Date: December 5, 2020
By: Vijay Prashad
On August 20, 2018, El Salvador’s leftist president Salvador Sánchez Cerén announced on national television that El Salvador would break its ties with Taiwan and recognize the People’s Republic of China. This was in accord with international law, said Sánchez Cerén, and it would bring “great benefits for our country.”
Not long after, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio took to Twitter to announce that this move “will cause real harm to relationship with the U.S. including their role in #AllianceforProsperity.”
Earlier, both the Dominican Republic and Panama had made the shift, but Rubio said that El Salvador would be especially punished because it was ruled by the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). It did not seem to matter to Rubio that his own country, the United States, had shifted its ties to China from Taiwan in 1979.
The “Alliance for Prosperity,” which was Rubio’s hashtag, referred to U.S. President Barack Obama’s deal with several Central American countries to provide some modest development aid in exchange for a beefed-up police force and the prevention of transit of migrants toward the United States; this was border enforcement dressed up as development. Rubio’s threats were inconsequential; the money was too little, and the price paid by the populations of Central America was too steep. [FULL STORY]