El Salvador’s President Responds To Ilhan Omar Letter
President of El Salvador, Nayyib Bukele, recently responded to far-left Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's attack on his country's democracy. In a post on the X platform, Omar expressed her concerns about supposed attacks on democracy in El Salvador and called for the US State Department to review its relationship with the country. Bukele, however, did not take kindly to her comments and instead humiliated her with a scathing response.
In her post, Omar announced that she had sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to defend democratic values in El Salvador. She also expressed her hopes for free and fair elections in the country without any fear of repression. However, Bukele was quick to respond, stating that he was honored to receive attacks from such a disreputable figure like Omar. He further added, "I would be very worried if we had your support. Thank you".
With her comments, Omar not only faced humiliation from Bukele but also received criticism from X's Community Notes feature. In a community note addressing her post, it was mentioned that Bukele was democratically elected with a majority of 54% votes in 2019. The note also highlighted the drastic decrease in El Salvador's murder rate by 93% and Bukele's approval rating of 91% among its citizens.
Despite Bukele's popularity and his successful efforts in transforming one of Latin America's most dangerous countries into one of its safest, Omar and her Democratic colleagues continued to criticize his uncompromising leadership style. In their letter, they accused him of militarized harassment of the legislature, erosion of judicial independence, and de facto criminalization of civil society.
We are HONORED to receive your attacks, just days before OUR election.
I would be very worried if we had your support.
Thank you https://t.co/7V5a0AdpCV
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) January 31, 2024
It is worth noting that Omar herself has a history of meddling in foreign affairs. Just this week, she pledged her allegiance to her home country of Somalia, which she fled as a refugee when she was just a teenager. In her speech, she not only showed support for uniting all Somalians, regardless of their ethnicity or religion but also made divisive comments, fueling tensions in her native homeland.
Her remarks were met with strong criticism from a representative of the autonomous region of Somaliland, who accused her of using "ethno-racist rhetoric" and showing a "significant lack of understanding of basic facts". Her insistence on Somalia being "for Somalis only" was seen as an attempt to deny the presence of ethnic and religious minorities in the country.
Many have also pointed out the irony in Omar's letter to Secretary Blinken, as she accuses Bukele of interfering in El Salvador's upcoming elections while she herself meddles in the political affairs of her home country. This is not the first time Omar has caused controversy with her comments on foreign countries. In 2019, she faced backlash for her comments on the Israel-Palestine conflict and was accused of anti-Semitism.
While it is important for foreign leaders to maintain a positive relationship with the US, it is equally important for them to lead their own countries in a way that benefits their citizens. Bukele's efforts in improving El Salvador's safety and economy have been widely praised by its citizens, and it is ultimately up to them to decide who they want to lead their country.
In the end, it is Bukele's response that speaks volumes about his character. Rather than engaging in a heated exchange, he chose to take the high road and mock Omar's lack of credibility and support in El Salvador. This incident serves as a reminder for politicians to focus on addressing the issues in their own countries rather than interfering in the affairs of others.