Will cutting aid stop Bukele?

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The reduction in aid to El Salvador and President Nayib Bukele is part of a strategy to increase pressure on him to fall into line, according to experts.

Following the May 1 removal of all the constitutional court judges, the attorney general and the anti-corruption chief, international reaction has been critical of Bukele. This included the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) saying that some programs in the country would be cut.

“I think that the United States has exhausted the phase of strong messaging and they’re in a very slow way beginning to ratchet up consequences,” analyst Noah Bullock told BNamericas.

On May 11 and May 12, Joe Biden’s special envoy to Central America, Ricardo Zúñiga, met with Bukele after he had refused talks in April. Zúñiga suggested that El Salvador revert the removals.

Bukele’s reply was the changes were “irreversible.” 

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