The World's Coolest Dictator and his Bitcoin gambit
Here is another round-up of El Salvador related news in the English language press around the world. Many of the recent headlines take off from Nayib Bukele's decision to label himself the "world's coolest dictator" in his Twitter profile. Other articles continue the world press fascination with Bukele's Bitcoin experiment in the country. Too little attention was paid to Bukele's overhaul of the judicial system with judges to his liking.
- Nayib Bukele calls himself the ‘world’s coolest dictator’ – but is he joking? (The Guardian) “Few world leaders have navigated the Covid-19 crisis for their own political benefit better than the Salvadoran president.”
- Fears for democracy in El Salvador after president claims to be ‘coolest dictator (The Guardian) -- “US diplomat raises concerns after Nayib Bukele makes outlandish claim on Twitter and replaces judges to permit future re-election.”
- President of El Salvador rebrands himself ‘world’s coolest dictator’ amid growing protests against his rule (Morning Star) -- “EL SALVADOR’S President Nayib Bukele rebranded himself “the world’s coolest dictator” on Tuesday as he brushed off criticism of his authoritarianism. He made the change to his Twitter profile as he faces mass protests against his rule and a new Bitcoin Law, which was introduced two weeks ago.”
- El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law Is a Farce (Foreign Policy) -- “An electronic payment system could be of vast benefit to El Salvador if it were designed to gain the public’s trust. But if Bukele wanted Salvadorans to hate everything about bitcoin, and electronic payment systems in general, Chivo has been a worked example of how to get there.”
- Why El Salvador Is Botching Its Bitcoin Experiment (CoinDesk) -- “More importantly, the combination of that [Bitcoin] price drop with Chivo’s continued glitches, with concerns about some of the law’s more draconian elements and with harsh treatment of one of its critics, has fueled a mini “bank run” on the bitcoin that was distributed to Salvadorans. “
- There’s Trouble in El Salvador’s Bitcoin Paradise (Jacobin) -- “Between the growing authoritarianism of his government and the massive popular pushback to his absurd new Bitcoin law, the honeymoon for El Salvador’s young, self-styled “disrupter” president Nayib Bukele is over.”
- El Salvador Leader Bukele Extends Bet on Bitcoin After 16% Loss (Bloomberg) -- “El Salvador is doubling down on its Bitcoin bet as the price plunges, with its president saying, ‘They can never beat you if you buy the dips’.”
- Bitcoin, Bukele and democracy in El Salvador (AlJazeera) -- “Nayib Bukele, the youngest president in the history of the country, wanted to adopt cryptocurrency to improve the economy. But his critics said it might be a distraction from the measures Bukele has taken dismantling democratic institutions, as well as his attacks on the press.” (podcast)
- Who is Nayib Bukele? The ‘cool, millennial dictator’ whose Bitcoin push has plunged El Salvador into turmoil (Inews.co.uk) -- El Salvador’s self-styled “cool, millennial dictator” has plunged the country into an uncertain future after adopting bitcoin as official currency, experts say, with one of Latin America’s poorest nations in turmoil over the policy.
- El Salvador to begin giving third dose of COVID-19 vaccine (Reuters) -- “El Salvador joins a growing group of Latin American nations that are giving booster shots to certain groups of at-risk people, including Panama, Ecuador and Chile.”