El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele is making the headlines recently. In part, it reflects recent moves he’s making to consolidate power and run for President again. But a few days ago he trolled the world by changing his Twitter profile to read ‘dictator’ instead of ‘president.’ It’s clear that he represents a new fresh face for Latin American authoritarian politics. Social media savvy, populist, connected to the far right, and willing to do what it takes to win and maintain power. 
This is a roundup of recent articles on Bukele – and what it means for El Salvador, a country that has long been a victim of U.S. policies. [- Progressive Hub]

There’s Trouble in El Salvador’s Bitcoin Paradise By Hilary Goodfriend, 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. At forty years old, El Salvador’s millennial millionaire president has projected an international image as a youthful and irreverent Silicon Valley–style disrupter.

Nayib Bukele made headlines by snapping a selfie during his first address at the United Nations, then made his country the only in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. But beneath this vacuous techbro veneer, Bukele’s government has a deeply authoritarian character. The president, who has enjoyed persistently high approval ratings despite his unconstitutional consolidation of executive power, now faces a growing opposition movement amid deepening economic and political crises.

Salvadoran president rules out allowing abortion, same-sex marriage by Jose Cabezas, Reuters

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said on Friday a raft of constitutional reforms the government will send soon to Congress will not contain decriminalization of abortion, legalization of same-sex marriage or steps to permit euthanasia. The package of planned measures Bukele received this week from Vice President Felix Ulloa includes the extension and possible early termination of the presidential term and the creation of a new body to replace the electoral tribunal.

“I have decided, to dispel ANY DOUBT, NOT TO PROPOSE ANY KIND OF REFORM TO ANY ITEMS RELATED TO the RIGHT TO LIFE (from the moment of conception), to marriage (keeping only the original design, A MAN AND A WOMAN) or to euthanasia,” Bukele wrote on his Facebook account, capitalizing certain parts.

El Salvador’s President Calls Himself Dictator on Twitter Following Protests Against His Government by Anders Anglesy, Newsweek

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele has called himself as a “dictator” on his social media profile after thousands gathered to protest against his government. The 40-year-old leader recently changed his Twitter bio to “dictator of El Salvador” after it previously said “Layla’s dad,” the name of his daughter. It is unclear whether his account has been hacked or if President Bukele made the change himself.

The change to President Bukele’s Twitter bio has been the subject of debate online, with several accounts questioning whether he is trolling or whether it justifies claims that he is an authoritarian leader.

Thousands protest against Bukele government in El Salvador by Marcos Aleman, AP

Thousands of people gathered in El Salvador’s capital Wednesday for the first mass march against President Nayib Bukele, who protesters say has concentrated too much power, weakened the independence of the courts and may seek re-election. Some marchers are also protesting the controversial decision by Bukele’s government to make the cryptocurrency Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador, the first country to do so. Officials rolled out a digital wallet known as the “Chivo” one week ago, but the system has been down frequently for maintenance.

Some marchers wore T-shirts that read “NO To Bitcoin.” A few demonstrators vandalized the special ATM machines set up to handle Bitcoin transactions, but which have been inoperable anyway for much of the week. The cubicle housing one ATM machine was destroyed.