Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched with Millions from Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities

Democracy Now has the August 10 interview Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched with Millions from Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities. Why have you not heard of this 2 week old story?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing new scrutiny over revelations he founded the private equity firm Bain Capital with investments from Central American elites linked to death squads in El Salvador. After initially struggling to find investors, Romney traveled to Miami in 1983 to win pledges of $9 million, 40 percent of Bain’s start-up money. Some investors had extensive ties to the death squads responsible for the vast majority of the tens of thousands of deaths in El Salvador during the 1980s. We’re joined by Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grim, who connects the dots in his latest story, “Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital with Money from Families Tied to Death Squads.” “There’s no possible way that anybody in 1984 could check out these families — which is the term that [Romney’s campaign] use, these families — and come away convinced that this money was clean,” Grim says. [includes rush transcript]

As I watched, in the 1980s, the news of unfolding events in El Salvador, I was struck by the fact that extremely wealthy people in countries around the world seemed to have a certain sympathy for the situations that each such family faced. It is no surprise, therefore, that wealthy families in one country could aid and support and take aid and support for and from similarly positioned families in other countries.

If you watch the video, you may understand why Romney makes such a big deal of Obama going around the world apologizing for some of the atrocities committed by the USA.

As George Bush once advised politicians, “Never apologize.”

At about 24 minutes into the video there is a reading of some quotes from Greg Grandin’s book Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism about the situation in El Salvador:

The problem was that the military groups had very little popular support due in large part to the fact that they were “preternaturally violent.” According to Reagan’s own ambassador, Robert White, their solution to the crisis “was apocalyptic: the country must be ‘destroyed totally, the economy must be wrecked, unemployment must be massive.’ and a ‘cleansing’ of some ‘3 or 4 or 500,000 people’ must be carried out”

Romney said he learned a lot from his Latin American investors. One of the things I have been fearing for a long time is that the quote above is one of the things that Romney (and the Republican Party) has learned about solving our economic problems.

Another piece of information from the video was the one about Romney’s company paying an 88% annual return to its investors over two decades. If you are an experienced investor, you know that such results are impossible to produce legally and honestly.

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