El Salvadorâs new President Nayib Bukele took office Saturday pledging to cure the Central American country that he described as a âsick childâ following years of violence and migration that has strained relations with the United States.
The 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador, who won more votes than all other candidates in the February presidential election, brought an end to a two-party system that has held sway over the country for three decades.
âOur country is like a sick child, now itâs up to all of us to take care of it,â Bukele told the crowd. âWe have to suffer a little now, we have to have a little pain, assume our responsibility and all as brothers to bring forward that child.â
Accompanied by his pregnant wife, Gabriela Rodriguez, Bukele vowed to make bitter decisions for the impoverished and violence-plagued Central American country during his five year term. He did not give details.
His presidency breaks three decades of bipartisanship between the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) and the outgoing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).
Trump sends congratulations
Bukele must now contend with U.S. President Donald Trumpâs frequent threats to cut aid to El Salvador, as well as neighboring Guatemala and Honduras, if they do not do more to curb migration to the United States.
Trump congratulated Bukele on Saturday on Twitter.
The United States stands ready to work with @NayibBukele to advance prosperity in El Salvador and the hemisphere. Congratulations President Bukele on your inauguration!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2019
Tensions over migration have been running high between the United States and its southern neighbor Mexico, with Trump threatening earlier this week to impose punitive tariffs on Mexican goods exported to the United States on June 10.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez were not invited to the ceremony, since Bukele considers them âundemocraticâ governments.