On Monday, February 3, the US Embassy in El Salvador released a press statement (original Spanish here) congratulating the people of El Salvador for an “orderly and transparent” Election Day. The Embassy also congratulated the two candidates who will move on to a runoff election on March 9th, Salvador Sánchez Cerén and Norman Quijano, and ensured that the US government would continue its close relationship “with the government that is elected by the Salvadoran people.”
The international solidarity community welcomed this statement, which comes on the heels of a vast grassroots effort to ensure US neutrality in the face of these historic elections. As a result of these mobilizations, 51 members of Congress signed a letter to the US State Department in December urging for an official declaration of neutrality, recognizing the historic precedent of US intervention in the sovereign Salvadoran democratic process. With El Salvador now preparing to return to the ballot box for a final vote, this affirmation of US neutrality is a crucial element in guaranteeing that the country’s nascent democracy continues to advance in the interests of the Salvadoran people.