Nayib Bukele has taken really controversial measures and that he could have had other types of options it’s possible, but we need to think what support previous governments had to carry out what he’s doing now.
Citizens taken aback by a wave of violence that caused a hundred deaths in less than four days, the Salvadoran president decreed a state of emergency, backed by a Congress in his favor and armed forces that have been socially cared for and have shown him a strong support.
More than 12,000 gang members have been arrested so far, to which are added some relatives, who have supported them, and taken advantage of, in a long criminal history, which has become endemic in the small Central American country.
Against Bukele, U.S. authorities wield all kinds of negative propaganda, highlighting the denunciation of the violation of human rights by the most violating State in that sense, without the death of a gang member in prison being reported so far, and they even misrepresent warnings from the president to urge them to cease the disputes between them, their crimes against the population and other criminal activities, from extortion to drug trafficking.
Very easy to raise human rights that make representatives of Biden and Western ambassadors in San Salvador, but we must remember that the fights among gangs that arose and intensified in previous regimes, have their origins in the United States itself, among Salvadoran émigrés, and that the U.S. government never made effective any help offered to settle the serious problem.
The former Salvadorian president Sánchez Cerén devised an ambitious program amounting to more than 5 billion dollars to insert young people in society and give a way out to the many adolescents and even children who joined those groups.
He was counting on the promises of the wealthy sectors of the country and North American humanitarian entities, but they were unsuccessful, and nothing was done.
*OUT OF THE FRYINGPAN AD INTO THE FIRE *
With the far-right ARENA regime, things went really south, with children becoming murderers to gain recognition from their peers.
Tired of governments that promised much and did nothing, Salvadorians moved away from the two traditional forces and cleanly chose a third option, represented by the figure of Bukele, a businessman of Lebanese origin, who won widely and even increased his popularity later, despite the propaganda of the domestic reaction, and imperialism.
He had to face a Congress that prevented the fulfillment of advantageous trade agreements, such as the one agreed with China, while the judiciary, controlled by ARENA was preparing plans to try to imprison the president, as was done in Brazil with Inácio Lula da Silva, in order to prevent him from running for presidency.
Subsequent legislative elections gave Bukele the majority he needed to remove corrupt judges, with the usual complains and yells, of representatives of the U.S. in which he was even described as a dictator president.
Bukele also upset Washington, when he made El Salvador the first nation in the world to adopt bitcoin as an element of exchange, to the detriment of the U.S. dollar, the non-continuation of criticism to the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela, the failure to speak against Cuba and the abstention before the censure of Russia for its military operation in Ukraine.
All amidst the lamentations of the North American president, Joe Biden, for considering that the human rights of gang members were being stepped on, and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who attacked the security policy in the Central American country, and urged to "defend due process and protect civil liberties, including the freedoms of the press, peaceful assembly and expression”.
The Salvadoran president replied that he had a journalist friend who he would like to have access to the Guantanamo prison - the U.S. prison located in illegally occupied Cuban territory-, denounced for its policy of torture, vile treatment and detention without trial against people accused of being "terrorists", to exercise their right to freedom of the press and check whether the detainees have enjoyed their "civil liberties",” and a “due process”.
A few days earlier, Bukele had accused the United States government of support the gangs and their “civil liberties”, in response to a publication by Ned Price, spokesman for the State Department, who had indicated that “the United States government continues to support El Salvador in its efforts to reduce gang proliferation," but called for "protecting its citizens while upholding civil liberties, including freedom of the press."
In this contrast with Washington, Bukele criticized weeks ago the energy talks between Washington and the government of Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, despite the fact that the White House does not recognize him as Venezuelan president. “The United States government decides who is bad and who is good and also when the bad becomes good and the good turns bad.” he expressed.
Bukele has focused on showing the positive comments of the population that defends the security policy, as well as the reduction of the number of homicides. However, last weekend he acknowledged that there could be a small margin of error in the arrests.
Some analysts say that the US is concerned, because many gang members are wanted by the U.S. Justice, but what really bothers them is the recent judicial reform approved in the Legislative Assembly, without "advice" from the United States, which did not include reforms related to gang members extradition processes. But the gang issue is just another new excuse for the U.S. to get rid of a president who is annoying and who, with virtues and defects, has so far not mince words.
Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff