Bukele wants El Salvador treated differently from its neighbors

Tomorrow president Nayib Bukele will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in El Salvador.  Since his election in early February, Nayib Bukele has been openly courting the United States.  With a message that El Salvador wants a close partnership with the US, Bukele has made multiple trips to Washington, has established a close relationship with US Ambassador Jean Manes, and refuses to criticize any of the anti-immigrant polices of president Donald Trump.

Now Bukele is urging the US to stop viewing the Northern Triangle countries as a monolith and to give El Salvador the better treatment Bukele believes his country deserves.  From AP News:
El Salvador’s new president said his country is trying to reduce irregular migration and fight crime and drug trafficking, and deserves to be treated differently than nearby countries. 
In remarks late Monday, Nayib Bukele called on Washington not to lump his country in with Honduras and Guatemala, the other two nations that make up Central America’s so-called Northern Triangle. 
Honduras and Guatemala “have not been an example, to put it one way, and sometimes a region is punished for actions by governments in which we have no involvement,” Bukele said.

“I think it is a bit unfair,” the president continued, saying his country interdicts three-quarters of drug shipments through its land and sea territory. “I believe that here in El Salvador crime is fought head-on, we fight drug trafficking head-on.”
In his meeting with Pompeo, we can expect Bukele to focus on the roll-out of his security plan in El Salvador, as well as the second phase of that plan which includes pushing government social services to communities throughout the country.  He will stress that migration will be reduced only with development in the country which generates jobs and opportunity, and this will require foreign investment in Bukele's view.

A US State Department press release described Pompeo's objectives:
In San Salvador, Secretary Pompeo will meet with President Bukele to discuss our shared interest in reducing illegal migration and support President Bukele’s efforts to create economic opportunity, combat corruption, and build a strong, self-reliant El Salvador.  The Secretary will reinforce bilateral security cooperation by signing a lease extension for a counternarcotics air hub, and promoting our joint efforts to strengthen Salvadoran law enforcement in support of U.S. national security.
US president Donald Trump and Sec'y of State Mike Pompeo

Bukele might want to ask Pompeo about recent reports that US aid previously designated for El Salvador will instead go to the Venezuelan opposition.   From the Financial Times:
The US government has confirmed it will divert money away from humanitarian aid programmes in Central America and channel it towards the Venezuelan opposition led by Juan Guaidó. 
The move follows Donald Trump’s decision earlier this year to suspend all future humanitarian aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras until they do more to stop migrants heading north to the US border. 
Washington said at the time the money would be used to fund “other foreign policy priorities” without giving details. 
Now the US Agency for International Development has confirmed that some of the funding “will be used in support of the legitimately elected Venezuelan national assembly and interim president Juan Guaidó”.


David said…
I think you haven't watched this interview: https://youtu.be/_H5qmjxFNaw

Starting at minute 12:30, he spends about 10 minutes talking about the wall, and agrees with the characterization of Trump's "inhumane" policies. He's very diplomatic, but saying he refuses to criticize any policies is not correct. What he doesn't do is regularly wail against the US - he accepts responsibility for what ES has to do, regardless of what the US does.