MARCH 19, 2004
4:27 PM
CONTACT:  Kucinich.US
Matt Harris 216.889.2004
Kucinich to Bush Administration: Let Salvadorans Vote

WASHINGTON - March 19 - With El Salvador preparing to vote this Sunday, March 21st, Dennis Kucinich today urged that the Bush Administration not interfere in the elections or attempt to influence the outcome.

Two top officials from the Bush Administration have made strong statements against the country's left-wing FMLN party that, according to Kucinich, "threaten the integrity of Salvadoran elections."

Last Sunday, in a phone-in press conference at right-wing ARENA party headquarters, White House Special Assistant Otto Reich said he was worried about the impact an FMLN win could have on the country's "economic, commercial, and migratory relations with the United States."

In February, Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega told voters to "consider what kind of a relationship they want a new administration to have with us."

In a country where family remittances constitute 16% of the national economy, this message has a powerful influence over voters.

Congressman Kucinich said: "Unfortunately, what is going on in El Salvador is representative of a Latin American policy that is not about promoting healthy democracies, but instead focused on making Latin American nations bend to U.S. commercial interests."

"The people of El Salvador have a right to free and fair elections without interference from the United States. The U.S. cannot claim to be a leader in promoting democracy worldwide and at the same time hinder democracy by attempting to influence the outcome of elections abroad," Kucinich said.