Trump’s words

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Newspaper cover this morning

President Trump’s use of the term “shithole” to describe El Salvador along with Haiti and African nations was immediately and widely reported in El Salvador. 

El Salvador’s government issued a statement lamenting the expressions and demanding respect for the “noble and valiant” Salvadoran people and reminding the White House that Salvadorans had helped rebuild the Pentagon after 9-11 and had helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

US Ambassador to El Salvador Jean Manes needed to tweet last night:
Estados Unidos valora la amistad y la relación con el pueblo Salvadoreño. He tenido el privilegio de viajar alrededor de este hermoso país y conocer a miles de Salvadoreños. Es un honor vivir y trabajar aquí. Seguiremos 100% comprometidos.
— Jean Manes (@USAmbSV) January 12, 2018
The United State values the friendship and the relationship with the Salvadoran people.  I have had the privilege to travel around this beautiful country and to meet thousands of Salvadorans.   It is an honor to live and work here.   We will continue to be 100% committed.
A Salvadoran living in the US tweeted:
.@realDonaldTrump called El Salvador a shithole country. My parents fled that country because of U.S.-intervention. If it’s a shithole, it’s Made in the USA™.

— Daniel Alvarenga (@_danalvarenga) January 11, 2018

ARENA candidate for president in 2019 Carlos Calleja tweeted:

Debemos sentirnos orgullosos de ser salvadoreños. Cada ofensa, venga de donde venga, debe fortalecernos y unificarnos como nación. Nuestra relación de respeto con el pueblo norteamericano seguirá siendo una realidad hoy, mañana y siempre. #ElSalvadorCachimbón
— Carlos Calleja (@jccalleja) January 11, 2018

We should feel proud to be Salvadorans. Each offense, come from wherever they come, must strengthen and unify us as a nation. Our relationship of respect with the American people will remain a reality today, tomorrow and always. #ElSalvadorCachimbón

The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights who recently visited El Salvador and was certainly critical of the country’s human rights record, reacted harshly:

A spokesman for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights condemned President Trump for calling Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries,” saying “there’s no other word one can use but racist” to describe the remarks.

In the end, I do not expect these remarks to change anything in the relationship between the US and El Salvador.   I do think that the words of Trump express accurately how he views the countries of the developing world, and particularly developing countries in Latin America.   It is one of the reasons that I predicted two days after Trump’s election that there was a serious question whether TPS would ever be renewed for El Salvador.  If you gave this “actual genius” a test regarding facts concerning El Salvador, I expect the only thing he could tell you is that MS-13 has gang members in the country.