The world was watching in horror when the millennial president of El Salvador ordered the army to take control of parliament. Soldiers with guns threatening MPs to approve new military hardware loans have been widely interpreted as one of the darkest moments in El Salvador’s history since the end of the bloody civil war in 1992. It was.
But a year later, things somehow got worse. Former advertising executive Nayib Bukele, wearing a leather jacket named “Hipster Donald Trump,” dismissed a Supreme Court judge and the Attorney General of the State this month, and he was in charge of democracy. I tore the rest.
International criticism continued. Still, among the 6.5 million nations, the popularity of Central America’s latest “dictator” cannot stop growing. Opinion polls show that Bukele’s approval rating has skyrocketed to 91 percent, despite the rapid dismantling of the democratic system.
“Bukele is one of us. He’s a man of people,” Omar Tikas, a 32-year-old telephone salesman, told The Telegraph. “If it was democracy that we had before him, well, democracy isn’t working for us. We need something more difficult.”
Bukele’s support for the naive brand of populist politics has been shown in a recent poll in the capital San Salvador, with more than 30% agreeing that an authoritarian government may be needed “in some circumstances”. ..
Many voters trust the president’s security policy, which helped quell endemic gang violence. He introduced permanent military patrols, approved the use of deadly forces by security forces, and increased prison cell confinement.
According to Bukele, the violent deaths in El Salvador dropped from 50 murders per 100,000 to almost 19 when he was elected. But his political opponents say that this relative peace was brought about by a secret agreement with El Salvador’s most powerful gangster, Marasal Battlecha, a claim denied by the president.
Bukele, 39, came to power as a political outsider in 2019. His skillful use of baseball caps, sunglasses, and social media has set him apart from the increasingly hated political establishment contaminated with corruption. His promotional experience led to the slogan, “Get the stolen things back,” which became his motto.
Bukele, who likes to remind followers of social media who ran nightclubs, describes himself as “the coolest president in the world.” However, his critics have accused him of being obsessed with his image and pinned to his cell phone.
Buquere, the son of a Muslim father in Bethlehem, who was the driving force behind the construction of some of the first mosques in Latin America, clarified whether he was a Catholic, Muslim, or preacher. I was able to negotiate his public life without having to, in short, “I believe in God.”
When he withdrew his army from parliament last year, Mr Bukele said nothing to the public. Instead, he raised his finger to the sky, indicating that the command to retreat came from above.
During the pandemic, the president defended cash subsidies and free food rations for the most in need. His strict blockade, which allowed residents to leave home only twice a week to buy food, attracted criticism from human rights groups, but not from voters.
“I don’t know why there are so many dramas,” said Teresa Carbalo, the mother of four unemployed people in the city of Santa Anna. “He won the election, we, people chose him, so how can it be undemocratic?”
Recent events have heightened tensions with Washington, as the administration of US President Joe Biden is trying to combat the rise in immigrants fleeing El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
US Attorney General Antony Blinken has expressed “grave concern” about the dismissal of the judge and the Attorney General. Blinken called Bukele and said that an independent judiciary was essential for democratic governance.
“If anyone in the Biden administration expected Bukele to somehow commit to democratic rule, it wouldn’t be,” said political analyst Jose Miguel Cruz. He was never the case. “
Human rights groups are calling for the International Monetary Fund to suspend negotiations on a major loan to El Salvador, or for the United States to condition development assistance based on its commitment to democratic health.
But these are tricky options. Withholding loans and aid can increase economic instability and create more immigrants.
Bukele showed contempt for international protests to dismiss the judge the day after the vote. .. Our doors are more open than ever, “he posted on Twitter.
“But with respect: we are cleaning the house … and it’s not your job.”