Washington, D.C. – Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the senior Democratic member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement as the people of El Salvador head to the polls to choose a new president this Sunday.

“First, congratulations to the people of El Salvador for their incredible achievements since the monstrous civil war that was still raging barely 20 years ago. They are poised once again to choose a new leader, and for another peaceful transfer of power. This is cause for celebration.”

“Second, as in the past, Salvadoran voters have lately heard of dire consequences for U.S. policy if they cast their votes one way or another. In response I say this: don’t believe it. Your vote is your own, and it falls to you to choose your leaders. The U.S. will work with your choice.”

“Third, months back I stated that the U.S. government’s role in this election was to work hard to persuade, by words and deeds, that the U.S. is neutral in these elections. I believe the administration has done that and I commend them for doing so.”