US President Barack Obama is going to with his counterpart President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador and representative of the governing FMLN party. After a decade of working to prevent the FMLN from coming to power via revolution and another seventeen years of trying to prevent it from coming to power through elections, Obama is now going to El Salvador to meet with Funes and other FMLN leaders in El Salvador(how can he not?).
This is a momentous occasion in post-Cold War US-LA and US-ES relations. Some observers have been disappointment with the Obama administration's stance towards Latin America during the first two years of his administration and have found little differences between his and his predecessor's approach. But does anyone think that this would have happened with a Republican or most other Democrats in the presidency?
It's such an important moment that I really hope that other Central American leaders are not invited. Who wants to hear whether Ortega gets a cold and cancels at the last minute or whether the Guatemalan First Lady is told to stay home so that her appearance is not used in a campaign photo. Let the US and El Salvador, a country that has come to be one of our most important allies in Central America, share the spotlight.
The US and ARENA had a good working relationship and I hope that the US and the FMLN can continue that relationship (Our Enduring Relationship). Even if Obama and Funes do talk immigration, crime, and drug trafficking, I don't think that they'll able to announce anything significant. That's why I'd love to hear some announcement about an agreement on health care (near and dear to both our hearts), education (probably not as he obviously have to meet with Sanchez Ceren), or maybe the environment (renewable energy related perhaps? can't seem him meeting with anyone about gold mining as we wouldn't want to upset our northern neighbors).
Now we need to give him some advice about where to go. While I'd love to have him go here (I am a bit partial), here are the three stops he should make.
|Credit: Rick Steves|