A Foreign Policy Without A Captain Nor A Compass

Published by El Diario de Hoy, El Salvador, Centroamérica

JUN 1st, 2021

[Free Translation]


The lesson we take of 2 years of Nayib Bukele’s Administration is the urgent reform of Article 168 5º of El Salvador’s Constitution that confers the President the “Command of Foreign Relations.” This power on behalf of the State should have a balance. Were this balance to exist, Bukele would not have led the country -in the interests of impunity for anomalous purchases during the pandemic, with signs of corruption (“multimillion-dollar loot,” in Senator Leahy’s opinion) – towards international isolation and the total loss of confidence with the governments and legislators of our partner countries. El Salvador is on the verge of sanctions in retaliation for the abuse of power by Bukele, and his instrumentalization of the Army and the Police, and the Constitutional and Institutional deterioration of democracy. The democratic world will not admit more dictators or tyrants.

In 1983, our constituents never envisioned an unprepared person compensated by unsuitable officials. Our Foreign Minister and our Ambassador in Washington DC represent – due to their incompatible and incompetent profiles – a setback on the professionalization of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in general, and the our Foreign Service in particular; and the minimal modernization achieved since the Peace Accords.

Bukele went from signing on his knees before President Trump the “safe third country agreement” – “inhuman and abominable” as President Biden called it – to interfering in U.S. elections when he rallied not to vote in California for the Congresswoman Norma Torres, violating the Executive Act signed by Trump himself in 2018 to sanction individuals, entities and governments that meddle with U.S. internal affairs.

In the face of the first list of Salvadorans accused of corruption, money laundering, and violations of the rule of law -all of them related to Bukele between his candidacy for Mayor of a suburban city and today – he answered with more absurdities, when he could have welcomed it because the international justice system will reach them.

Reliable sources comment that Biden’s Special Envoy of the “Plan for Central America”, Ricardo Zúñiga, left El Salvador saddened after witnessing Bukele’s destruction of the bridges of dialogue and understanding inside as well as abroad with the international community. The embarrassing display of an edited video of a meeting with the Diplomatic Corp depicts Bukele’s huge mistake.

Among the ruins that Bukele will leave when he leaves office in 2024, this will be his debris. He will go without understanding that foreign policy, in responsible hands, is the needle that spins national interests abroad, and that El Salvador is a small country which does not need enemies nor countries that turn their backs on it, less even a nation -the United States- which hosts 3 million Salvadorans awaiting permanent residency.