The country’s president, Nayib Bukele, is demonstrating ever-growing authoritarian behavior, starting with the armed storming of the Legislative Assembly on Feb. 9, by U.S.-equipped elite army and police units led by the defense minister and police chief, on the president’s orders.
Since then, he has attacked the judiciary and the independent press, and his government has launched new media outlets, including a daily newspaper that is financed with public funds. Mr. Bukele regularly disqualifies and even demonizes opponents, and his ministers routinely dismiss legislative summons to account for extraordinary coronavirus-related spending.
Certainly, there will be changes under the Biden administration, starting with the welcome replacement of the current U.S. ambassador. I would also hope that at Mr. Biden’s proposed summit of democracies next year, the case of El Salvador will be high on the list of countries to be “honestly confronted” for backsliding on their democratic practices.
Alexander A. Kravetz,
The writer is a former ambassador to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations in Geneva and is an
opposition candidate in El Salvador’s Feb. 28 legislative elections.