El Salvador: US announces “a pause” in relations with the Government of Nayib Bukele | International

The Charge d'Affaires of the United States Embassy in San Salvador, Jean Manes, this Monday during a press conference.
The Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in San Salvador, Jean Manes, this Monday during a press conference.HANDOUT (AFP)

Relations between the United States and the Executive headed by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele have reached their lowest point this Monday. The charge d’affaires of the US embassy in San Salvador, Jean Manes, has announced that she will leave the Central American country this week due to what Washington considers undemocratic decisions by Bukele, which have deteriorated her relationship with the US power. “There is no interest on the part of the Government [de Bukele] for improving the relationship with the United States, ”Manes said this morning at a press conference.

The diplomat has cited controversial measures by the young and popular president, including the attack on freedom of the press, limiting access to public information, canceling anti-corruption projects and “increasing their attacks against the United States, including attacks against the president. [Joe Biden] in networks paid for by the Government ”, he explained. “If the Government intends to improve relations with the United States, it should not do such actions,” the diplomat concluded.

The tension between Washington and San Salvador has increased since the end of October, when an audio was released in which an official of the US embassy allegedly participated in a meeting with deputies from New Ideas, Bukele’s party, in which they expressed their discontent over some controversial decisions of the president. The president has described the event as a “conspiracy” and began a relentless hunt within his political group.

The diplomatic headquarters denied the accusations and explained that “the Embassy does not support one political party over another and meets with a wide variety of Salvadoran government officials and Salvadoran citizens, as is normal in all diplomatic relations.” Manes reiterated this position on Monday, stating that “in our house, our Embassy, ​​we always invite people from all sectors and the Government knows it, they participated in these meetings before reaching the Government. We never try to divide, we always try to have different perspectives ”.

Neither Bukele nor his Administration have reacted to the US decision, although the opposition has criticized Bukele’s position. The opposition deputy Claudia Ortiz has affirmed, in statements to the Salvadoran newspaper La Prensa Gráfica, that she has questioned the Government. “Are we not interested in having a relationship with the United States? So what interests us? Have a relationship with organized crime or with other types of governments that are not democratic and that do not seek to support us in the fight against corruption ”, said the legislator.

Meanwhile, the president tends more relations with the international community, after this Monday the headquarters of six non-governmental organizations were raided by orders of the Salvadoran prosecutor’s office, which include onegés who fight for women’s rights. “The government of President Nayib Bukele follows in the footsteps of [Daniel Ortega], raiding and criminalizing organizations that defend women’s human rights ”, has denounced the feminist leader Morena Herrera, referring to the persecution in Nicaragua against civil society organizations and the media.

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Bukele, for his part, announced on Sunday in a huge staging the creation of a Bitcoin City, at a cost of 17,000 million dollars. In front of hundreds of followers, with a scenario very similar to those set up by big technology when they announce their new launches, Bukele has been enthusiastic about the project and has promised that it will bring economic development to his country. Among grandiose fireworks reflected on the waters of a Pacific beach, the government of the young populist has affirmed that this initiative aims to turn El Salvador into the Singapore of Latin America.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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