El Salvador

El Salvador’s Bukele tells bitcoin-wary US senators to stay out of internal affairs

Reuters
El Salvador’s Bukele tells bitcoin-wary US senators to stay out of internal affairs

NAYIB BUKELE. El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during a ceremony to inaugurate the expansion of the San Oscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez International Airport, in San Luis Talpa, El Salvador on February 8, 2022.

Jose Cabezas/Reuters

Senators Jim Risch, Bill Cassidy and Bob Mendez ask the State Department to submit a report on the implementation of bitcoin in El Salvador, with the purpose of assessing the risks it poses to the US economy

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – El Salvador President Nayib Bukele on Wednesday, February 16, asked US senators to stay out of the country’s “internal affairs” after they called for an investigation into the economic risks the United States faces due to the Central American country’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender.

Senators Jim Risch, Bill Cassidy and Bob Mendez asked the State Department to submit a report on the implementation of bitcoin in El Salvador with the purpose of assessing the risks it poses to the US economy.

“Ok boomers… You have 0 jurisdiction on a sovereign and independent nation,” Bukele, 40, said in a tweet, referring to the older generation of “baby boomers.” “We are not your colony, your back yard or your front yard. Stay out of our internal affairs. Don’t try to control something you can’t control.”

El Salvador was the first country in the world to adopt cryptocurrency for official use, in parallel to the US dollar, a decision that has drawn it harsh criticism from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The US senators also expressed fear over the fact that adopting bitcoin could weaken the US government’s sanctions policy and increase the activity of criminal organizations.

“This new policy has the potential to weaken US sanctions policy, empowering malign actors like China and organized criminal organizations. Our bipartisan legislation seeks greater clarity on El Salvador’s policy,” said the senators in a statement.

The Salvadoran government, which has acquired some 1,801 bitcoins since September, has been questioned by economists and the opposition for its refusal to be accountable in the process of buying and managing the funds.

Diplomatic relations between El Salvador and the United States have deteriorated after the White House publicly denounced cases of corruption in Bukele’s government and an escalation of measures to accumulate power. – Rappler.com