In a captivating interview with Tucker Carlson that aired on TCN on June 6, President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador shared his insights and experiences in transforming one of the most dangerous countries in the world into one of the safest in the Western Hemisphere. The interview covered a wide range of topics, including Bukele’s strategies for combating gang violence, his views on Western civilization, and his advice to former President Donald Trump.

Tucker Carlson is a prominent American conservative political commentator, writer, and television personality. He gained significant recognition as the host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, where he served from 2016 until April 2023, when he was reportedly fired by the network. Since then, Carlson has continued to influence public discourse through his independent projects and social media presence.

Nayib Bukele is the President of El Salvador, a position he has held since June 2019. Bukele is known for his charismatic leadership style and his unconventional approach to governance, which has garnered both praise and criticism domestically and internationally. Before his presidency, he served as the mayor of San Salvador, the capital city of El Salvador.

Here is how Nayib Bukele earned the nickname “the Bitcoin President”:

  1. Bitcoin as Legal Tender: On June 9, 2021, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly passed the Bitcoin Law, making Bitcoin legal tender in the country. This law came into effect on September 7, 2021. This move was aimed at promoting financial inclusion, attracting investment, and stimulating economic growth.
  2. Chivo Wallet: The government introduced the Chivo digital wallet to facilitate Bitcoin transactions. Each citizen received $30 worth of Bitcoin upon downloading the wallet, which helped drive initial adoption.
  3. Bitcoin City: Bukele announced plans for “Bitcoin City,” a project aimed at creating a tax-free city powered by geothermal energy from a nearby volcano, specifically designed to attract Bitcoin businesses and investments.
  4. Volcano Bonds: The government proposed the issuance of Bitcoin-backed “volcano bonds” to fund Bitcoin City and further develop the country’s Bitcoin mining operations using geothermal energy.
  5. Global Advocacy: Bukele has been a vocal advocate of Bitcoin on the global stage, positioning El Salvador as a pioneer in cryptocurrency adoption and frequently highlighting the potential benefits of Bitcoin for other nations.

Achieving Peace and Safety

Bukele emphasized that the foundation for any societal progress is peace. When he took office, El Salvador was known as the murder capital of the world. “We turned it into the safest country in the Western Hemisphere,” Bukele stated. He detailed his administration’s strategic phases to combat gang violence, which included doubling the army and equipping them with necessary tools. The efforts were a combination of methodical planning and what Bukele described as a “miracle.”

Combating Gang Violence

The transformation wasn’t without challenges. Bukele revealed that MS-13 and other gangs retaliated violently, resulting in 87 murders in just three days. This unprecedented violence required immediate and decisive action. Bukele and his team prayed for wisdom and minimal civilian casualties, which he credits as instrumental in their success. “We didn’t have any civilian casualties,” Bukele proudly noted.

Spiritual Warfare

Bukele also touched on the spiritual dimension of his battle against gangs, describing MS-13 as a “satanic” organization. He shared chilling accounts of gang rituals and murders, underscoring the moral and spiritual battles his administration faced. Bukele believes that winning the spiritual war was crucial to their physical victory against crime.

Economic Plans and Seeking God’s Wisdom

Turning to economic policies, Bukele highlighted his three-point plan, with the first point being to “seek God’s wisdom.” He argued that divine guidance is essential for wise decision-making, a stance that distinguishes him from many other world leaders.

Western Civilization and Leadership Challenges

Bukele expressed concerns about the decline of Western civilization, attributing it to a lack of maintenance and moral decay. He criticized the current state of democracy in many Western countries, suggesting that leaders often prioritize short-term gains over long-term stability. Bukele believes that true leadership requires a commitment to maintaining and improving societal systems, much like the maintenance needed for infrastructure.

Advice to Donald Trump

When asked about former President Donald Trump, Bukele offered strategic advice for navigating political challenges. He emphasized that attempts to undermine a candidacy often backfire, garnering more support for the targeted individual. “If there’s no way to stop him from competing in the election, all the things they do to him will just give him more votes,” Bukele observed.

U.S. Criticism and American Immigration to El Salvador

Bukele addressed criticism from U.S. politicians, such as Congressman Jim McGovern, who criticized the relocation of a painting in El Salvador’s airport. Bukele dismissed these critiques as out of touch and irrelevant. He also noted a significant influx of Americans and returning Salvadorans moving to El Salvador, attracted by the country’s newfound safety and opportunities. This migration has spurred a housing boom, contributing to economic growth.

International Cooperation

Bukele revealed that several Latin American leaders have sought his advice on improving their own countries. El Salvador’s successful strategies in security and prison reform have become a model for others facing similar challenges. Bukele emphasized the importance of collaboration and shared knowledge in addressing regional issues.

Argentina has reached out to El Salvador, known for its groundbreaking adoption of Bitcoin, to gain insights and learn from its experiences in the realm of digital assets. This collaboration aims to navigate the complexities of cryptocurrency regulation and growth.

As detailed in a report by Argentina’s National Securities Commission (CNV), top officials from both nations recently engaged in discussions about cryptocurrency regulation. This highlights the influential role of El Salvador, which, in 2021, became the first country to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the U.S. dollar.

Dr. Silva of the CNV praised El Salvador’s pioneering efforts in the crypto space, particularly the establishment of the National Commission for Digital Assets (CNAD). He noted El Salvador’s prominent position not just in Bitcoin usage but also in the broader crypto asset landscape. He expressed a desire to strengthen ties and explore collaborative agreements with El Salvador.

Dr. Boedo of the CNV, who visited El Salvador for technical discussions on securities market development and regulatory aspects, highlighted El Salvador’s valuable experience with crypto assets. He emphasized the importance of maintaining and strengthening ties with El Salvador, a leading figure in this field.

Mr. Juan Carlos Reyes of the CNV acknowledged Argentina’s role in technology and the commission’s commitment to effective industry regulation. He appreciated the innovative approach of El Salvador’s National Digital Assets Commission, recognizing its supervisory experience in digital assets.

El Salvador’s regulatory framework, overseen by the Financial Superintendency and the Central Reserve Bank, manages all digital assets and financial instruments, underscoring the country’s advanced stance in the digital asset sector.

According to a report by Cointelegraph, this collaboration is timely for Argentina, which has recently made strides towards regulating its domestic cryptocurrency market. In April, Argentina introduced registration requirements for crypto firms, signaling a move towards a more regulated crypto environment. This initiative is bolstered by the election of Javier Milei, a Bitcoin-friendly politician, as president in late 2023.

In a related development, Argentina’s foreign affairs minister, Diana Mondino, announced at the end of 2023 that her government was preparing a decree to legalize the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for payments under specific conditions.

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