As Democrats in Congress and open-borders zealots in the federal courts work to keep the flood of illegal immigration pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border while showering American tax money on foreign regimes, the new leader of El Salvador says he has a totally different plan. For one, he offered his nation's assistance in dealing with the escalating immigration crisis. And remarkably, instead of demanding more foreign aid in exchange for helping to stem the tide of migrants fleeing Latin America, Salvadorean President-elect Nayib Bukele (shown) slammed U.S. “handouts.” Instead, he asked that the United States simply do more business with his nation.
Speaking during an event at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., on March 13, Bukele said the mass emigration from El Salvador and other countries in the region was “shameful.” In his first public speech since being elected last month, the president-elect vowed to end the exodus of his countrymen from their homeland due to violence and a lack of opportunity. Among other policies, he intends to crackdown on El Salvador’s notorious gangs and corruption. And with the help of American business, he hopes to stimulate commerce and economic opportunity for his people, he said.
“When we speak about immigration, for example, we have a common ground,” he said, noting that it was good to focus on areas of agreement rather than disagreement to make progress. “We know the origin of immigration is lack of opportunities and violence in our countries — that is the origin of 90 percent of our immigration.... I say our countries because I include Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras. So what is the solution? You could do 1,000 counter immigration programs, but none of them will work as well as developing opportunities in the countries where immigration originated.”
Bukele, a self-styled leftist who broke El Salvador's two-party system and won in a landslide last month, vowed to “end emigration, forceful emigration and we want the United States to help.” But the reason for working to stem the tide of migration is not because U.S. taxpayers are “going to send us aid, but because it’s a common interest,” he said. “We want our talents to stay in El Salvador, and we want some of the talent to come back.... The fact is we should be ashamed of that — why people are leaving our country.” Indeed, about one third of Salvadoreans live in the United States today, he said
But unlike other governments, Bukele insists he is not looking for a handout from Americans. “Some countries would come to the United States and ask for handouts,” he said in his speech in D.C., which was attended by Salvadoreans in the United States and others. “But a handout is like giving a drug addict money; he will go out and buy drugs. We don’t want any handouts. Actually, we’re ready to refuse aid if we will jump-start commerce. We are ready to do business with the United States, our greatest and most powerful ally.”
The key, he said, was to “lure” private investment to El Salvador. And the key to luring private investment, he continued, is having the “right rules,” a stable legal system, basic infrastructure, “limited government,” security, and an end to the corruption that has wreaked havoc across the region. How free market friendly he is remains to be seen, and despite the rhetoric, there are still suspicions about his true allegiances considering his background with the communist and socialist forces that were marching across the region until recently.
Bukele is the first president since the 1980s to come from outside El Salvador's two-party duopoly. However, before his run for the presidency, he was the mayor of San Salvador, the capital, with the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMNL), a “former” Marxist-Leninist terror group backed by the mass-murdering regimes ruling Cuba and the Soviet Union. More recently, the FMNL's succesful candidate for president in the previous election, Marxist mass-murderer Salvador Sanchez Ceren, was backed by ruthless gangs, the Obama administration, and key members of the globalist establishment and its Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR has been closely linked to the “pink tide” in Latin America, and especially the subversive communist and socialist alliance known as the Foro de Sao Paulo that FMNL is tied to.
President-elect Bukele was expelled from the Marxist party in late 2017 for allegedly fomenting “division.” After being kicked out, he tried to form a new party, joined other parties, and eventually won the presidency with the Grand Alliance for National Unity (GANA), a self-styled “center-right” party that is allied with the Marxist-Leninist FMNL in the legislature. He is the son of an Arab-descent Muslim imam and a Catholic mother. And while he has been photographed praying at mosques, a fact that caused significant controversy in the overwhelmingly Catholic Central American nation, Bukele claims to be a believer in “God” rather than “religion.” On Twitter, Bukele continues to celebrate radical left-wing politicians, including Mexico’s far-left “AMLO.”
In a follow-up interview with Heritage's Daily Signal after the speech, Bukele echoed his desire to end the mass immigration from El Salvador to the United States. “In the immigration debate, we always talk about the borders. We always talk about the countries that get the influx of immigrants. But we seldomly speak about what are we doing in our country for the people not fleeing,” he said. “People are not fleeing the states, right? Why people are fleeing our country? We should be doing things really badly for our own people to want to flee our country. So we want to end that.”
There are also selfish reasons to try to stem the exodus, Bukele continued. “For us, it's not cheap, either, to be exporting our young population, our population that is willing to work, that is willing to work really hard for their families,” he said. “One of the best services we can provide to the people, to companies, to international investors, to tourists, for tourism to grow, is investing in making our country safe.... We haven't done it because the previous administration and the current administration have been focusing on stealing money.”
During the speech, Bukele also repeatedly distanced himself and his incoming government from the imploding communist and socialist regimes oppressing the people of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and beyond. He also was sharply critical of the mass-murdering Communist Party dictatorship enslaving mainland China. “China does not play by the rules; they do not respect the rules,” he said at Heritage. “They develop projects that are not feasible, leaving countries with huge debt that cannot be paid back and use that as financial leverage.... They are not a democracy, but they intervene in your democracy.”
His comments on migration sparked widespread interest. President Amapola Hansberger with Legal Immigrants for America (LIFA), a non-profit organization for American immigrants who oppose illegal immigration, highlighted the significance of Bukele's remarks. “Unbelievably, we have a foreign president-elect addressing and acknowledging our national security emergency at the border and offering to help, while in our own country, the opposition attacks President Trump relentlessly and tries to block him from resolving the very same crisis,” she said, adding that the Left refuses to allow the president to “Make America Safe Again” by bringing the border crisis under control.
And indeed, the crisis at the border is now immense. Just last month, more than 75,000 illegal aliens were apprehended or turned away at the Southern border. An unprecedented 40,000 “families” — many are simply smugglers exploiting children to pose as families — arrived at the border last month. Dozens of large groups have been caught. And as the surge increases, the federal government is now releasing huge numbers of aliens into the United States knowing full well that almost none of them will show up to their future court hearings.
In response to the escalating crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, far-left Democrats have proposed open borders and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), all while denying that there is a crisis. At the state and local level, Democrats are working to establish “sanctuaries” for illegal immigrants by ordering law enforcement not to cooperate with the feds on immigration matters and deportations, sometimes with deadly consequences. And establishment Republicans, often ridiculed by critics as “Republicans In Name Only” (RINOs), are perpetuating the crisis by working to provide amnesty for those who came illegally.
“The Left finds the control of our border"s offensive,” said Hansberger with LIFA. “For them, the rewarding and giving preference to criminal illegal aliens that do harm to the people of the USA, is logical. Their contempt and hatred towards the natural born American and the traditional legal immigrant is obvious. President Trump is not alone; we are ALL at war against the enemy within and without.” Hansberger also suggested that if illegal aliens suddenly became Republicans, “an impenetrable wall would appear in the blink of an eye” and illegal border crossers would face severe punishment.
“The Democrat Party seems no longer interested in representing the people of the United States of America,” she said. “It has become The Globalist Party.”
To the extent that Bukele's rhetoric becomes policy in El Salvador, the Salvadorean people and the American people will be much better off. And it could be that he has had a genuine change of heart since he was kicked out of FMLN in late 2017. However, considering Bukele's background and deep involvement with the Marxist-Leninist movement in his nation and the party’s close links to the communist Foro de Sao Paulo, it would be wise not just to trust, but to “verify” as well.
Salvadorean President-elect Nayib Bukele: AP Images