Another domino has fallen. Mauricio Funes, the FMLN candidate for President of El Salvador, has put an end to twenty years of rule by the ARENA party, founded by the infamous Roberto D'Aubisson, a death squad leader and School of the Americas graduate whose nickname, "Blowtorch Bob," referred to his favourite torture device.
El Salvador bloggers are pleased. So am I, even if he's playing it cool for now. All of the left-of-centre governments in Latin America--even that of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez--have had to trim their sails to a greater or lesser degree, as they find their place within the conjuncture of forces in which their countries are enmeshed--popular support versus well-financed domestic opposition, the global marketplace, and, of course, the brooding presence of the US.
Funes' background is in journalism; he has no guerrilla experience. But his party has a long and distinguished history of struggle and resistance. Let us hope that he can keep its vision alive, as the Axis of Good in Latin America continues to take on new members.