In recent years, Beijing’s strong foothold in Latin America has caused anxiety in Washington, particularly amid the recent resurgence of left-wing governments in South America. But although Beijing has made considerable gains in the region at Washington’s expense, claims about China’s influence there might be overstated.
Last week, Honduras became the latest country to sever its diplomatic relations with Taiwan and instead recognize the People’s Republic of China. Taiwan has a choice: continue watching countries get picked off one by one due to Beijing’s checkbook diplomacy, or work with its allies to find a new way to relate to the world.
When Nayib Bukele was elected president of El Salvador four years ago, many observers hoped it might signal the start of a new era for the country, one characterized by accountability for the military and the defense of human rights. It’s hard to imagine how those hopes could have been more bitterly disappointed.
El Salvador’s controversial president, Nayib Bukele, has clearly captured Latin America’s imagination. Polls show that his image is quite favorable among the region’s general public, and some politicians are now trying to cash in on his popularity, offering approaches that play off of Bukele’s war against El Salvador’s gangs.