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Bukele's tension with the United States threatens agreement with the International Monetary Fund and cooperation

Bukele’s tension with the United States threatens agreement with the International Monetary Fund and cooperation

One analyst told this media that Bukele’s verbal attacks on his main partner sought to appeal to the nationalism of his base and not lose his popularity.

Loud statements against US officials made by President Najib Bukele on Twitter may resonate in specific bilateral aspects. In the opinion of experts, they violate the financing agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), international cooperation, or the same status of Salvadorans in the United States.

The latest episode of this verbal tension occurred last weekend, after Bukele responded to statements by Joe Biden’s Latin American adviser, Juan Gonzalez, in which North America confirmed that the United States was working to prevent El Salvador from becoming another Venezuela. Bukele replied: “Keep your democracy away from our country.”

For former El Salvador ambassador to Washington, Ruben Zamora, these words could have a direct impact on the cooperation the United States provides to El Salvador.

“The United States does not ask Bukele for things outside of what he is obligated to do, but since Bukele does not do that and violates institutions and has more corruption than previous governments he accuses of corruption, the government cannot respond to the US proposal, then he starts attacking the United States and here is where This lawsuit was formed, which became more profound, ”the former diplomat analyzed.

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As a result, Zamora predicts the following: “Such an attitude towards the United States means that the international financial sources, such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank, that support us will not do so because they are all banks and run by countries that are pumping more money,” he said. saying.

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As a second direct effect of Bukele’s tension toward Washington, Zamora expects less investment from that country.

Global companies will say: How do we invest in that country that changes laws or violates the constitution? “No investment will come, on the contrary, it is leaving, there are companies that have stopped all new investments and others that are moving,” said the former president.

It is a general word

For the director of the NGO Acción Ciudadana (AC), Eduardo Escobar, the fiery statements of the Salvadoran president may have a certain degree of impact at international levels, but he sees a greater impact on bilateral cooperation from the United States to the country.

What’s more: Bukele also emphasizes relations with the United States

I think there is no direct influence with the IMF. Where there could be, no doubt, in bilateral cooperation with the United States, all USAID funds were directed to other partners neither the government nor the institutions that participated in the coup (as of May 1, when the Constitutional Chamber and the Attorney General were removed) He got the money,” Escobar said.

Shortly after this attack on democratic institutions, the Joe Biden government condemned the event and the United States Agency for International Cooperation (USAID) decided to give civil society funds for its programs directly and not to the Supreme Court, the National Civic. Police, Prosecutor’s Office and IAIP.

Escobar believes Bukele on a public level is making these blatant statements to send a nationalist message to his base.

It may not have been what the president set out to gain from the United States but his constituents. It plays to awaken a sense of national pride and makes use of any space to present the cause of sovereignty, that the country is progressing and that there is an enemy who does not want the country to advance,” Escobar analyzed.

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In that sense, the AC director said we don’t know what kind of private contact Bukele might have with the US and whether he should explain his Twitter message against Presidential Adviser Joe Biden.

On the issue of immigration, Escobar says he does not know to what extent this tension could affect, but he believes this may generate widespread anxiety among Salvadorans who do not have regular immigration status in the United States.

Read on: Biden adviser: ‘El Salvador must be prevented from becoming another Venezuela’

“If they were immigrants or legal diaspora, I think there could be a variety of reactions, positive and negative. For people with irregular status, that could raise a bit of concern about the reaction the United States might have before that tweet from President Bukele.”

Regarding the role of China in this situation, Escobar believes that Bukele is doing political arithmetic in the sense that with the contributions of the Asian country in terms of cooperation, the government can do business so that its popularity levels do not drop. However, he points out, China certainly cannot solve the country’s economic problems.

China has no greater geopolitical interest in pumping money into El Salvador, if we have natural resources, yes, because China will get the resources it needs. China’s cooperation may be short in monetary terms, but it can help the Bukele government to continue its populist practice and give it the year-and-a-half air it needs “to enter the election season,” the director of the Citizen Movement said.

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