Bukele Has Potential

I really liked President Bukele’s thoughts about Trump’s wall and he is certain that the wall will fail.  As my readers know, I have various articles about Trump’s wall and here is just one of them. Here is one with the sub-title El Chapo and El Trumpo.  Always click on the blue links in my articles. 

I watched the Sky News interview with Nayib Bukele and it took time to see and learn that he has potential.  He repeats himself a lot which he shouldn’t, but his answers are honest.  I was impressed how he handled questions, but I know that he has to be careful about how he handles questions about Trump.  He does have to be more forceful about what Trump is doing and he does have to get those American aid dollars which are extremely helpful.  He has to walk on eggs and not crack the shells, even as people are critical.  He tackled many difficult subjects, including police that are killing citizens extra-judicially.  He talks too much in generalities and should be much more specific, especially detailing to his people within El Salvador and in other countries what he is doing right now.

Trump’s wall was discussed.  Trump’s calling El Salvador a “shithole” country was discussed.  Trump’s detention centers were discussed.  Trump clearly is to blame and whether he is a racist or not does not matter.  Bukele points out that Trump is most likely appealing to his base, a very evil base I say.  Bukele says that Trump is a businessman, but does not mention all of his bankruptcies and lost cases in court.  At least Bukele did not say that Trump was a good or great businessman.

$5.4 billion coming from the United States.  This may be El Salvador’s largest business as it has been throughout my association with El Salvador since the end of 2001.  I became the teacher of El Salvador, but I was more than a teacher.  I took the CEO/President of the GED Testing Service who I had two meetings with to the Embassy of El Salvador in Washington, D.C. where promises were made but they could not be realized (any Salvadoran without a high school diploma could be tested in the embassy (undocumented citizen of El Salvador and visitor).  The other embassy that we went to is the Embassy of Honduras.  Things were very positive, but.  I have visited the Embassy of El Salvador in Paris, France (and the Dominican Embassy there as well).  My passion for helping the people has never waned through changes in administrations, but there have always been people in positions that were far less than competent to address the needs of the Salvadoran people.  What I learned about the billions of dollars in what Salvadorans call “remesas” or money that they send home is this and I heard in the Consulate of El Salvador in Brentwood.  Government officials knew that some or much of the money going home was being wasted on vices such as drugs and alcoholism (there must have been a much larger list).  At that time, I called for a government connected marketing plan that would channel those funds into investments and education (savings and personal advancement) and I know of nothing that happened to achieve it.  That was during the Saca Administration which was a long time ago.

Due to my work in the Consulate of El Salvador and in communities inside New York and outside, I have been recognized in a mall, a bus stop, and an immigrant rally in Washington, D.C. by Salvadorans.  All of that pretty much ended years ago through a combination of factors, but the fight is far from over.   Knowledge and reputation will help the people triumph and that can happen now.  Much of what Bukele speaks about in his interview can be addressed in the consulates and embassies of El Salvador across the United States and around the world.  As people wait for services including obtaining or renewing passports, they can get vital information presented through monitors that provide that information to help the people.  We did that back in 2001 and it could have been much more effective (other countries including Mexico can learn to do the same thing and remember that Mexico has many more consulates).  Bukele can learn from me, because he closest and most experienced advisors have failed to tell him that during the Flores Administration an integral part of the help being given in consulates was GED or high school equivalency which appeared on posters.  I provided that help everywhere, but not everywhere since every consul general was different.  That was a major flaw back then and will continue to be a flaw in the future if the educational needs of the people are not addressed everywhere.  I provided a booklet on scholarships that could have been shared all over the United States. 

I am not talking about propaganda in any form to be conducted by the government of El Salvador.  For example watching a video that tells people that 56 scholarships have been given out during 2019 is an example of propaganda.  Explaining the process to obtain that scholarship effectively to the people, especially to the poor is not propaganda.  Bukele explains in his interview that the members of MS-13 are not coming at all from the rich or the middle class because they come out of poverty.  Again these general comments coming from Bukele show potential unlike comments made by Trump about how beautiful, idyllic parks have been ruined by MS-13 when we know that before MS-13 there was a civil war that ended in 1992 that devastated the country and a contributing factor was United States support.  Trump, in my good Castilian, is a schmuck and Bukele has to know this and accept this.  Those parks were probably killing fields before MS-13 just as the parks of Auschwitz were.  There are 60,000 gang members who will need jobs in El Salvador.  Of course the need is much greater than that, but if they can’t be employed you would think that Mr. Trump, the businessman, would have made a list of the businesses that those gang members could go into.  I wonder out loud if Trump has given Bukele any ideas to consider.  Trump is only involved in the show Let’s Make A Deal at this time and probably the deal will go nowhere.  John F. Kennedy wanted Cuba to give up communism and you see where that went.

The real shortcomings come as we ask questions such as what was the taxation in El Salvador after the civil war there?  If it was low why weren’t enough jobs generated.  We talk about trickle down economics here.  And we know that taxation was around 90 percent in the United States after World War II.  I read about Bukele giving tax breaks to small businesses in san Salvador, but just how did the workers benefit.  Trickle down does not work and it is not working here in America under one of the best economic engines in our history.  And even here we have states that are considered third world countries.

And economists have to figure out with Bukele just who is going to benefit either way, with American aid or without it.  There are lots of savings related to education that can be suggested without firing teachers, cutting spending, and cutting down on badly needed infrastructure and improvements.  But the bottom line for me is that there has to be a big shakeup in helping the poor.  Are the same wealthy families that I heard about more than a dozen years ago still controlling things?

Bukele did a lot of work as Mayor of San Salvador which propelled him to where he is today.  I wonder what achievements are being expanded by Bukele right now to the rest of the nation.  And from watching the video we know that Bukele and his trusted advisors are communicating even at 3 A.M. and he feels that a year has passed instead of a month.  Just what plan have they come up with after all that work?  Or is all the work about figuring out how to deal with Donald Trump?  We needed better answers in that Sky News interview, specifics instead of generalities.

We can promote the general welfare of the people of El Salvador by advancing the cause of high school equivalency, providing psychological counseling to the police and those in other sectors of law enforcement (and please see the press release inside the article), do more to uplift gang members early on than to wait until too late, and connect with those interested Salvadorans who can provide training and hope to El Salvador right now.  Also a road can be created to make the people bilingual or more which can be started as soon as possible instead of later when an official thinks that it is the right time.  And who wouldn’t want to see more Salvadorans either pass and/or do better on the national exam?  There is hope for greater accomplishment by all.

“El Quijote del GED” or Profesor Martin was known by Margarita Escobar, Roberto Kriete, and others in El Salvador back in the day, but he went from being a general who could influence people to a nobody that people did not listen to.  Nayib Bukele has important decisions to make right now.  And he can easily fail just as others have failed before him.  People who know me know that I give much of the credit for my success to Luis Montes-Brito, the former consul general and vice-minister.  One of my ideas is already in the Presidential Election Campaign of 2020 and I expect to influence much more, particularly as it relates to criminal justice reform and police training.  Oh yes there is more coming.