El Salvadoran president accuses Biden admin of funding communist insurgents to overthrow government

Part of Vice President Kamala Harris’ task to address the “root causes” of illegal immigration was improving U.S. relations with the leaders of the several Central American nations where the majority of illicit migrants originate from. That was easier said than done, though, particularly with the right-leaning populist president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele.

That failure was evidenced by Bukele’s recent Twitter spat with a State Department official in which he accused the Biden administration of corruption and funding communist insurgents to overthrow the Salvadoran government, the Washington Examiner reported.

Rhetorical shots fired

This online diplomatic dust-up appears to have begun with a tweet on Dec. 8 when the hugely popular Bukele took a swipe at President Joe Biden and remarks Biden had made about democracy in Afghanistan, saying, “It is clear that the interests of the United States Government have NOTHING TO DO with democracy, in ANY COUNTRY.”

That prompted a response from a top State Department official, Brian Nichols, the assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere affairs, who condemned Bukele and sought to bypass and undermine him with statements directed at the Salvadoran people.

“We condemn @nayibbukele’s false accusations against @POTUS and other U.S. government officials, including Ambassador Manes and current Charge d’Affaires Brendan O’Brien,” Nichols tweeted. “These unwarranted personal attacks attempt to distract the Salvadoran people from corruption in the Bukele administration and they damage El Salvador’s relationship with the U.S.”

Nichols added, “We remain a close friend and ally of the Salvadoran people and will continue to work to advance the interests of the citizens of both countries. We welcome dialogue and a better relationship, but not at the cost of remaining silent in the face of harmful actions.”

Salvadoran president responds

Bukele wasted no time in firing back at Nichols’ thread, though, and called out former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes while posting screenshots of text messages that showed her asking for a particular criminal to be released with an ankle bracelet, something Bukele insisted could not be done.

“False accusations? Is it false that Jean Manes asked me to release Neto Muyshondt (captured in video giving tens of thousands of US dollars to gang members)? Do you want me to continue?”

A couple of days later, Bukele added for good measure, “US taxpayers should know that their government is using their money to fund communist movements against a democratic elected (and with a 90% approval rating) government in El Salvador. It’s not working though. The people of El Salvador won’t go back to that terrible past.”

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