{"code":"25856","sect":"Central America","sect_slug":"central-america","hits":"814","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202111\/centroamerica\/25856","link_edit":"","name":"U.S. Gives Up on Mending Ties with Bukele","slug":"u-s-gives-up-on-mending-ties-with-bukele","info":"Central America, in Brief: The interim U.S. ambassador to El Salvador will leave her post this week, citing the Bukele administration\u2019s lack of interest in crossing \u201ca bridge\u201d of dialogue, as well as El Salvador\u2019s refusal to extradite senior MS-13 leaders wanted on terrorism charges and concerns about the proposed \u201cforeign agents law.\u201d In Nicaragua last Friday, the Ortega regime announced it will leave the Organization of American States. 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":"814","pict":{"cms-image-000036719-jpeg":{"feat":"1","sort":"36719","name":"cms-image-000036719.jpeg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036719.jpeg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036719.jpeg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036719-jpeg","text":"<p>Jean Manes, charg\u00e9 d'affairs of the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, on Nov. 22, 2021. Courtesy U.S. Embassy.<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EJean Manes, charg\u00e9 d'affairs of the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, on Nov. 22, 2021. Courtesy U.S. Embassy.\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":36719,"date":{"live":"2021\/11\/22"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2021","data_post_dateLive_MM":"11","data_post_dateLive_DD":"22","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe top U.S. diplomat in El Salvador, Jean Manes, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/USEmbassySV\/status\/1462766488281038853?s=20\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eannounced on Monday morning\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E that she will step down. \u201cWhy would I stay here if we don\u2019t have a partner at this time?\u201d, Manes said Monday morning \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?v=ru1bXgKSKP4\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eon staple morning television show Frente a Frente\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E. \u003Cstrong\u003E\u201cWhen El Salvador wants to converse, our door will be open.\u201d\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn May, the Biden administration appointed Manes as charg\u00e9 d\u2019affaires to try to repair bilateral relations after accusing the Salvadoran president of antidemocratic acts in the illegal removals of the attorney general and Supreme Court magistrates \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202105\/columns\/25464\/This-Is-How-a-Republic-Dies.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eon May 1\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E. Manes, who served as U.S. ambassador in El Salvador from 2016 to 2019, had a close relationship with then-San Salvador Mayor Bukele and returned to El Salvador this May to \u003Cstrong\u003Econvince him to stop weakening the country\u2019s democratic institutions.\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESources in Washington explained at that moment that Manes\u2019 job would be \u201cundo what she did\u201d when she introduced Bukele as a promising political ally to the White House during the Trump Administration. Bukele leaned on these inroads with Trump to consolidate initial U.S. support for his political project.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ERather than cooling tensions, Manes has \u003Cstrong\u003Econstantly butted heads with the Salvadoran president\u003C\/strong\u003E over attacks on civil society and press freedom, his steps toward unconstitutional reelection in 2024 (Manes even \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202109\/el_salvador\/25694\/Ruling-on-Bukele-Reelection-Prompts-US-Comparisons-to-Venezuela.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ecompared him to Hugo Ch\u00e1vez\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E), and, more recently, the Bukele-controlled Supreme Court\u2019s refusal to extradite senior MS-13 leaders wanted on terrorism charges in the United States.\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=1332&ImageId=36719\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"Jean Manes, charg\u00e9 d'affairs of the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, on Nov. 22, 2021. Courtesy U.S. Embassy.\" \/\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\"\u003EJean Manes, charg\u00e9 d'affairs of the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, on Nov. 22, 2021. Courtesy U.S. Embassy.\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn announcing her departure, Manes condemned the newest source of tension in the international community: the administration\u2019s \u201cforeign agents\u201d bill requiring non-profit organizations and independent media who \u201care directly or indirectly funded by a foreigner\u201d to register as foreign agents, submit to government inspections, and pay 40 percent tax on all foreign income. Failure to comply can result in cancellation of legal status.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBukele has argued that the bill is no different from the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act, an inaccurate comparison that we dissected \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202111\/el_salvador\/25837\/Bukele-to-Control-NGOs-and-Media-Funding.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ein our Nov. 10\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E newsletter. \u003Cstrong\u003E\"The [Salvadoran] Foreign Agents Law has nothing to do with the U.S. law,\u201d\u003C\/strong\u003E \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/USEmbassySV\/status\/1462766996811091972?s=20\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003EManes rebutted on Monday\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E, adding: \u201cThat law isn\u2019t about transparency.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EFor now Bukele\u2019s party has held off on the final vote, originally scheduled for Wed. Nov 17.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe same day as the scheduled vote, the German Embassy \u003Cstrong\u003Etemporarily suspended all future grassroots funding projects, \u003C\/strong\u003Eciting concern about the law. \u201cVery alarmed by the Foreign Agents Law in El Salvador,\u201d \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/NielsAnnen\/status\/1461060082398117889?s=20\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Etweeted\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E German Minister of State Niels Annen. \u201cThis law would complicate the cooperation between the civil societies of our countries and considerably limit their margin to maneuver. An urgent call to reconsider this project.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cGermany\u2019s announcement was clear because it reiterated that \u003Cstrong\u003Ethe population, especially the poorest, would be the most-affected\u003C\/strong\u003E,\u201d Ricardo Castaneda, analyst with the Central American Institute for Fiscal Studies, told El Faro English.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe bill racked up a broad range of condemnations as the vote approached, including from a \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/_elfaro_\/status\/1460822606739910670?s=20\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ecoalition\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E of 50 Salvadoran human rights organizations, the Association of Salvadoran Journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and multiple U.N. special rapporteurs.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cThis measure raised alarms, not only as one adopted by authoritarian regimes, but rather because it was essentially an attack against international cooperation,\u201d said Castaneda. \u201cNot a very intelligent decision in the context of IMF negotiations where [the administration] needs the support of the international community.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ENicaragua moves first and quits OAS\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENicaragua also made a major move to further isolate itself from the international community. Just as President Daniel Ortega had long signalled prior to his reelection, the Nicaraguan government announced it will \u003Cstrong\u003Ebegin the two-year process of breaking ties with the Organization of American States\u003C\/strong\u003E (OAS). Cuba and Venezuela are the only other non-member countries in the hemisphere.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn Nov. 12, days after the re-election of Ortega and wife and Vice President Rosario Murillo, 25 OAS member states \u2014 notably excluding Mexico, Honduras, and Belize \u2014 condemned the election as fraudulent and unfree. The OAS set a two-week deadline for reviewing the country\u2019s potential suspension.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/PiruloAr\/status\/1461714835553636356?s=20\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eannounced the departure\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E on Friday while standing under a painting of revolutionary Augusto Sandino, who led an uprising against the U.S. occupation a century ago. \u201cWe should stop being members of that sewer once and for all,\u201d \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.confidencial.com.ni\/english\/ortega-to-use-all-branches-of-government-to-protest-against-the-oas\/\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Esaid Ortega\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E in June. \u201cIt\u2019s clear that it\u2019s \u003Cstrong\u003Ea tool of domination of the Yankee empire\u003C\/strong\u003E.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENicaragua\u2019s exit comes at a moment when the OAS has been \u201c\u003Cstrong\u003Estrongly criticized for partiality and ineffectiveness in guaranteeing democratic stability in the region\u003C\/strong\u003E,\u201d Salvadoran human rights advocate Celia Medrano told El Faro English. \u201cAs long as the OAS does not overcome these weaknesses, Nicaragua could be the first of other countries to take the same actions in which, unfortunately, human rights aren\u2019t a priority.\u201d\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=1440&ImageHeight=380&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\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EForeign governments increased their sanctions against the Nicaraguan government after fraudulent elections, while the debate about the effectiveness of these actions continues.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe U.K. and Canada \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.gov.uk\/government\/news\/uk-imposes-sanctions-on-senior-nicaraguan-individuals-following-rigged-elections\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eissued a travel ban and asset freeze\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E on Nov. 15 against senior officials including Murillo, the attorney general, and Supreme Court president. The E.U. called the government a \u201cfully autocratic regime\u201d following the elections. Ortega \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.france24.com\/en\/americas\/20211116-biden-bars-nicaragua-officials-including-ortega-couple-from-us\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eretorted\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E that the E.U. is led by \u201cfascists\u201d and \u201cNazi parliamentarians.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAs promised before election day, the Biden administration \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/home.treasury.gov\/news\/press-releases\/jy0481\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Eblacklisted nine senior Nicaraguan officials\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E and the Public Prosecutor\u2019s Office\u003C\/strong\u003E, freezing any assets held in the United States and prohibiting U.S. citizens and residents from doing business with them. The next day, Biden \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.whitehouse.gov\/briefing-room\/presidential-actions\/2021\/11\/16\/a-proclamation-on-suspension-of-entry-as-immigrants-and-nonimmigrants-of-persons-responsible-for-policies-or-actions-that-threaten-democracy-in-nicaragua\/\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ebanned all officials in the Nicaraguan government\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003E and their families from the U.S.\u003C\/strong\u003E The administration is reviewing Nicaragua\u2019s standing in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u201cBuilding alternative democratic institutions is more important than punishing the dictatorship,\u201d wrote Enrique Gasteazoro, general manager at independent Nicaraguan newsroom Confidencial, \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202111\/columns\/25841\/Building-Democratic-Alternatives-in-Nicaragua-Is-More-Important-than-Sanctioning-the-Dictatorship.htm\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Ein a post-election op-ed\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E.\u00a0 \u201cMany of the sanctions and other forms of pressure are little more than \u003Cstrong\u003Ea kind of symbolic punishment with little impact\u003C\/strong\u003E.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThanks for your time. Please pass along our work, and \u003Cstrong\u003Econsider funding independent journalism in Central America\u003C\/strong\u003E at\u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/support.elfaro.net?utm_source=DB+El+Faro_English&utm_campaign=a86fa4edae-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_04_22_01_08_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3ec9190c89-a86fa4edae-\"\u003E \u003Cspan style=\"text-decoration: underline;\"\u003Esupport.elfaro.net\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E"}