansion of Soviet, Cuban, and Nicaraguan military power to El Salvador. As [Vice President] George [H.W.] Bush told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the FMLN is armed and financed by Cuba and Nicaragua. This became indisputable last month when a Cessna twin-engine aircraft originating from Managua crashed in El Salvador. It was carrying to the rebels a cache of Soviet-made SA-7 surface-to-air missiles.” Nicaragua’s past/present Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega is still in possession of more than 1,000 of these weapons.
Holmes explains: “This arms shipment is part of a larger effort by the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Nicaragua to destabilize Central America.” He adds: “Despite assurances from the Soviet Foreign Ministry on September 25  that Moscow had “since 1988 ceased arms supplies” to Central America, at least three Soviet torpedo boats and four Mi-24 Hind helicopter gunships entered Nicaragua via Cuba in September. The Pentagon reports that East Bloc countries delivered over $400 million worth of arms to Nicaragua during the first nine months of this year .”
Prophetically, he foresees the formation of a “Central American Warsaw Pact”:
Just when the Warsaw Pact seems to be crumbling in Europe, a victory for the FMLN would create a “Warsaw Pact of the West” in Central America, consisting of Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama [under Noriega], and a FMLN-dominated El Salvador. These countries could use the arms supplied by Moscow not only to attack Americans and such US interests in the region as the Panama Canal, but to threaten the democratically elected governments of Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and possibly even Mexico.
This “Warsaw Pact of the West” did not come to pass at the time since the Sandinistas were democratically kicked out of Nicaragua’s executive office in 1990 and the Soviet Union dismantled itself in 1991. However, in light of the joint Nicaragua-Venezuela military exercise scheduled to occur in the former country in the spring of 2010, an incipient military alliance like Holmes’ “Central American Warsaw Pact” is slowly burgeoning before our eyes. ALBA, of course, either unites or aspires to unite the countries listed by Holmes in the previous quote.
Finally, Holmes refers to additional destabilizing influences in Latin America, such as the eruption of a civil war in Mexico, an unchecked northward refugee surge across the US border, and the government-sponsored flow of narcotics through countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. Keeping in mind that high-profile drug busts in these countries are probably designed to divert attention away from the Communist Bloc’s complicity in the “red cocaine” epidemic, Holmes writes:
The further destabilization of Central America could be very expensive for the US. Should El Salvador fall, hundreds of millions of dollars: more in US military aid would be needed to prop up Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. Were a civil war to erupt in Mexico as the result of outside interference, as many as 10 million Mexicans could pour across the US border seeking refuge. Just as bad, an FMLN victory in El Salvador could push more illegal drugs into the US. Havana and Managua provide drug traffickers with weapons and military protection; so would an FMLN regime in El Salvador.
As of 2009, in the fallout from Mexico’s narco-insurgency, all three predictions have come true. Incidentally, unrepentant Marxist terrorist Sanchez is also El Salvador’s education minister, a promotion that must no doubt thrill Salvadoran parents who didn’t vote FMLN.