El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele is glowing cryptocurrencies and silencing his critics.
In Central America located in tiny El Salvador remained relatively unknown on a world scale for a long time.
A tropical state the size of half the Netherlands, with a population of less than seven million, has also risen to the top in Finland and is to be thanked by the President. Nayib Bukelea.
At the head of state level, Bukele, known for his casual style, often wears a light cap. The style includes turning the drawer backwards.
Enthusiastic about cryptocurrencies, Bukele has more than 2.4 million followers on Tiktok and more than three million followers on both Instagram and Twitter, where he writes himself “CEO of El Salvador” at the time of writing this article.
Bukelen could imagine appealing to that part of the online nation that glorifies meme culture, crypts, and Tesla’s CEO Elon Muskin world conqueror style.
Size named Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez was voted president of El Salvador in 2019. At the time, the 37-year-old Bukele is one of the world’s youngest heads of state.
Before the election, Bukele managed to brand himself a reformer coming from outside the political system. Bukele, considered a populist, has turned against previous presidents and politicians in his campaign. Among other things, he has promised to end corruption in El Salvador.
Bukele, who previously worked in marketing, began his political career in 2012 as mayor of the small town of Nuevo Cuscatlán. Prior to his presidency, he was elected mayor of the country’s capital, San Salvador, in 2015.
Bukele has been called an “elected authoritarian” and a “millennial dictator”. He has described himself as “the most handsome and coolest president in the world”.
There is no denying that Bukele’s support figures are not historical. During his presidency, Bukele’s support has long been around 90 percent. Similar readings are rare in democracies, though Sauli Niinistö popularity has been just as strong in polls.
Bukele’s power was sealed a year ago in the El Salvador regional and parliamentary elections, in which the Nuevas Ideas party he founded won a crushing victory. The party collected about two-thirds of the seats in Parliament.
About poverty affected Salvador is a multi-problem state. Murder rates have been the worst in the world, gang violence and crime have rampant and women’s rights have been neglected.
The role of remittances from abroad in the country’s economy is significant. The United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) assesses According to El Mundothat in 2020 more than 36% of the country’s population will live in poverty. Without remittances, the figure would have been 38 percent.
Financial problems to defeat Bukelen the administration made a historic decision last year and chose the Bitcoin cryptocurrency as the official currency of El Salvador. It replaced the US dollar used since 2001.
Bukele’s promises for the future of Bitcoin were great: “It will bring economic inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development to our country,” he said before Congress voted on the initiative to adopt the cryptocurrency as an official means of payment.
El Salvador’s tourism industry has been weakened by the poor security situation and crime.
Bitcoin is not part of the official international monetary system. That is El Salvador’s decision collected objections from central banks and numerous financial experts.
Prior to the introduction of bitcoin, the majority of El Salvador residents were skeptical about the project. The resistance also sparked protests. As late as August, most of the country’s residents did not even have a clear idea of what Bitcoin is.
The International Monetary Fund visited the country in the fall after Bitcoin had already been officially launched. After the visit The IMF warned that the use of bitcoin is risky in many ways and recommended that El Salvador reduce its Bitcoin law and increase regulation of the payment system.
Pop star the eldest Bukele fits into Western meme culture with its strong features and caps. A superficially light impression should not be confused.
The situation of freedom of expression in El Salvador has deteriorated significantly during the Bukele era. In the International Reporters Without Borders (RSF) press freedom index, the country ranked eight places in 2021.
According to the RSF, in El Salvador, police restricted the press’s access to work related to reporting on the corona pandemic. Authorities seized journalistic material and restricted journalists’ access to public spaces.
According to the organization, authorities in the presidential office refused to answer questions about the coronavirus at briefings. In addition, journalists have been banned from interviewing government officials in connection with the pandemic.
Amnesty International released in December text, calling for a change in Bukele’s policy. When Bukele became president in 2019, she promised to change the direction of the state to improve high homicide rates and women’s rights.
El Salvador’s murder rates peaked in 2015, when more than 6,600 people died of violence in a state of 6.5 million people, says Foreign Policy (FP) magazine. In 2020, homicide rates were at their lowest level in more than two decades. According to official statistics, in 2020, 1,322 people were killed in the country.
According to FP, the reasons behind the decrease in homicides are not entirely clear. First of all, Bukele has held secret negotiations with gang criminals and promised them benefits in prison against political support.
Negotiations may have reduced gang violence, but often violence has begun to increase as politicians ’contracts with criminals have broken.
The negotiation with the criminals was reported by the local, impartial newspaper El Faro, which has drifted into Bukele’s unpopularity. The administration has investigated money laundering and tax evasion.
In January 2021, however, Bukele was able to brag about his merits. He tweeted that no people in El Salvador had been murdered for two days.
“There’s still a lot to do, two days without murders doesn’t mean El Salvador won’t suffer from violence and crime. Yet two consecutive days without homicides were completely impossible to even think of earlier when we were the murder capital of the world, ”Bukele wrote on tweet January 27, 2021.
Bukelen Bitcoin visions reached a new milestone in November when he announced the establishment of a fully cryptocurrency-financed city in the country: Bitcoin City.
The plan for Bitcoin was unveiled at a Latin American cryptocurrency conference. According to Bukele, the city will be powered by a new thermal power plant powered by the Conchagua volcano. Bitcoin mining requires a lot of computing power and consumes massive amounts of energy.
Cryptocurrency bonds are set to go on sale for $ 1 billion this year. No city completion schedule has been provided.
Few leaders the world has been able to play the interest rate crisis as well as Bukele, wrote British media The Guardian in September.
“[Bukele] presented an apocalyptic scenario, the only solution he assured was to give the president everything he asked for. More money and more power, ”Professor of History at the University of El Salvador Carlos López Bernal says in an interview with The Guardian.
During a pandemic the country’s debt level has risen dangerously high and the ministers of the Bukele administration have been accused of taking bribes. Bitcoin legislation also proved to be hastily drafted and cumbersome.
Still, Bukele’s support has not squared. The president of Bitcoin began in 2022 with the launch of, among other things, a major infrastructure project that promises to repair all potholes in the roads during the year. The money for infrastructure projects comes from China. Bukele has also launched prominent welfare and vaccination campaigns.
“What’s interesting about Bukele is the ability to capitalize on people’s general disappointment with political parties without proposing anything themselves,” says López Bernal.
“He has no interest in ideology and there is no political thinking behind his plans for the future of his country.”
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