PROFILE - Nayib Bukele: Anti-Maduro leader of El Salvador

President-elect of El Salvador has put his weight behind Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido

Beyza Binnur Dönmez   | 05.02.2019
PROFILE - Nayib Bukele: Anti-Maduro leader of El Salvador President-elect of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele


By Beyza Binnur Donmez


Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has lost another ally in Latin America after presidential elections in El Salvador.

Nayib Bukele won 54 percent of the votes in Sunday's polls.

Unlike the ex-president who attended the oath-taking ceremony of Maduro, the president-elect calls him a dictator.

"Dictators like Maduro in Venezuela, Ortega in Nicaragua and Juan Orlando in Honduras, will never have any legitimacy because they remain in power by force and they do not respect the will of their people. A Dictator is a dictator. From right or from left," said Bukele in a tweet after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president in late January.

Guaido returned the gesture saying a new stage of relations based on the highest democratic values between the two countries will begin.

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

Tensions climbed across the South American country when opposition leader Guaido declared himself the acting president on Jan. 23.

The world has split into two camps over the ongoing government crisis in Venezuela.  

Fresh face in El Salvador

Bukele, a Salvadoran politician and businessman of Palestinian descent, was born on July 24,1981 in San Salvador. His father was also a prominent businessman and a local imam.

He traces his origin back to a family that immigrated to the Central American country from Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century.

Bukele was already running a company at a very young age of 18.

He was elected as mayor of San Salvador’s southern Nuevo Cuscatlan on March 11, 2012. Three years later, he became the mayor of San Salvador municipality.

His started his political career with the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, but became a dissident forming the right-wing Grand Alliance for National Unity, which emerged victorious in the Sunday vote.

Bukele’s election campaign for presidency included promises to fight corruption and end gang violence.

His victory ended a quarter of a century of two-party dominance in the country.

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