El Salvador's first leftist president taking power

June 1, 2009 18:47


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A journalist from a party of former Marxist guerrillas is becoming El Salvador's first leftist president Monday, promising to remain friendly with the United States while restoring ties with Cuba. Mauricio Funes' inauguration brings to power the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front that fought for 12 years to overthrow US-backed conservative governments until laying down their arms in 1992. Plucked from outside the party ranks, the bespectacled television journalist helped the movement shed a radical image that alienated many Salvadorans scarred by the devastating civil war. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is attending the inauguration and called it a testament to the strength of democracy in the Americas.

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