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Tags: El Salvador | Joe Biden

Damian Merlo: Biden's Double Standard in El Salvador

Biden in east room of white house speaking on economy

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to speak during an event in the East Room of the White House - Sept. 16, 2021 - in Washington, DC. Biden spoke about the U.S. economy during the event. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 16 September 2021 02:37 PM

In April of this year, just four months into his term, President Joe Biden initiated an assault on America’s democracy when he expressed his desire to expand the United States Supreme Court.

While the U.S. Constitution does not clearly define the number of justices to the high court, we have lived in harmony with nine seats since 1869.

President Donald Trump was able to nominate three judges to the highest court in the land, giving conservatives a six to three majority.

The liberal response from Biden is a far-fetched interpretation of the Constitution in order to pack the court and regain a majority. This would arguably give the Democratic Party control of the three branches of our government.

Let’s now look at El Salvador in Latin America, where President Nayib Bukele enjoys approval ratings at 90%, even after two years in office.

During that time, his political party won midterm elections earlier this year in a landslide victory. His party freely and fairly obtained a supermajority in the Salvadoran Congress, thus giving the president the equivalent of a filibuster-proof legislature — much like what President Barack Obama had in 2008.

As Obama famously said, "Elections have consequences." A president who wins a supermajority in Congress should not waste time in making use of their mandate.

It's not often leaders obtain such strong mandate from their voters. When it happens, it's their duty to deliver.

This is what Bukele and his political party in Congress are doing. The people of El Salvador have heard enough talk.

They want action now.

On their first day in office, the new national assembly in El Salvador acted quickly and swiftly by replacing the five corrupt constitutional judges from their posts. They could have set up endless hearings and committees for debate, but the result would have been the same.

A similar move may not be legal in the U.S., but this is completely legal in El Salvador. Perhaps Biden and his liberal allies resent Bukele’s ability to do what they cannot.

Without a doubt, if the U.S. Constitution allowed President Biden to replace the Trump-appointed Supreme Court justices, he would have done it on his first day in office, much like he did with the with his 17 dubious executive orders.

Since he cannot, he wants to pack the court, a constitutional move, but highly undemocratic.

Consider this, 30-plus years of corrupt practices by two disappearing Cold War era political parties in El Salvador did inconceivable damage to El Salvador’s democracy.

It was a democracy full of corruption, designed to benefit the elite and not the people, before President Bukele was elected.

This is why we saw more than $200 billion lost to corruption and more than 3 million Salvadoran citizens flee their country, mostly to America.

Those who stayed behind, lived in fear for their lives as those very same war opponents turned politicians responsible for 50,000 deaths in a bloody civil war carried their struggle as clandestine allies into politics.

Before Bukele, the killings continued with gangs, such as MS-13, virtually taking over the country.

In the short two years Bukele has been in office, violent crime has decreased by more than 70% and murders are at a historical low.

Can we say that about Baltimore or Chicago under management by Democrats?

Furthermore, MS-13 and Barrio 18 have been dealt devastating blows and are now on the run in El Salvador.

The people of El Salvador have the lowest number of illegal aliens trying to leave the country to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. COVID-19 has been dealt with the outmost efficiency and the economy is projected to grow by close to 10% this year.

Last week, the country adopted Bitcoin as a second legal tender currency, which has put El Salvador on the map. Before this, it was known to be a dangerous country where gangs used to rule.

All of these successes in El Salvador are blurred by distorted cables coming out of the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador from diplomats who are more concerned with pandering to their political bosses’ liberal ideology in D.C. than painting an accurate picture of what's really happening.

Instead of embracing El Salvador’s democracy and its endeavor to fight corruption by the legislative assembly, the U.S. State Department continues to conjure up a distorted negative reality of undemocratic practices, or "concerns" for democracy, while ignoring the barrage of positive achievements taking place.

El Salvador’s democracy is as strong as it has been in the past 30 years. Corrupt politicians are once-and-for-all being held accountable.

I'm concerned about democracy, no doubt about it — not in El Salvador, but rather here at home in America. President Biden and his liberal base continue to undermine our system of government and are doing so while infringing upon our freedoms.

Diplomacy and productive bilateral relationships require non-biased, multi-cultured perspectives. When organizations lose the ability to allow counter-perspectives to be heard, they lose their objectivity and become useless, self-serving bureaucracies.

Unfortunately, it’s not only happening at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador, but at the White House as well.

What credibility does the Biden administration have to call out anyone about anti-democratic practices, when they themselves try to circumvent our Constitution with court packing schemes and other maneuvers?

Damian Merlo is a registered foreign agent on behalf of El Salvador. Merlo is a board member of Invest El Salvador, a D.C. based organization working to promote investment in El Salvador.

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What credibility does the Biden administration have to call out anyone about anti-democratic practices?
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Thursday, 16 September 2021 02:37 PM
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