The “Tom Thumb of America” Awakes!
The “Tom Thumb of America” is the nickname people use to refer with affection to the Republic of El Salvador. An extension of 20,742 km² is certainly the smallest and most densely populated nation in Central America. Since its colonization by Spain in 1522, when Admiral Andrés Niño landed at the Golfo de Fonseca, El Salvador shares a common history with the rest of Latin America; not only for the hardships of the long colonial period and its independence (won in 1821) but for its destiny as a sovereign nation. A resilient nation with a new light of hope today in the wake of its recent elections.
El Salvador is the Spanish word for “The Savior”, in honor of Jesus Christ. Blessed as a nation for its great climate, fertile lands, beaches, and its beautiful people, the country has also faced recent natural disasters, such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and two devastating earthquakes. However, the real danger that grips the nation today is not the indomitable nature, but the corruption and violence unleashed by a pernicious leftist-communist ideology that seeks to divide and dominate the country at any cost. Let’s start from the beginning.
At the end of World War II in 1945, El Salvador experienced significant economic growth, not only in agriculture but in its fledgling manufacturing, energy, and communications industry. This growth was reinforced in the 1960s with the formation of the Central American Common Market (MCCA), signed by the countries in the region. However, the 1970s opened with a global recession that led to falling commodity prices and unfavorable weather conditions. In those years the government also suffered political crises and military revolts that culminated in the overthrow of General Carlos Humberto Romero in 1979 and the installation of military board.
In the 1970s, left-wing communist organizations grew and strengthened in the country, not only because of the impact of the economic recession but also because of the strong influence and interference of Fidel Castro’s Cuban regime and the Sandinista armed insurgency in Nicaragua. The figure of the “Ché” Guevara became iconic among students, who were recruited in schools to the emerging guerrillas. Finally, the civil war broke out in 1981 with the formation of the Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN), named after the communist guerrilla leader Farabundo Martí, killed in 1932. El Salvador thus entered the darkest, most tragic and bloody decade in its history.
When the conflict ended in 1992, with the Chapultepec Agreements in Mexico City, the country had been devastated. The reason was plain to see; the guerrilla strategy to overthrow the government was to provoke massive social chaos: dynamiting electric towers, leave neighborhoods to dark and factories unproductive, dynamiting bridges and roads to collapse public and commercial transportation and burn down coffee farms. The reaction of the government and the army was also blunt. A whole generation of children and young people lived the terrifying and sociological effects of war. The night was not meant to sleep but to be alert and dodge bullets of guerrilla or military raids. Corpses appeared in the streets, squares, and the rivers were literally tinged with blood.
Suffering the terror of the war declared by the FMLN guerrilla and the counteroffensive of the army, the Salvadoran people had to embark on one of the largest mass exiles in history, seeking refuge and better living conditions in other countries. It is estimated that more than two and a half million Salvadorans currently live in the United States alone. There are large Salvadoran communities in Canada or European countries such as England, Germany, Italy and as far away as Australia and Japan. It is estimated that one in four Salvadorans currently lives today outside the country.
After the peace agreement in 1992, the rightist Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA) took power but the country was still in political turmoil and the economy was in stagnation for many years. Nothing changed for good when the FMLN won the elections with Mauricio Funes in 2009. Instead of boosting the economy the country was plunged into a debacle of corruption and violence, now with the resurgence of dangerous gangs, like the MS-13. Businesses were unable to thrive due to the extortion and violence of the gangs. Barack Obama’s bombastic visit in 2011, supporting the FMLN, did not help much to the economy. The starkest expression of the incapacity and moral bankruptcy of the FMLN government took place at the beginning of this year with the caravans of people and unaccompanied children who traveled alone in a dangerous journey to reach the United States.
Leftists and communists have always justified their violence, such as dynamizing electric towers or burning farms and bridges, saying that they fight poverty and inequality. Many of us remember that during the civil war in El Salvador the left used as propaganda a song called “Slum Houses”, that describes the poverty of a worker who lives in a slum house made of cardboard while the rich have so much money that they can send their dogs to a training school. But is it true that working people can live better under socialism or communism? No. The truth is quite the opposite and history proves it.
Leftists and communists are notorious destroyers of economies, and they only bring misfortune and oppression to peoples. Just see the poverty levels in Cuba, where after communists took power in 1959, hundreds of thousands of people fled the island to reach the United States. Many people must survive in Cuba today through the black market and prostitution. In Nicaragua, Sandinistas came to power just to bring the country to the bottom of statistics among the world’s poorest nations. In Venezuela, there is no food in supermarkets and people had to dig into the trash cans to bring food to their children. Things are even worse in countries with older communist dictatorships like North Korea, where people suffer starvations while their brutal rulers live like emperors. That is why nobody organizes caravans to seek asylum in those countries!
Tired of the corruption in the government and the violence of the criminal gangs, the Salvadoran people voted in February to bring young businessman Nayib Bukele as their 46th president. He took office in June. President Bukele raises a program to bust the economy and tourism, to create new jobs to stop the mass migration, to end the corruption in the government and to fight the criminality of the gangs. The president has gained tremendous popular support in the country and abroad with the millions of Salvadorians in the exile. He is also hated by the ruling class who has control of parliament.
President Bukele has sought to work closely with President Donald Trump’s administration to achieve good trade and national security deals between the two nations. The ties of cooperation and friendship between El Salvador and the United States have always been strong. The threat of communism is still very present and Salvadorian people must be alert. President Bukele, as well as President Trump, are fighting against very powerful enemies, who also have control over the mass media. Nevertheless, people across the world are fighting back against the lies of the left and its mirage of a “socialist paradise”. Let us support the courageous YouTubers who are spreading on the Internet true information about what is happening in our countries. Let’s not leave our “Tom Thumb of America” alone!