1. Official vote verification in El Salvador confirms FMLN lead

    A winner has still not been declared because the right-wing ARENA party is appealing the results based on unsubstantiated accusations of fraud, but it seems all but certain that when the smoke clears, Salvador Sánchez Céren will be the next president of El Salvador.

     

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  3. El Salvador, Venezuela, and what “dictatorship” means in Latin America

    I want every North American who is posting in the #prayforvenezuela tag to look very carefully at what is happening in El Salvador right now, because it will provide some clues to things you need to know about Venezuela.

    El Salvador had a civil war between the right-wing military government (then and now embodied by the ARENA party) and left-wing guerrillas (under the banner of the FMLN) between 1980-1992, more or less. Up until 2009, the Left had never been vested with governmental power in El Salvador, but in the elections of that year the FMLN’s candidate, Mauricio Funes, managed to come out on top.

    Now, 5 years later, another election takes place in which it appears that the left-wing FMLN’s candidate, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, has a narrow lead over ARENA’s candidate, Norman Quijano, going into a recount. Here’s where it gets interesting: Quijano, in his speech to supporters after preliminary votes are released, denounces the count as fraud and accuses the electoral council of bowing down to the “dictatorship.” You read that correctly. The government of Mauricio Funes, who is exiting office at the end of his scheduled term, and who is the first left-wing president ever in the history of El Salvador, presides over a dictatorship.

    Wait a minute… where have we heard this logic before?

    Oh, that’s right… Venezuela. The same Venezuela that has had 19 elections in 15 years. The same Venezuela with an impeccable electoral system that has been vetted by various international observers. The same Venezuela in which the opposition has had 4 attempts in the last year and a half to defeat the government at the ballot box… that Venezuela is a dictatorship. The same Venezuela with a ministry dedicated to decentralizing political power into neighborhood councils and democratic communes, the same Venezuela that has overseen drastic reductions in poverty and misery, and drastic increases in access to education, health, and employment… that Venezuela is a dictatorship.

    There’s a reason we see this logic crop up again and again in Latin America; these are not the only two examples. The reason is that, for right-wing parties (like the party behind Venezuela’s riots) and the elites they represent, a system is not defined as dictatorial based on whether or not there is popular participation, elections, pluralism, civilian oversight, equality, justice, etc. No.

    For these elites, a system is defined as dictatorial whenever the chief priority of the governing party is not to defend the privileges of the rich. This whole idea of Venezuela being a dictatorship is not new: the Venezuelan elites have been making that argument since the day Chávez was first elected in 1998, and have continued to refer to it as such after each of the electoral processes in which they have chosen to participate.

    But Venezuela has never been a dictatorship due to lack of elections, participation, oversight, equality, or justice; Venezuela is, and has been for 15 years, a dictatorship to the elites because the idea of the poor, humble, usually-darker peoples of Latin America holding political power over their heads doesn’t just scare them: it disgusts them. To those accustomed to centuries of power and prestige, being stripped of these is the worst kind of tyranny imaginable.

     

  4. "My rest is to finish my work,
    my happiness is to fulfill my duty.
    So that the world may be more human,
    we have sworn to fight until victory!”

    Here’s a great song from the Salvadoran Civil War, by one of the most popular revolutionary groups of the era—Los Torogoces de Morazán. The quality is pretty bad because this was recorded in the guerrilla zones with the portable equipment of Radio Venceremos, but still understandable and very historically relevant.

    Soy combatiente del FMLN, guerrillero nacido en El Salvador.

    Me deleitan los colores que tiene mi bandera flameante bajo el sol!

    Por los cerros, vaguadas y volcanes se oye el canto ancestral del torogoz.
    Sus cantares impulsan mis afanes, mi divisa es ver libre a mi nación!
    Mi descanso es cumplir con mi tarea, mi alegría es cumplir con mi deber.
    Para que el mundo mas humano sea, hemos jurado luchar hasta vencer!

    Mis hermanos son los trabajadores que combaten la necia explotación,
    mi familia es todo el pueblo pobre, mi madrecita es la revolución.

    Por los cerros…….

     

  5. "In the name of those who have only hunger, exploitation, sickness, thirst for justice and for water, persecutions, condemnations, loneliness, abandonment, oppression, death: I accuse private property of depriving us of everything."
    — Roque Dalton, Acta
     

  6. "El árbol poderoso comienza en la semilla… En la lucha social también los grandes ríos nacen de los pequeños ojos de agua, caminan mucho más y crecen hasta llegar al mar. En la lucha social también por la semilla se llega al fruto, al árbol, al infinito bosque que el viento hará cantar."
    — 

    Roque Dalton

    "The powerful tree is born from the seed… In social struggle the great rivers are also born from small waterholes, they run very far and grow until reaching the sea. In social struggle, from the seed we also derive fruits, trees, the infinite forest that the wind causes to sing."

     
  7. My new keychain from CISPES Seattle.

     
  8. Song: No a la Intervención  |  Artist: Sabiá  |  Album: Formando un Puente  |  Year: 1984  |  Country of Origin: United States

    Sabiá is an interesting group. It was formed in the U.S. and comprised primarily of white women, yet most of the songs on their two albums—Formando un Puente in 1984 and Portavoz in 1986—were recorded in Spanish, with songs expressing solidarity with revolutionary movements across Latin America. 

    I absolutely recommend checking out more of their songs, which you can do by clicking the links above. They will take you to Canto Nuevo Para Todos, which has their albums available for download. Enjoy!

    Lyrics:

    El mundo debe saber
    que el pueblo salvadoreño
    está enfrentando la guerra
    para construir la paz
    No estamos dispuestos, no
    a seguir soportando
    el régimen oligarca
    y la bota imperialista
    que intenta aplastar
    este triunfo popular

    No, no, no a la intervención
    El pueblo quiere revolución!
    Si no se van, si no se van
    les va a pasar como en Vietnam!

    Con un verso y otro verso
    hacemos una canción
    con un plomo y otro plomo
    defendemos nuestra nación
    Los buitres de Reagan están
    con ganas de intervenir
    El pueblo centroamericano
    no lo va a permitir
    Estamos dispuestos a todo
    Patria libre o morir!

    No, no, no to draft and war
    U.S. out of El Salvador!
    This song’s for you, Uncle Sam
    We don’t want another Vietnam! 

     
     
  9. El tiempo está a favor de los pequeños, de los desnudos, de los olvidados. El tiempo está a favor de buenos sueños, y se pronuncia a golpes apurados.

    Silvio Rodríguez, en homenaje al pueblo de El Salvador. Argentina, 1984

     
     
  10. manincrisis:

    FMLN signatories to the 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords- the document that officially ended the Civil War of El Salvador.

    From left to right Eduardo Sancho (aka Fermán Cienfuegos), Joaquín Villalobos, Francisco Jovel, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, and Schafik Hándal

    (Source: tabacochanel)

     
  11. El grupo venezolano Los Guaraguao, conocido por toda Latinoamerica por sus interpretaciones de las ‘canciones necesarias’ de lucha popular, cantan el tema de Ali Primera, Las Casas de Carton en San Francisco, California. El nombrado Concierto por la Paz, que coincide con el 20 aniversario del fin de la Guerra Civil en El Salvador, tomo lugar en el Roccapulco nightclub en marzo del 2012.

    Detras de ellos se ve la bandera del Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional (FMLN).

     
     

  12. "Ay es que soy funcionario del Partido Comunista mas chiquito del mundo, uno que tratará de hacer su revolución sin miles de muertitos porque se arruinarían las posibilidades de la agricultura nacional con las tumbas."
    — 

    Roque DaltonEl ser social determina la conciencia social
    Taberna y otros lugares (Premio Casa de las Américas, 1969)

    "The thing is that I am a functionary of the smallest Communist Party in the world, one that will try to have its revolution without thousands of dead bodies because they would ruin the chances for our national agriculture with all of their graves."

     
  13. Lloviznando Cantos - Mariposa de El Salvador

    A cool song by the Venezuelan duo about Mariposa, one of the voices of El Salvador’s Radio Venceremos—voz oficial del Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional.

     
     
  14. "María te quiero cantar una canción de amor. Pues te nació del corazón una rosa y un clavel, un fusil y una bandera."

    This is a song dedicated to Maria Elena Salinas, a young woman rebel killed by the Salvadoran army. Yolocamba i Ta was one of the most important music groups in El Salvador during the Civil War, recording many songs in support of the FMLN guerrillas and social transformation in the country.

     
     
  15. Last one for the night, this is La Compa Roxana by Cutumay Camones from El Salvador. I embedded a scrolling lyrical translation in this video for you guys, so definitely check it out! This is a really special song written by a young poet named Yasser, and one of the most emblematic songs of the Salvadoran Civil War.