Guatemalan President Oscar
Berger, left, and Vice President Eduardo Stein, Thursday.
Independent of whether the voting was hard fought, a question that now is without
significance, the United States voted in favor of the Free Trade Agreement [CAFTA]
with the isthmus of Central America, under which commerce, supposedly in both
directions, is strengthened.
According to those favoring the process - the government and a good portion
of the business community - the trade agreement treaty is the only way to extricate
the country from poverty, and, they say, it will bring an influx of foreign
investment, which will reduce unemployment.
Watermelon Sellers in Guatemala City
Those that that were opposed to the signing of the treaty, guarantee that the
only beneficiaries of the treaty will be the large transnational corporations
and some Salvadoran companies that, thanks to their strategic alliances and
economic power, will be able to play by the rules of the game that the treaty
Today, the day on which the treaty has been approved in the United States,
government officials have said that, "El Salvador must be prepared to enter
into serious competition.”
It is our impression that the government ought to have been preparing for the
treaty when it began to promote it, and when it became clear what the treaty
Waiting for the Papaya Boom in Guatemala City
For those of us who could only bear dumb witness to the negotiations and listeners
of the bickering and gossip of those that were for or against the Treaty, all
that is left is to wait and prepare for what will come.
And the fact is that, despite the declaration of the President of the Republic
[Oscar Berger] that “all Salvadorians should celebrate,” this is
quite difficult because the population never knew just what was being negotiated.
On the other hand, the government has never been clear in defining how the
common Salvadoran or small businesses, to mention a few, will be benefited.
That is to say, today, now that everything is completed, all we have left is
to wait and hope - passively or actively.