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El Salvadorans to begin national strike against President Nayib Bukele’s government


El Salvadorans to begin national strike against President Nayib Bukele’s government

Jose CabezasReuters
Photo: Jose Cabezas/Reuters

Citizens from El Salvador have called for a national strike today to express their discontent with the government of Nayib Bukele.

After February’s legislative elections, President Bukele has accumulated more power with a majority in parliament—removing the attorney general and supreme court justices with his allies—paving the way to control all branches of government. Bukele has also made volatile economic policy choices, such as adopting Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar and a proposed 20% increase in minimum wage that will likely have fiscal implications.

Today’s national strike will not significantly impact the government’s actions as the president’s popularity remains high. Instead, it is likely Bukele will accumulate more power in attempting to amend the constitution to remove presidential term limits for another run in 2024.

If Bukele continues this path, the US—El Salvador’s biggest aid sponsor—will cut off aid, limit trade or outsize voting power at key international financial institutions. As such, expect the ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of a $1 billion debt deal to stall following several warnings about Bitcoin implementation. Without an IMF program, it is unclear how the government plans to meet its financing needs in 2022-2023.

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