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OPINION: The formula for making El Salvador great

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While we see America’s leadership and respect decline around the world at an accelerated rate under the leadership (or lack thereof) of Joe Biden, El Salvador under the leadership of President Nayib Bukele has gained the respect and admiration of many in the United States as well as the people in Latin America. El Salvador has become a beacon of hope, a reference point on how to address crime. Simply put, by putting criminals where they belong, in jail.

El Salvador has lowered the murder rate in 2022 to 7.8 per 100,000 and thus far in 2023, to an unprecedented 3.6 murders per 100,000 according to government statistics. Compare that to cities like New Orleans, where that number is  25.8 per 100,000 or the US murder capital, New Orleans with 74 murders per 100,000 as The Center Square has reported in February of this year.

Tucker Carlson said “Americans should apply for asylum in El Salvador, it’s safer than Baltimore and Chicago.” This could not be more fitting at a time when American liberal-run cities allow criminals to roam freely and act with impunity.

El Salvador has also continued to grow its economy, together with security, it has addressed the root cause of illegal migration, which Vice President Harris has ignored. CBP numbers show that less than 2.4% of encounters at the border came from El Salvador thus far this year, there has been a 40% reduction of numbers as compared to 2022. Of course, the Biden administration choses to sanctions Salvadoran officials, rather than work with them in these successful policies to address illegal migration.

Datoworld, an organization that tracks Presidential approval ratings, places Bukele at 91% approval, while President Biden stands at 56% disapprovals, according to the latest FoxNews poll. President Bukele’s security plan is supported by 95% of the population, that is more than 9 our of 10 people, who can now live in peace and go about their day without worrying about gang threats, extortions, or even being murdered.

While the United States continues to lose leadership and moral authority to dictate what is a “democracy”, El Salvador continues to make progress for its people. As President Bukele stated in a tweet, after President Trump’s indictment“Imagine if this happened to a leading opposition presidential candidate here in El Salvador”. What moral authority do we have to tell other countries what to do when we don’t even respect or follow the rule of la here in America? We are instead, weaponizing the FBI and other law enforcement agencies against political opponents something that only used to happen in third-world countries. The Biden administration should go after real criminals who terrorize liberal cities each and every day.

Magazines such as Colombia’s “Semana” – Time Magazine equivalent – call Bukele a “Miracle” and in Peru, a country that had been plagued by political instability, main media outlets have called for Bukele style policies, saying “We need a Bukele”. Even here in the US, a Newsweek opinion editorial called for “We need an American Bukele”, because of the out of control crime and murders is so many American cities.

There’s plenty of coverage about human rights and El Salvador but it’s completely misguided. With the so-called human rights groups don’t understand is that the rights of Salvadorans have been violated for the past 30 years and it’s only now that the rights of over 6 million people are finally being respected. Thanks for the policies make implemented by the Salvadoran government. When over 60,000 Salvadoran citizens were killed by the gangs, these human right groups and Soros-backed fake news outlets were silent.

There’s no shortage of mainstream, media articles, interviewing mothers of so-called innocent, jailed gang Members. No mother wife or daughter wants to believe or accept their loved one is a member of a gang, but the harsh reality is that the vast majority of the 68,000 plus of those arrested are member of a gang. Just this week, when a Salvadoran police officer was killed by two gang members who have evaded capture, President Bukele did what our own president fails to do, protect our men and women in uniform. Just 24 hours following the assassination, 5,000 troops and 500 police officers were deployed to the town where this murder took place to hunt down these killers. In other words, there is zero tolerance for criminals in El Salvador, especially cop killers, a lesson for our liberal leaders, who are more worried about the rights of criminals than law abiding citizens.

According to El Salvador Ministry of justice and public safety over 4000 people have been released from prison once investigations showed they had no ties with terrorist organizations. This, of course, is an inconvenient truth to the many mainstream news outlets, who either chose to ignore this statistic, or bury it deep into their stories. It is not in the El Salvador’s government interest to arrest innocent people, but mistakes do happen, and this is why they have a judicial system, which seems to be working much better than our own, just ask Sidney Holmes who spent more than 35 years serving a 400 year sentence before his innocence was proven.

On transnational crime, El Salvador has also worked closely with SOUTHCOM and its military counterparts in the Pentagon to intercept record breaking drug shipments at high seas. El Salvador has conducted over 14 successful joint operations, in which they have ceased over 21 tons of cocaine valued at more than $545 million, confiscated over 17 low profile vessels as far as 500 nautical miles off the coast of El Salvador, and detained more than 50 individuals of varies nationalities, including Mexicans and Colombians. Transnational crime has no place in El Salvador.

Luckily, on a recent visit by Sen. Marco Rubio to El Salvador, he saw first-hand the results of the war against the gangs, and how the Biden Administration, instead of embracing and looking to replicate these successful policies, condemns and sanctions members of the Bukele Administration. As Sen. Rubio put it, we make friends with our enemies, and be tough with our allies. This is the quickest way to isolate America, and because of these policies, we are losing our leadership position around the world.

President Biden and the democrats have much to learn from El Salvador and President Nayib Bukele. Implementing common sense policies is not difficult, it just takes political will and the basic understanding that those who hold elected positions are there to serve the people, not themselves.

Damian Merlo is a foreign policy adviser to President Nayib Bukele

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COVID-19

Adviser to Fauci bragged about helping him evade FOIA, ‘he is too smart’ to get caught

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The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic published evidence ahead of a hearing that explains the senior scientific adviser to then-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci actually bragged about helping Fauci evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The adviser, David Morens, admitted in his own communications to intentionally evading FOIA by using a Fauci’s private Gmail address or just handing him documents in person, according to the newly disclosed emails.

The 35-page report on Morens includes previously unreleased emails including:

An April 21, 2021 email shows Morens contacted EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, whom Morens has described as his “best friend” and a U.S. taxpayer conduit for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as well as Boston University and New England Biolabs researchers.

The subject line references “CoV research in China, GoF, etc.,” referring to EcoHealth-facilitated coronavirus research at WIV that could make a virus more transmissible or dangerous. The National Institutes of Health recently admitted it funded gain-of-function research under that definition but not a stricter regulatory definition.

“PS, i forgot to say there is no worry about FOIAs,” Morens wrote. “I can either send stuff to Tony on his private gmail, or hand it to him at work or at his house. He is too smart to let colleagues send him stuff that could cause trouble.”

A May 13, 2021 email to the same recipients referred to “our ‘secret’ back channel” by which Morens connected Fauci to a journalist named “Arthur,” apparently to discuss the feds’ preferred narrative that SARS-CoV-2 emerged naturally rather than via lab leak. The email cited an article on the message board Virological.

Gerald Keusch, associate director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Institute at BU, emailed Daszak Oct. 25, 2021 to relay a phone conversation with “David,” who is “concerned about the privacy of text” and email sent and received on his “government phone” because they “could be FOIA’able.”

“Tony has told him not to be in touch with you and EHA for the time being,” Keusch wrote. Morens relayed that Daszak should get his story straight on EcoHealth’s claim that NIH locked it out of the system when it tried to file its year-five progress report that disclosed an arguable gain-of-function experiment.

Earlier in the day, Morens told Daszak “i will be meeting with Tony about this later on.” The subject line of the thread was “Draft response to Michael Lauer,” deputy director for extramural research at NIH.

Morens also told Daszak that Fauci and then-NIH Director Francis Collins are “trying to protect you, which also protects their own reputations,” apparently meaning against allegations that U.S. tax dollars passed through EcoHealth funded research that may have led to SARS-CoV-2’s emergence.

The subcommittee said it found emails that revealed “likely illegal” practices, including an April 2020 email in which Morens shared a “new NIAID implementation plan” with Daszak and an August 2020 email in which Daszak mentioned a “kick-back” to Morens after NIH awarded $7.5 million to EcoHealth.

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