The State Department spokesman answered a question about yesterday's election in El Salvador. I like the fact that he made a point of ignoring the reporter's insistence that the election be framed entirely in left/right terms. There was a free and fair election, and we're going to work with the new president. Period.
QUESTION: Yeah, there’s the El Salvador joining the ranks of leftist governments in Latin America.
MR. WOOD: Well, first and foremost, I want to congratulate the people of El Salvador for, you know, a very free, fair, and democratic election. I want to specifically congratulate Mauricio Funes as the winner of the presidential election, and also his opponent, Rodrigo Avila, for participating in the election and for respecting the election results. So we look forward to working with the new government of El Salvador, you know, on our bilateral agenda. And you know, and that’s what I have.
QUESTION: Do you expect the history of past ties with El Salvador by U.S. governments and, say, right-wing elements in Latin America to hurt chances for working with this new government?
MR. WOOD: I certainly hope that that isn’t the case. You know, this is a democratically elected government. The people of El Salvador made a decision and that – the will of the people needs to be respected. As I said, it was a very free, fair, and democratic election. This is something we’d like to see throughout the hemisphere. And the people of El Salvador deserve congratulations.