American mainstream media owes El Salvador and its President Nayib Bukele an apology after printing hundreds of articles predicting that the country was going to default on its debt because of its decision to make Bitcoin a national currency.
While the New York Times ran this headline, "A Poor Country Made Bitcoin a National Currency. The Bet Isn't Paying Off." The Washington Post published an entire Op-Ed warning about the state of El Salvador and how it could default. The Washington Post reported:
Bukele has paid dearly for his animosity against the United States. In January 2023, the government of El Salvador must pay 800 million dollars in international bonds. Bukele’s first option was to seek financing through the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but after the dismissal of the Supreme Court magistrates, negotiations with the United States – one of the top financiers of the multilateral organization – stalled. — criticized Bukele’s authoritarian actions.
The impossibility of reaching an agreement with the IMF forced Bukele, in September 2021, to find an unorthodox solution to a fiscal crisis: to convert the Bitcoin cryptocurrency into a currency for legal use. For this, Bukele invested at least 150 million dollars taxed by the people of El Salvador in the adoption of the cryptocurrency. Since then, the country’s financial situation has worsened. By May 2022, El Salvador has become the nation with the highest risk of default in Latin America, behind Venezuela, and its international bonds have one of the worst yields in the world, along with Ukraine and Belarus.
However, much to the surprise of Western media, El Salvador did not default on its debt. In fact, Bukele announced that the county is paying out the bond in full and with interest.
Bukele is now criticizing the media, saying, "they lie and lie and lie, and when their lies are exposed, they go on silence mode." He also has "the receipts" to support his statements.
The mainstream media is not responding to Bukele's criticisms, naturally. While El Salvador will never get the apology it deserves, at least it has a leader willing to call out the media on its lies and a much more stable national currency than expected.
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