{"code":"25728","sect":"El Salvador","sect_slug":"el-salvador","hits":"997","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202109\/el_salvador\/25728","link_edit":"","name":"Thousands Defy Bukele on El Salvador's 200th Birthday","slug":"thousands-defy-bukele-on-el-salvadors-200th-birthday","info":"El Salvador, in Brief: Mass protests gripped San Salvador on Central America\u2019s bicentennial anniversary of independence, marking a new phase for the opposition to President Bukele\u2019s increasingly authoritarian rule. Bukele accused the international community of financing the protests to undermine his government. Subscribe to our newsletter","mtag":"Newsletter","noun":{"html":"El Faro English","data":{"el-faro-english":{"sort":"","slug":"el-faro-english","path":"el_faro_english","name":"El Faro English","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"997","pict":{"cms-image-000036353-jpg":{"feat":"1","sort":"36353","name":"cms-image-000036353.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036353.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036353.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036353-jpg","text":"<p>Thousands of people marched from the Cuscatl\u00e1n Park, and other meeting points in San Salvador, toward Moraz\u00e1n Plaza in the historic city center, to protest against the Bukele government and the recent laws approved by the Legislative Assembly controlled by his party, like the Bitcoin Law and a law that purges 30 percent of the judges in the country.<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EThousands of people marched from the Cuscatl\u00e1n Park, and other meeting points in San Salvador, toward Moraz\u00e1n Plaza in the historic city center, to protest against the Bukele government and the recent laws approved by the Legislative Assembly controlled by his party, like the Bitcoin Law and a law that purges 30 percent of the judges in the country.\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000036364-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"36364","name":"cms-image-000036364.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036364.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036364.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036364-jpg","text":"<p>El cajero Chivo de la c\u00e9ntrica plaza Gerardo Barrios, frente a Catedral, fue incendidado por unos pocos manifestantes de la multitudinaria marcha del 15 de septiembre en contra del Gobierno y del bitcoin. Foto de El Faro: Carlos Barrera.<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EEl cajero Chivo de la c\u00e9ntrica plaza Gerardo Barrios, frente a Catedral, fue incendidado por unos pocos manifestantes de la multitudinaria marcha del 15 de septiembre en contra del Gobierno y del bitcoin. Foto de El Faro: Carlos Barrera.\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000036365-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"36365","name":"cms-image-000036365.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036365.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036365.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036365-jpg","text":"","capt":""}},"pict_main__sort":36353,"date":{"live":"2021\/09\/16"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2021","data_post_dateLive_MM":"09","data_post_dateLive_DD":"16","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn the first two years of Nayib Bukele\u2019s presidency, his critics barely managed to convene dozens of protestors \u2014 or a couple of hundred at most \u2014 in the streets. But on September 15, \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202109\/ef_photo\/25727\/The-Day-Bukele-Lost-the-Streets.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ethousands marched through the center of San Salvador\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E to protest issues ranging from this government\u2019s dismantling of democracy, to the imposition of bitcoin as legal currency, to systemic attacks on journalists, to obstacles in the trial of the El Mozote massacre\u003C\/strong\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe protesters \u2014 organized without the banner of any political party \u2014 also cited a controversial \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/mailchi.mp\/elfaro.net\/el-faro-english-bukele-pushes-constitutional-rewrite-6213220?e=3e101df639\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eproposal for constitutional reforms\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E, a law to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/mailchi.mp\/elfaro.net\/elfaro-english-bukele-purges-judiciary-6213384?e=3e101df639\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eforce senior judges into retirement\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E, and a ruling to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/mailchi.mp\/elfaro.net\/elfaro-english-second-term-nayib-bukele-6213416?e=3e101df639\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eallow reelection despite a constitutional ban\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E as some of the motivations behind the protest.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThey marched with signs and banners saying \u201c\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/Jacobogg\/status\/1438177520852033542\/photo\/3\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003ENo to the dictatorship\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E,\u201d \u201c\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/GVichez\/status\/1438220036129308672\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003EWithout journalists and journalism there is no democracy\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E,\u201d and \u201c\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/_elfaro_\/status\/1438204973452570628\/photo\/1\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003ENo to the truce\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u201d \u2014 the latter in reference to the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/mailchi.mp\/elfaro.net\/elfaro-english-bukele-administration-buried-evidence-6213300?e=3e101df639\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003EBukele administration\u2019s covert gang negotiations\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp\u003EConservative estimates place attendance at 5,000, while more bold estimates count more than 15,000. Whatever the exact number, the diverse showing of different sectors of Salvadoran society on the 200th anniversary of Central American independence from Spain \u2014 including \u003Cstrong\u003Edoctors\u2019 and lawyers\u2019 unions, ex-guerrilla combatants, students, private sector, feminist organizations, and Indigenous collectives \u003C\/strong\u003E\u2014 marked the first political challenge to Latin America\u2019s most popular president.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36353\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"Thousands of people marched from the Cuscatl\u00e1n Park, and other meeting points in San Salvador, toward Moraz\u00e1n Plaza in the historic city center, to protest against the Bukele government and the recent laws approved by the Legislative Assembly controlled by his party, like the Bitcoin Law and a law that purges 30 percent of the judges in the country.\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EThousands of people marched from the Cuscatl\u00e1n Park, and other meeting points in San Salvador, toward Moraz\u00e1n Plaza in the historic city center, to protest against the Bukele government and the recent laws approved by the Legislative Assembly controlled by his party, like the Bitcoin Law and a law that purges 30 percent of the judges in the country.\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe administration has marketed the bicentennial anniversary of independence as the refounding of the nation, and even secured a million-dollar budget for the ceremony. But rather than a grand public celebration, \u003Ca href=\"\/es\/201906\/ef_foto\/23364\/La-plaza-que-jur%C3%B3-lealtad-a-Bukele.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Elike at Bukele\u2019s swearing-in\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E, a president bitter with protestors who spoiled the day broadcasted a pre-recorded closed affair.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEven though the protest was peaceful, with only two isolated incidents of vandalism, \u003Cstrong\u003EBukele baselessly accused the protestors of attending with weapons, as well as of wreaking havoc on government and private property.\u003C\/strong\u003E \u201cThey went to fight against a dictatorship that doesn\u2019t exist,\u201d said Bukele, whose party controls the Legislative Assembly and in the last few months has illegally replaced the judges for the Constitutional Court and the Attorney General, and has purged a third of the country\u2019s judges.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EHe then issued a thinly-veiled threat of repression against future protests and accused the diplomatic corps of hypocrisy: \u201cUntil now, in two years and three months in office, we have yet to \u2014 I don\u2019t know if one day they\u2019ll give so much financing that it\u2019ll be necessary, but I hope not \u2014 we haven\u2019t used even one can of tear gas, like the ones many of your governments use almost daily.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBukele also touted his administration\u2019s achievements, including the country\u2019s high levels of Covid-19 vaccination relative to its neighbors and the \u003Cstrong\u003Ebill sponsored by the administration and approved on September 14 to \u003C\/strong\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/apnews.com\/article\/noticias-209b452ed5a64a5e1c5420488577f192\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Egrant the right to vote to Salvadorans abroad\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E \u2014 roughly three million Salvadorans, 2.5 million in the United States.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EHe also announced multiple major public works projects, including a new hospital in Nejapa, San Salvador and new airport in the easternmost coastal department of La Uni\u00f3n, as well as new legislation granting \u201ctax exemption for all of the country\u2019s artists.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EHow Big or Small is Three Percent?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESince taking office, Bukele has minimized any opposition to his agenda, saying that only three percent of the population disagrees with his agenda \u2014 in reference to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/uca.edu.sv\/iudop\/wp-content\/uploads\/Boletin-100NB_final.pdf.pdf\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Epolling\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E from his first 100 days in office showing that over 90 percent of respondents at least somewhat approved of his time in office.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe moniker of \u201cthree percent\u201d has been employed not only by government officials, but by aligned troll campaigns to denigrate criticism of the administration online. Protesters also tried to reclaim the term by using it in a mocking way at the protest. \u201cHere\u2019s your 3%,\u201d read one protester\u2019s sign.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/support.elfaro.net\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36365\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EUntil recently, Bukele faced little opposition within El Salvador. He won the presidency in 2019 with over half the vote, enough to avoid a run-off. In February of this year, his party Nuevas Ideas and its allies scored another major victory when they won about \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.reuters.com\/article\/us-el-salvador-election-idUSKCN2AU284\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003E70 percent\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E of votes to gain a supermajority in the Legislative Assembly.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EBukele still has a high popularity rating, \u003C\/strong\u003E\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/uca.edu.sv\/iudop\/wp-content\/uploads\/Boletin-BTC-Coyuntura-2021-2.pdf\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ereceiving\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E an average score of 7.64 by Salvadorans asked in August to rate his performance on a scale of one to 10\u003C\/strong\u003E in a Central American University poll. But the recent \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/mailchi.mp\/elfaro.net\/elfaro-english-dday-bitcoin-elsalvador-6213420\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003EBitcoin law to make the cryptocurrency legal tender\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E began mobilizing opposition against him in recent months. \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/uca.edu.sv\/iudop\/wp-content\/uploads\/Boletin-BTC-Coyuntura-2021-2.pdf\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003ESix out of 10\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E Salvadorans don\u2019t want their tax dollars spent on the implementation of the Bitcoin Law, and many at the protest wore \u201cNo to Bitcoin\u201d hats and t-shirts.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EDespite Bukele\u2019s frequent assertions that he and his party act in the interests of \u201cthe people,\u201d the poll showed that 60 percent of Salvadorans don\u2019t support any political party. About 29 percent said they support Nuevas Ideas. No other party received more than 4 percent.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EOutside Agitators?\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe violent picture painted by the government of the demonstration didn\u2019t match up with reporting on the ground from reporters from El Faro and other Salvadoran media. \u003Cstrong\u003EOnly a small group of individuals \u2014many covering their face \u2014 vandalized property. But the larger group not only distanced themselves from these actions\u003C\/strong\u003E.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cThere are people who are making disturbances who are not part of our march,\u201d one organizer said into a speakerphone after the motorcycle was set on fire. \u201cPlease, let\u2019s maintain calm and advance firmly.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cI was there,\u201d \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/chelefaro\/status\/1438212979640635397\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Etweeted\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E El Faro\u2019s Carlos Mart\u00ednez. \u201cThese guys were all uniformed. They refused to identify themselves or say how they organized themselves. The rest of the protesters distanced themselves from them. When they saw they were discovered, they disappeared.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EWhile it has been standard practice for soldiers to guard the government\u2019s Bitcoin ATMs, no soldiers were standing guard when protesters reached the city center, sparking accusations that the people who burned the ATM were not part of the protest, but rather sent by the government to infiltrate the march.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36364\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"El cajero Chivo de la c\u00e9ntrica plaza Gerardo Barrios, frente a Catedral, fue incendidado por unos pocos manifestantes de la multitudinaria marcha del 15 de septiembre en contra del Gobierno y del bitcoin. Foto de El Faro: Carlos Barrera.\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EEl cajero Chivo de la c\u00e9ntrica plaza Gerardo Barrios, frente a Catedral, fue incendidado por unos pocos manifestantes de la multitudinaria marcha del 15 de septiembre en contra del Gobierno y del bitcoin. Foto de El Faro: Carlos Barrera.\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBy focusing on isolated instances of vandalism, Bukele attempted to erase the discontent that drove these citizens to the streets. \u003Cstrong\u003E\u201cThis is the first time we came out to march. Eight of us came and we are doing it for a just cause,\u201d\u003C\/strong\u003E \u00c1ngela Hern\u00e1ndez, 50, \u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202109\/el_salvador\/25719\/Multitudinaria-protesta-contra-Bukele-y-el-bitcoin-se-toma-el-Centro-capitalino.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Etold\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E El Faro. \u201cIn our family, there are already three grandchildren and it\u2019s for them that we do this, for their future.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EAn Increasingly Isolationist Bukele\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBukele\u2019s accusation that the international community financed the protests is an \u003Cstrong\u003Eapparent reference to the Biden administration\u2019s \u003C\/strong\u003E\u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202104\/centroamerica\/25403\/%E2%80%9CAn-Independent-CICIES-Still-Needs-to-Be-Solidified%E2%80%9D.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Estated goal\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E of diverting financial support to civil society organizations\u003C\/strong\u003E and away from Central American governments with checkered records on democracy and human rights.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn September 5, two days after the Supreme Court set aside constitutional prohibitions in ruling that Bukele can seek reelection in 2024, interim U.S. ambassador Jean Manes \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/ElFaroEnglish\/status\/1434539449346625536?s=20\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ecompared\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E Bukele to Venezuela\u2019s Hugo Ch\u00e1vez and \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/ElFaroEnglish\/status\/1434370989530439680?s=20\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eaccused\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E the Bukele administration of having \u200b\u200b\u201ca clear strategy\u201d \u201cto undermine judicial independence and eliminate a critical counterweight.\u201d Manes added: \u201cDemocracy is in decline in El Salvador, and that decline harms bilateral relations between the United States and El Salvador.\u201d\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EState Department spokesperson Ned Price \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.state.gov\/salvadoran-re-election-ruling-undermines-democracy\/\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Efollowed up on her remarks\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E, writing that \u201c\u200b\u200bthe United States government condemns\u201d the Supreme Court\u2019s ruling on reelection, and adding that \u201cthis decline in democratic governance damages the relationship that the United States strives to maintain with the government of El Salvador and further erodes El Salvador\u2019s international image as a democratic and trustworthy partner in the region.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EThe Bukele administration has argued that the souring stance of the United States doesn't have to do with promoting democracy, but rather with foreign domination.\u003C\/strong\u003E He punctuated his Independence Day remarks in a bid for the Salvadoran public\u2019s ongoing support and promised a future free from international interference and the yoke of post-colonial elites.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cThe last 200 years that we commemorate today weren\u2019t the best. No one will let me lie,\u201d Bukele ended. \u201cBut the next 200 can be. Everything will depend on us.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThanks for reading. \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/elfaro.us19.list-manage.com\/track\/click?u=a822abdb775cca5db840e11e5&id=5237a09b1a&e=3e101df639&utm_source=DB+El+Faro_English&utm_campaign=4eceb387d6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_22_01_08_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3ec9190c89-4eceb387d6-\" target=\"_blank\" data-saferedirecturl=\"https:\/\/www.google.com\/url?q=https:\/\/elfaro.us19.list-manage.com\/track\/click?u%3Da822abdb775cca5db840e11e5%26id%3D5237a09b1a%26e%3D3e101df639%26utm_source%3DDB%2BEl%2BFaro_English%26utm_campaign%3D4eceb387d6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_22_01_08_COPY_01%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_term%3D0_3ec9190c89-4eceb387d6-&source=gmail&ust=1631912414878000&usg=AFQjCNGuYmzVUanKPo0cfKuKI_cuimJEHw\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003EReach out to us on Twitter\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E and\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/elfaro.us19.list-manage.com\/track\/click?u=a822abdb775cca5db840e11e5&id=590479f725&e=3e101df639&utm_source=DB+El+Faro_English&utm_campaign=4eceb387d6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_22_01_08_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3ec9190c89-4eceb387d6-\" target=\"_blank\" data-saferedirecturl=\"https:\/\/www.google.com\/url?q=https:\/\/elfaro.us19.list-manage.com\/track\/click?u%3Da822abdb775cca5db840e11e5%26id%3D590479f725%26e%3D3e101df639%26utm_source%3DDB%2BEl%2BFaro_English%26utm_campaign%3D4eceb387d6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_22_01_08_COPY_01%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_term%3D0_3ec9190c89-4eceb387d6-&source=gmail&ust=1631912414878000&usg=AFQjCNFl_gHpFs722HpG1VDE_9YZ7jSihw\"\u003E \u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eplease share\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E our work. 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