Roger Noriega was Asst Sec of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs until he was replaced by Thomas Shannon. There is a reason U.S.-Latin American relations improved after he left, as evidenced by the Op-Ed on El Salvador he published yesterday. It has two main arguments. First, the FMLN might govern normally, but more likely will destroy everything we hold dear. Second, the Salvadoran governments of the 1980s were "patriots" and ARENA's current politicians are "creative activists."
The FMLN has accused its critics of preying on the voters' fears by waging a ''negative'' campaign. If telling the truth about the FMLN, its powerless front man Funes or its sponsor Hugo Chávez is ''negative,'' then that says more about them than about those telling the truth.
Particularly sad is the way in which El Salvador's complex internal political dynamics are simply boiled down to Hugo Chávez somehow pulling the strings. The idea that Salvadorans might want change, or might be sick of ARENA for legitimate reasons, or might just like to make their own decisions, is left unexamined.