OPINION. Las elecciones presidenciales en EE.UU.

Nunca hemos cuestionado la integridad del sistema electoral en Estados Unidos (EE.UU). De hecho, EE.UU. ha sido por siglos un ejemplo del poder de una democracia y funciona como observador en elecciones gubernamentales alrededor del mundo. Entonces, ¿por que hoy se han levantado tremendas acusaciones de fraude electoral en EE.UU. y que es lo que esto significa?

No es la primera vez en nuestra generación que hay disputas legales después de las elecciones presidenciales. En 2000, Al Gore corrió en contra de George W. Bush. Después de las elecciones no se conoció el ganador hasta diciembre, porque Florida le daba el gane a Bush con solo 537 votos arriba de Al Gore. Según Wikipedia, la ley de Florida dictaba que un margen tan bajo como ese merece un recuento total. Bush, un Republicano, comenzó litigación legal en la Corte Suprema de EE.UU. para impedir el recuento. Al final, según Wikipedia, los jueces conservadores de la Corte Suprema dictaron a favor de Bush y obligaron a Florida a detener el recuento. [por favor busquen mas información independiente]

El punto es que la Constitución de EE.UU. y de cada Estado detallan los procesos electorales y las fechas limites para certificar resultados de elecciones gubernamentales. Este proceso también permite demandas legales sobre disputas del proceso y resultado de votaciones.

Ya con el contexto de Bush v. Gore, quiero detallar (3) cosas sobre las elecciones de Trump v. Biden, 2020.

  1. El argumento que “los medios de comunicación no son los que anuncian quien es el presidente electo.”

Esta claro que los Noticieros en TV no tienen la palabra final en elecciones presidenciales, pero son un centro de información para la sociedad. Siempre se ha sabido que en cada Estado el secretario de estado certifica los resultados de las elecciones y las envía al congreso, adonde se registra el proceso electoral federal. Sin embargo, por muchas décadas las noticias en TV han tenido el papel de informar sobre el proceso electoral durante las elecciones. Y ni hace falta mencionar lo importante que es dar acceso a la prensa a monitorear el proceso electoral… en una democracia.

El antagonismo contra los medios de comunicación en los últimos años es entendible, siempre y cuando no es una afrenta directa a los hechos y la verdad. Lo que es verdad, es que los medios en TV han reportado las victorias de presidentes Republicanos como Demócratas. No se nos olvide que igual que en 2020, en 2008 Obama venció a McCain y en 2012 a Mitt Romney. En ambas elecciones los Republicanos aceptaron la derrota e inmediatamente dieron discursos de consesión, incluso antes de la certificación de votos cuando las tendencias son claras. En 2016, los noticieros proyectaron la victoria de Trump y un día después Hilary Clinton felicito a Donald Trump por la victoria.

Entonces los medios no son el problema. Atacar a los medios es una distracción.

2. Considerar la posibilidad de fraude electoral y explicar sus razones.

Para no alargar el texto voy a resumir lo que pienso, pero si alguien solicita puedo expandir en otra ocasión. Primero, no hay evidencia, por el momento, de que el partido Demócrata haya orquestado fraude electoral. Hay videos en internet que muestran supuestas actividades fraudulentas, pero nada en comparación al escandalo de Watergate, donde se descubrió que el entonces presidente Richard Nixon estaba involucrado en un plot de espionaje del Comité Nacional Demócrata; Nixon trató de influenciar las investigaciones en su contra, pero al final Nixon renunció a la presidencia.

El escandalo de Watergate comenzó con evidencia mas solida de la que Trump acusa a Biden y los Demócratas. Por el momento, no parece que Trump tenga evidencia explosiva de corrupción y no creo que la tenga. En mi opinión, Trump es una persona que no va a aceptar derrota hasta que ya no tenga opción; eso va a ser alrededor de diciembre 20 (el lapso entre la certificación final de votos por Estados y las fechas limites de casos judiciales).

Pero, supongamos que las demandas de Trump tienen merito. Trump aun tiene una gran cuesta arriba para cambiar los resultados de las elecciones. Primero porque los márgenes son grandes, no son cientos de votos sino que miles y decenas de miles de votos de diferencia en diferentes Estados. Lo que unos analistas dicen es que aunque haya recuentos, es improbable que la cuenta resulte drásticamente diferente que la original y que la victoria se le otorgue a Trump.

Además, Trump necesitaría cambiar el resultado de mas de un estado – algo mucho mas difícil que la situación de Al Gore; solo Florida. Finalmente, es importante decir que varios Estados deben por ley hacer un recuento de votos si el margen esta muy cercano. Este es el caso de Georgia, que anunció, a medida que los últimos votos se iban contando, que Georgia va a hacer un recuento obligatorio. Esto quiere decir que hay recuentos que no tienen nada que ver con Trump.

3. Por que perdió Trump?

Finalmente, Trump perdió por su manejo del Covid-19. Principalmente porque los Americanos se dieron cuenta de que Trump no le hace caso a los expertos y decidió liderar con mentiras al esconder la gravedad del virus. Ahora en noviembre podemos ver atras y entender que la actitud y estrategias que Trump utilizó a principios del año no estaban basadas en recomendaciones de científicos y expertos.

Recordemos que EE.UU. siempre ha sido reconocido como un líder en medicina y en innovación. EE.UU. cuenta con el mejor financiamiento publico de las ciencias en el mundo y atrae a las mentes mas brillantes del mundo. Entonces Trump no lidero como un líder en momentos de crisis, sino que lidero con mentiras y sin empatía hacia los cientos de miles de personas que murieron por covid-19.

Casi 5,000,000 de personas mas que los votantes de Trump votaron en contra de él. Una gran diferencia en comparación a Al Gore y Bush (2020) donde Gore tenia 0,5 millones mas.

Trump no tiene la mayoría del voto popular (por bastante), Trump no tiene los votos electorales (por una diferencia significativa) y los recuentos de votos quizá no resulten en grandes cambios a las cuentas originales.

Si considero todo lo que he dicho aquí, puedo decir que Trump es un mal perdedor – digo esto principalmente por la preocupación que ha causado a nivel global sobre la integridad de las elecciones en EE.UU. Si tuviera mas respeto por las instituciones nacionales y el proceso electoral entonces la percepción de Trump fuera diferente.

Sin duda las políticas de Trump fueron muy exitosas con 70 millones de votantes y creo que esos votantes van a seguir buscando que se cumplan; quizás con un líder diferente.

Step 3: Adopting “Local Language”

The Tasajera Summer School project remains in Phase 1 – Community Engagement phase, and will move to Phase 2 – Program Development – on January 14, 2016. In accordance with the project action plan, the selection of “Learning Areas” was carried out by the local Committee of Information and Development. This update is about the challenges faced during Phase 1.

One of the most important principles in community development is also one of the most difficult to implement: “adopting local language”.

I am not talking about learning the language of the community, or adopting local customs for oneself, or agreeing to its religious and daily life practices. Adopting local language is to translate your message into local terminology, and to develop an ear to interpret local needs without biased filters. We can say that adopting “local language” is really the leveling of the communication field between the expert (external) and the community. This is easier said than done.

The first, somewhat obvious, step to adopting the local language is to be willing to listen. We developed a process to interview and survey people from different sectors of Tasajera community (e.g. tourism coop, church leaders, school teachers, youth reps, student parents) to find out what are their educational priorities; in other words, what they want to learn.

Figure 1 displays the Summer School model including 5 priority “learning areas” that were chosen by community representatives, 1 additional local request, and 1 external consideration. The next phase will involve recruiting volunteers who wish to participate or contribute in any of these learning areas.

School model_community

figure 1. Tasajera Summer School model with 7 total learning areas.

Rationale for community selection

The second step of adopting local language is to process the information collected, and interpret the community’s selection. Why do the local community prioritize the need for such knowledge and education?

Computer Skills. Community members in Tasajera are aware of the rise of the internet age and they want to be part of the globalized world. The job market has also put pressure on people to have basic computer skills for jobs that previously didn’t required it. The challenge is that poor people in El Salvador lack even the most basic knowledge of computing and programs like Word processing tools. In addition, the rise of mobile internet users has opened up opportunities for mobile learning.
Language (English). Speaking English has become very desirable in El Salvador as it directly affects income; English-speaking call centers are one of the few growing industries, and are among the highest paid salaries. In addition, it has become government policy to encourage ecotourism development in Tasajera  Island and surrounding ecosystem. Tourism is a promising industry in El Salvador, its Pacific beaches host over 1 mil tourist every year from USA, Europe, and Latin America; most of which are English-speakers. Local community associate speaking English with better employment opportunities as tour guides, hotel managers, or development aid.
Reading and writing. As we have reported before, the local school system has been deficient in teaching kids how to properly read and write. We believe it is essential for a community to have higher levels of literacy as a foundation for educational development, which leads to overall community wellbeing.
Water (sanitation and filtration). Clean drinking water is certainly one of the biggest concerns of Tasajera community. During the course selection period, community representatives actively argued in favor of water education and filtration projects. Over the last 2 years, the tidal phenomenon has intensified in the Pacific coast, resulted in unprecedented salt water intrusion in groundwater wells in the region. More people now have to travel longer distances to collect drinking water for their families. This has cause great concern among the local population about their sustainability and survival.
Ecotourism. It is national policy since 2012 that the Jaltepeque Bay and its surrounding Mangrove forest will be developed as an ecotourism destination. The government seeks to harmonize the economic needs of the communities, including Tasajera, with the protection of the natural environment and the services it provides. Ecotourism can become a profitable industry for local communities. Therefore, the community wants to be more educated on the challenges and opportunities of ecotourism. This includes an entrepreneurial perspective.
Mechanics (engine repair) – ADDITIONAL. The community is very interested in learning mechanical skills related to engine repair. Being a fishing community, people in Tasajera mainly do business by boat (boats with a wide range of engine types). According to community members, there is only one person in the community who can repair engines. People are eager to learn this skill. This learning area, however, is considered an “additional” option by EMANA, because of the potential logistical challenges developing this course would bring. (open for discussion)

Analyzing the local development context

There is a clear relation between the development goals of Tasajera community and the protection of the natural resources. In fact, the safe and sustainable exploitation of the natural resources is assumed to be the only way local communities may achieve economic development and therefore improve their wellbeing.

Perhaps the most important example of this in Tasajera is the Turtle Conservation hatchery. Started in 2006 with the help of USAID and conservation NGOs the local community started buying sea turtle eggs from “egg collectors” to stop the illegal market of turtle eggs for consumption. Today, the Turtle Hatchery is seen as one of the most important income sources in Tasajera. More than 200 families get benefited from it every season. It is common  to see dozens of people walking at night on the beach searching for turtles laying their eggs.

Local leaders and NGOs are developing strategies to market the conservation and liberation of turtles as a tourism activity that builds awareness and facilitates capital into the community.

CCC donations arrive to Tasajera

Progress notice:

On Tuesday September  29, after many months of shipping logistics, coordination with our partners “HisChildren foundation”, and government paperwork (which required working lawyers to get the shipment approved with the President of El Salvador’s Office, the donations from Mansfield University have arrived to the island of Tasajera. We are awaiting further details and pictures of the final delivery. We will soon be ready to distribute the donations to people in need on the island.


Here is a message by Senior EMANA Director, Daniel Teodoro, thanking the volunteers for their hard work.

Dear friends,
Today we are close to see the fruit of a diligent, patient, and collaborative work. I received confirmation that the donations from “Collection Collaboration Campaign,” from Mansfield University, PA arrived to Tasajera Island. This is something that deserves attention.
Without knowing each other, we were all willing to “chip in” and to act in faith for a reason. There are many things I have seen throughout this process, and they deserve our attention, and for those of us who dream to make a difference in the world, there are many things to reflect upon:

for project details – READ MORE

Jason White, from Mansfield University, for being brave enough to “test the waters” of international aid with this idea. May this international effort encourage you and make you more determined to overcome the processes of helping those who need it the most, overcoming communication, language, and bureaucratic challenges. I know we can entrust you with this victory, to do the right thing and emanate your own light to those in PA to forge lasting connections and build peace and prosperity one community at a time.

Kurt, founder of HisChildren Foundation, and the entire foundation deserves full recognition for their willingness, their almost blind support, and for their true missionary heart even without being completely aware of what Tasajera community means to some of us, and what exactly CCC stands for. Your heart and your staff will never be forgotten, and you will receive your reward for being a role model for us and the country when it comes to serving the poor.

Roger, CEO of Sistemas Aereos, a God given friend. Only someone who knows the value of helping and the need there is in El Salvador, would do something like you did. God has put you in that position to be a blessing to others and is exactly what you are to the people of Tasajera and to us. May God repay what I will never be able to, donating the transportation from Miami, FL to El Salvador for FREE, with abundant blessings for your family and business.

EMANA stands only as the collective name for a network of young “dreamers” who believe help has no borders, and that desire and will is the only requirement for helping communities. We believe that by doing so, we “emanate” the light of God to others – there is a lot to learn and grow before we can reach the impact we want to have in El Salvador and the world. Good start.
Whether you know it or not, this is a very significant achievement.

The fruit of this project is yet to be fully seen, as we learn more about how to help others, I dare to say we may have gained an significant ally in the coalition against poverty in El Salvador: Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. Let’s not underestimate the significance of this project, as it serves as a trial or test for what is yet to come.
Special thanks to Kurt, Steve, Carlos, Roger, Jason, and Mary for everything.

Check out Project Page

Blessings,
Daniel Teodoro