El Salvador: Political, Economic, and Social Conditions and U.S. Relations [March 18, 2009] [open pdf - 156KB]
"Throughout the last few decades, the United States has had a strong interest in El Salvador. During the 1980s, El Salvador was the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Latin America as its government struggled against the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) insurgency during a 12-year civil war. A 1992 negotiated peace accord brought the war to an end and formally assimilated the FMLN into the political process as a political party. After the peace accords were signed, U.S. involvement shifted towards helping the government rebuild democracy and implement market-friendly economic reforms. Successive National Republican Alliance (ARENA) governments, including that of the current president, Tony Saca, have maintained close ties with the United States. The Saca Administration has cooperated in counter-narcotics operations, supported the U.S. coalition forces in Iraq, and implemented the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). However, ARENA governments--including the Saca Administration--have struggled to reduce violence and poverty in El Salvador. […] Although some Members of Congress have expressed reservations about working with an FMLN administration, relations between El Salvador and the United States will likely remain friendly during the Obama Administration. President-elect Funes has pledged to remain in CAFTA-DR and expressed his willingness to work with the United States on immigration and counternarcotics issues. Following his election, the Obama Administration congratulated President-elect Funes for his victory and pledged to work with him to build on the already strong ties between the United States and El Salvador."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21655
U.S. Department of State, Foreign Press Centers: http://fpc.state.gov/