Is The President Of El Salvador Acting Like An Authoritarian?

Alex Gladstein and Jaime Garcia debate the ethics of how President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador is leading the country and whether or not it is truly democratic.

This is a full transcript of a recent Twitter Spaces debate between Alex Gladstein and Jaime Garcia about whether or not the President of El Salvador is enacting authoritarian policies.

Watch This Episode On YouTube Or Rumble

Listen To The Episode Here:

  • Apple
  • Spotify
  • Google
  • Libsyn


[00:00:05] Q: I am very excited to introduce our guests today. We will start with hi may Garcia, who is a Salvadoran immigrant who lives in Canada now has written extensive articles on the ongoing presidency as well as their Bitcoin rollout.

[00:00:32] Jamie Garcia: I work for an insurance company up here in Canada, just a regular pleb. You know, just a regular Joe earning money and paying for my bills and saving some sats if there's any leftover at the end of the month.

[00:00:48] Q: On the other side of the conversation, we are joined by the chief strategy officer of the HRF, who's written countless essays about how Bitcoin is helping people today. Right now, even though it may not necessarily be in the forefront of how you can use it, as well as the author of just required reading for everyone in the Bitcoin space, check your financial privilege.

[00:01:14] Jamie Garcia: Thanks for the invite.

[00:01:16] Q: I wanted to start by giving you each an opportunity to just sort of have an opening remark about this conversation to establish what side of the coin each of you guys will be discussing.

Then we're gonna dive into Nayib's actions, just Nayib's actions, solely. Then expand that into how his actions are impacting El Salvador and El Salvadorans, and then further expand that into how that's gonna impact Bitcoin.

[00:02:16] Jamie Garcia: Yeah, thanks. And you know, like for me, you know, I'm hoping, rather than this being a debate, it's more of a conversation, a dialogue. And so, you know, being Salvadorian and having lived most of my life outside of the country as an exile from the eighties from the civil war, You know, I can definitely acknowledge that I have a lot of not only societal, but financial privilege.

And so, you know, this situation on the ground is quite differently, but I also have been there. I know what it's like to be there. And I, and I provide perspective of Salvadorian, Salvadorian, who is part of the diaspora, who like many is part of the diaspora, want to see the country progress. And we, many of us feel like Bitcoin's a way to do it.

Right. So, and you know, looking intently into the developments of how the country's tackling security individual freedoms, financial freedom. And for me you know, I'm not like some in Bitcoin, Twitter claim, not a status. I'm not a promoter of B Kelly or his government, but I'm definitely a supporter of when things get done.

Right. Do I have criticisms? Of course, but so far I think that I'll also, there's a good path and you know, I will continue to support if, if it's in this path and if it changes, then I will, my mind, I will change my outlook. And I'll be sure to write about it as well.

[00:03:57] Alex Gladstein: Sorry guys. Thanks for having me. Yeah, I mean, and a lot of my nuance to use on this came from the research and reporting I did last year, which is in a Bitcoin magazine essay called the village and the strong man, which I would encourage. Everyone to check out. At the end of the day, this was all about a handful of really impressive people in the community of Elante who helped get this all off the ground.

And I would, I would really credit that movement as opposed to, to the government. There are a few things that I'd probably agree with that BKA supporters on to start choosing Bitcoin as a second currency, as opposed to some CBDC project or, you know, a Chinese Alliance is, is great. I think that that's something they deserve credit for presenting an alternative to the IM.

Very good. This is an institution that is, you know, sort of ravaged a lot of the world and exploited it, funneling resources from poor countries to rich countries for decades doing mining with geothermal and volcanoes. Terrific, great idea. Let's research and implement that potentially selling bonds based on that very interesting idea.

I hope it works out attacking remittances, which are exploitative and you know, too expensive, et cetera. Great idea. Putting El Salvador on the map. I mean, that's a big accomplishment of que and yeah, obviously no one will be talking about El Salvador, had you not done this. And then finally you know, highlighting the role that the U.S. has had in El Salvador, the devastating role that us foreign policy has had in El Salvador.

These are all things that I would probably, you know, agree with the bouquet supporters on. Then I have disagreements, right? So at the end of the day, you know, the reason I like Bitcoin is, you know, basically because , it's gonna separate money from, from state. I view state adoption of Bitcoin and corporate adoption of Bitcoin as a, as an outcome of its adoption mechanism.

I don't think we need to cheer on government's. You know, that expedites this process. I don't think we need to cheer on corporations necessarily that expedite this process. I think we should just focus on individual freedom. That's what Bitcoin's all about. And, and that's, that's where there's a lot of concern in El Salvador.

I mean, I think what this comes down to probably for Bitcoiners is like, what, what do you, how do. What do you make of the war on terror in the United States? A lot of people listening are probably Americans. I mean, was that a fair trade off to trade off freedom and privacy for, you know, security? In my view, it wasn't, in my view, the war on terror has been a disaster and it's like totally, you know, basically lit our civil liberties on fire.

And you know, I think that what Nayib has done is, is, is, is no different and probably for a lot of Salvador, like way worse. I know we're gonna get into it, but these states of exceptions where tens of thousands of people have been arrested with no trial whatsoever, no legal defense, where minors are treated as adults.

This surveillance state where journalists and activists get sped on through like very expensive software Pegasus these new laws, these foreign agent laws, which, you know, if, if passed would literally confiscate 40% of all foreign income to NGOs and freeze their bank account. If, if he doesn't like what you're doing.

These containment centers that he put people in when C's first broke out where people were being arrested for just wearing face masks and tens of thousands of people were jailed for, you know, a public health issue. And then the fact that he , there were Supreme court justices who were like, no, we don't like that.

And then he like got rid of them and then he's prepping for, you know, basically running for life, you know, he wants to be president for life. So, you know, I think there was a way for que to play this the right way. And he didn't do that. I mean, my, you know, as a closing statement for the opening here, I just would say that I, I think he could've brought the Bitcoin movement to Salvador a little differently.

It didn't need to be necessarily legal tender. It definitely didn't need a Chivo app. He could have just removed capital gains on it and promoted it in a peaceful way. And then he could have stepped off the stage and not. Prepped to run again and violate the constitution. He could have spent 48 years roaming the world as like a, I don't know, Bitcoin Coon, and then maybe run again later, according to the laws of his nation, he doesn't wanna do that.

It's not about Bitcoin for him. It's about power and control.

[00:08:17] Q: So I'd like to start first on just some of his actions, Alex, you've laid out some of his things such as, you know, removing members of the Supreme court going after businesses or people that don't necessarily agree with him. We've seen a lot of reports about, you know, his tough on crime stance. If you, if I can just borrow something from, from the us, and we've seen some of the reports coming out of how much crime is down and how many gang members he's locked up as well as some journalists who don't agree with him as well.

Hi, in regards to some of these actions and reports coming out what are, what are your feelings on this and how do you. I don't wanna say justify, but how do you absorb this information? And I, I'll just sort of like leave, leave a little tail end and let you complete that.

[00:09:07] Jamie Garcia: Well, lemme just begin by saying that I acknowledge and you know, some of the things that Alex has said, I think that we are in agreement with the first set of his list.

I think where we're probably gonna disagree a little bit is in terms of the embellishment of some, some of the, the wording that he's used to, to actually describe some really complex events that have happened in El Salvador and you know, reduced to talking points by mainly his, his opposition.

Right. And one of the things that I think a lot of people don't know in El Salvador is. The vast majority of media is actually control. And if we're gonna talk about, you know, Bitcoin terminology, it's centralized among the ruling elite, the entrenched ruling elite as Alec calls it in his book.

And and they use it as a mechanism to sway public opinion, especially when they see that their interests and their property and their business and, and so on are, are threatened. And and so what happens is that when they're the ones controlling the narrative, especially to towards international audience then that's kind of what we hear and we get reduced to, to to these you know, shocking talking points and and of course, You know, the, the moniker of dictator and so on the reality is that for most Salvadorians living in the country, what they have experienced is drastic reduction in insecurity.

Extortion has decreased significantly. People can go out and enjoy the country, which is a beautiful country and and so on. So I think, you know, we have to be careful because not all, not, not the entire story is being told. Alex pointed out like a, a long list of things. , you know, it's difficult for me to address all of them, but, you know, I can just address the one piece, which is like a lot of these points are being advanced.

By traditional mediums, but traditional papers, traditional channels in the country, which are all either foreignly funded with no actual local subscription, therefore not independent at all, as they claim, you know, one, one of the sources that uses a lot of these talking points. They're their motto is uncomfortable.

Journalism. Just think about that. What is that a euphemism for? I mean, it's basically a tabloid, so we have to be very skeptical when we hear these. Coming from again, the entrenched elite from El Salvador who own these mediums. Right. We have to go down there and listen to the people on the ground and see what they're saying.

And what they're saying is that things are better. Even when you look at polling, you know, polling about security, how do you feel today? Not about que, but just, how do you feel today about your personal security? It's much better than it was before. So there is a tangible improvement in the country's safety and security, which is essential.

If, if Sal's going to attract their diaspora people like me and my family and others, as well as tourists and Bitcoiners and people who wanna invest in the country.

[00:12:37] Q: Hi made, could you not without going into a full history lesson here, but could we get a quick little rundown of the civil war in El Salvador from the eighties and sort of how that led to the two party system that somehow some way que was at one point involved in, and whether you agree with the way he came up was instrumental in my, in my opinion of tearing down this two party system and introducing a legitimate third party.

Could you walk us through just a little bit of that?

[00:13:14] Jamie Garcia: Yeah, definitely. And I would start by saying that, you know, El Salvador has never truly been free, even from pre-Colombian times where the Maka, now it's speaking, you know, people ruled over the the Mayan Thelan and the region all the way to the Spanish, then ruling over, over all the indigenous people.

Then the the, the Creole Spanish descendant, but locally born ruling class, and then the military dictatorships in the early 19th century to then the civil wars never been truly free. The civil war really started because again, just poverty money. the control of resources, the ruling class, which, you know, it's often referred to as the.

The proverbial 14 families, you know, there's more of them, but you know, the 14 families that control everything specifically at that time in, in mid 19 hundreds the production of coffee and the land that produced that golden grain coffee wanted to keep things they wanted to control all, all aspects of the country to secure their investment.

And that led to a massive murder thousands of indigenous people in, in the area of, so and so in the country. That created basically a movement, a gorilla movement, a leftist movement that said, look, you know, like common Salvadorians, just wanna be able to live in peace and freedom and have the ability to earn their living with dignity.

And, you know, at that time it was basically having a plot of land where they can produce their own food. And essentially, I mean, without going into too much detail that led to, to the movement that was against the government right now, the government at that time was a dictatorship. And and, but the us supported that dictatorship brutal dictatorship and, and they, they kept supporting them all the.

Into 1980 into 19 82, 83, when the constitution, the current constitution was installed. And then from that point on, there were several parties. The, the main one at that time was the Christian Democrats, but then really it became just now, which is a right wing party and they control.

Government for, and, and the state for 30 years, 1992 with the demise of the Soviet union with no more funds coming to the left gorilla and really no way out of this through armed conflict, a so-called peace agreement was signed between the government at the time controlled by and the left gorilla, which is an organization called FMLN, which stands for liberation.

Front was one of those leaders of the, of that indigenous massacre that I talked about earlier. And. So then they created that party in, in kind of his honor. And there was Amal an amalgamation of leftist organizations and they signed this peace trading, which basically said that they would give up the arm struggle.

They would become an official party and they would make some amendments to the constitution to allow for that. And and then that's kind of what happened. And then from that point on those two parties they've been swamping, you know, not like, you know, it was like at Ana for a while, and then the FMN, but what people saw was that the sack and the corruption and, and all of the negative things that, you know, one party promised to address through the peace Accords, then the next party, the FML N continued to, to make those similar errors and The population becoming more impoverished insecurity becoming even worse in in 94 with the Clinton administration deporting many Salvadorians from the us, the exploitation of of gang violence.

And you just think about that in, in a it's perfect storm, you know, no jobs because essentially the job before what fueled the economy was war you either employ to be in the army or in the, the gorilla movement and the reconstruction and the sort of like the fighting of war. Then now you have none of that, no risk construction effort, all the reconstruction money go into you.

Corruption and and embezzlement and so on. And then all these young people taking their straight won gang gang warfare from the, from the us down to El Salvador where there's, you know, the economy is in shamble. So a perfect storm and nothing was addressed. And, you know, came to the point where this allowed people with different ideas, like not just que, but many other people who thought similar to become elected in traditional parties at first.

But then when they saw that it was the same corruption that they had seen before they created a new movement, right? Que got kicked out of his party. He formed a new party and, you know, asked Salvadorians to support him, put a platform in place and said, this is what I'm being elected. If, if elected, this is what I'm gonna carry out.

It's called LAN, which is the original name of El Salvador. And and it's online. If you Google it, it's online. Everything that has happened, including the, the reading of the judges as Alex puts it, it's on there. Nothing has been ad hoc or, you know, just policy on the fly. It's, it's been all there from the beginning.

And and that plan was created with the input of all Salvadorians, including the diaspora.

[00:19:09] Q: Thank you. Hi, may Alex going off of, you know, what hi may has shared. I wanted to highlight a couple things that we shared before before we had you two join us. So when BHA ran for his first public office was for the municipality of, and hi, may excuse my terrible Spanish pronunciation, Nevo Kalan

[00:19:33] Jamie Garcia: LAN.

Yeah, that's actually now it's not even a Spanish word's now what word? Novo was a it's new Klan. So

[00:19:41] Q: thank you. So in, in his first mayoral campaign, he won this mayor seat in 2012. Part of his campaign was a promise to be tough on crime. It is reported that this jurisdiction was having 12 homicides a year by the end of his term, as mayor, after three years, there were a total of three homicides.

Obviously the reporting, there may be questions in that regard. There, there, all right. He already threw out the question on this reporting that we were already sort of thinking in the back of our mind. Same with his sort of term as mayor of sent Salvador, ran on a tough on crime approach, wanted to be stricter against gang violence.

And again, ran on a similar approach as one of his campaign promises for presidency. We've seen that come to light. We've seen him follow through regardless of how aggressive we may think his actions are. My question to you is if he is running on this promise and following through on the promise for constituents, is he doing right by them and doing that?

[00:20:42] BM Pro Commercial: Hey guys this is Q from Bitcoin magazine live

[00:20:45] Q: This podcast is brought to you by our sponsor. BitMax BitMax is one of the biggest supporters of the Bitcoin space in the last decade, actively donating to developers and putting out some of the most cited research articles. What you might not know is that BitMax recently launched a brand new spot exchange and mobile app that takes the experience of buying and holding to the next level.

We know that especially in uncertain marketing conditions, you need an exchange that is trustworthy and in. Sign today. Check out the BitMEX blog for some great market insights and stay tuned to our podcast for more from their team.

[00:21:20] Moon Mortgage Ad: As the world moves increasingly towards the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin moon mortgage makes it possible to materialize your digital assets. Collateralized loans are great for living expenses buying a car or even for when you just have to have that sweet Rolex. But what isn't so great is when you then lose the ability to trade your assets, once your loan has been taken out.

So just like you, moon mortgage believes you should be able to have your cake and eat it.

Moon Mortgage's trade and borrow is the world's first digital asset loan margin account, allowing you to instantly trade your Bitcoin while borrowing against your account. All with Dexus zero insolvency risk, no origination fees, nor any third party risk as moon mortgage will never lend out your digital assets.

to the future of collateralized lending. Visit moon, mortgage dot I today to learn how you can trade, borrow, and then trade your digital assets some more.

[00:22:13] BA Ad:

Bitcoin magazine and the team that brought you the world's largest Bitcoin conference is bringing the mission of hyper colonization global with the inaugural European gathering. This fall Bitcoin Amsterdam takes place October 12th through 14th at the beautiful Western GOs venue in the heart of the city.

Join thousands of Bitcoiners for three days of curated Bitcoin content that is relevant to the emerging Bitcoin scene in Europe and the global.

Confirmed speakers include Dr. Adam back, Alex Gladstein, Greg FOSS, Ray USF, and many, many more. This will be an immersive conference, which includes hands on engagements at our proof of workshop stage as well as exclusive content for VIP whales in the deep Bitcoins Amsterdam's exclamation point will be a massive Bitcoin party in music festival that you won't wanna.

The European installment of sound money Fest takes place on day three of the event, October 14th and admission is included with GA and whale passes. Check out all the details at and use promo code BM live for 10% off. Ticket prices increase on August 21st. So grab your tickets a day for 299 euros for a GA ticket and 3,499.

Euros for VIP whale passe.

[00:23:25] BM Pro Commercial:

If you're like me and want to gain a deeper understanding of what's going on within the Bitcoin market and broader macro environment, you need to subscribe to Bitcoin magazine pro. Today. There's both a free and paid version of this daily newsletter where our market analysts break down what's going on in the markets.

So you don't have to subscribe today at Bitcoin magazine,

[00:23:44] Alex Gladstein: That's for me. For, yeah.

[00:23:51] P: Okay. No, that's for

[00:23:52] Alex Gladstein: you, Alex. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, I'm probably obviously the wrong, wrong person to ask. I'm biased. I'm a civil liberties activist. I don't think it's ever acceptable to strip civil liberties from the population. There's no, no condition, you know, Liberty or death, you know, that's, that's my philosophy.

I think that centralizing power in the hands of the military state is bad with no exceptions. When it comes to the Salvador specifics, I mean, clearly gang violence was down before bouquet took power. Clearly it went down a lot more while he was in power at both at the local and, and federal levels.

I, I, I don't know exactly, you know, what, what you wanna attribute to that. Clearly a lot of it is the fact that he's he's, you. Been hyper aggressive about jailing massive amounts of people without due process. And this creates like a fear state among anyone who's like, you know, thinking about causing trouble.

This is, this is what they do in China. Of course. I think part of it is also the fact that he collaborates with the gangs. So, and I, I'm not necessarily opposed to that, but it's just should be said that it's well documented that they even call him Batman. Like they have a word for him that they like in, in all their private communications.

So, you know, if you are only concerned about homicide rate, that's your concern? Then yeah, you should, then, then I would expect you would, you would be totally cool with a totalitarian police state and, and, and you would give up anything to get there, but that's just not the view that I have. And I don't think that's the view that a lot of Bitcoiners have.

I don't think that's a view that a lot of Bitcoiners have. I think that they would prefer a smaller state. I think that they would prefer less states of exception. And, and just to give some details here you know, just think about this carefully and compare it to what you have in Canada, perhaps, perhaps, even where we've seen a decline of democracy, arguably there too.

And certainly in the United States, especially post nine 11, but let's just consider a couple things. So in this state of exception the detainees, like if you're like picked up off the street, You don't get a legal defense. There's no like entitlement for that. The, the, the right for group people to gather in groups of more than two was suspended.

So you couldn't even gather with like three or four people on the street without that being probable cause for being arrested, the minors being tried, an adults thing is just crazy to me. You know, I think that the fact that also that the news outlets were blocked from report even reporting on this, and you could get 10 years in prison, you can get 10 years in prison during a state of exception in El Salvador for writing something that could panic the public.

Right. And again, just to, just to reiterate that that more than three, you know, more than 30 journalists and activists. Who, who were the most problematic for the government, you know, had their phone infected with, with Pegasus spyware. So they were being monitored closely. You know, all of this you know, in combination with the numbers, the sheer numbers, you know, more than 50,000 people have, have been arrested in this like war, you know, war on war, on the gangs.

That's even more than the 30,000 or so that we're arrested in the war on COVID. Right. So you've got this strong man who's I don't know what the next war's gonna be war on COVID war on gangs. God knows what'll be next. They tend to, they tend to like to frame things in a, in a very dire kind of war war, like kind of, you know, linguistic framework this, this is what they, what they prefer to do to basically, you know, try to blame anyone who opposes them as being weak or.

You know, soft this is, this is what they do in America, too. I mean, especially at the local level, I know people listening must know this. You've got these self-righteous police chiefs and governors and, and, and state reps. And, and they want, if you, if you stand up for civil liberties and say, well, maybe we shouldn't arrest everybody, they'll say, oh, you're being soft on crime.

This is like a classic thing in, in government. And I just think it's excessive and it's bad. I also wanted to go into the COVID stuff. Like I would imagine that most Bitcoiners are relatively skeptical of government overreaction to the, the, the public health issue of the COVID virus. I mean, what Buki it was, was literally crazy.

I mean, he had tens of, he had more than 10, more than 10 tens of thousands of people detained, you know, again totally like without this wasn't constitutional. And the Supreme court justice is again, who, who pointed this out were then later fired. I mean he had people in like containment centers. Of course this has been totally flushed down the toilet and everybody has forgotten it and pretended it didn't happen, but it was two and a half years ago.

Wasn't that long ago. Same guy, he hasn't changed at all. I also wanted to talk briefly about the, the Chivo wallet. So again, like there was a path for que to do this Alex

[00:28:26] Jamie Garcia: on, oh, go ahead.

[00:28:26] Q: Good. We will get to the Chivo wallet. I wanna, I wanna unpack the COVID of it. Yeah, go, go ahead. So hi, may Alex has brought up and we've we have since seen certain countries that took, and even certain states that took a very aggressive stance on COVID.

We've seen others that took a less aggressive stance you know, understanding and seeing, I think on the other side, hindsight being 2020 and what COVID. Is now versus what it was then I'm curious if you felt at the Mo at the time that these decisions were being made by que if they were justified, as well as looking back, if this was an appropriate response to what was deemed at the time, a global pandemic.

[00:29:12] Jamie Garcia: Yeah. So, you know, give me a, a, a leader of, of a country in the world at that time who didn't take some sort of measurement that today, looking back looks a little bit like an overreaction, right. And so, you know, I would, you know, I would say that in large part, I, I would not disagree that, that, you know, having the, the benefit of looking back, it probably, there was probably ways to do it.

What happens is that you, you have to judge the country by the ability it has to protect its citizens. And again, you know, it, I know that Alex is very concerned with the rule of law, the constitution of El Salvador states that the primary function of of the government and of the state is to look after the life of Salvadorians.

That is the origin and the end of the entire purpose of of them. Right. And at the time, you know, taking advice from the world health organization from, you know, their own medics, not knowing what we know about COVID at the time. You know, they react that way. And primarily because El Salvador does not have the health infrastructure, like, like Sweden, Sweden, for example, if you look at it, you know, at the time they were being super criticized about it, but you look at Sweden and, you know, Sweden's a modern country, you know, they have the infrastructure and the, the ability to, to deliver healthcare, to, you know, their population in a more and more effective way that El Salvador and most of central America does.

Right. So. They also, you know, have access to medicine and all of that, that and so the decision at that time, you know, according to we were being told was, was because the infras, the health infrastructure of El Salvador, the public health infrastructure Salvador could not handle a situation like they were witnessing in Spain and Italy at the time.

They just simply could not. And in our population, you know, that's, we have a bit of a health crisis too, in terms of diabetes, in terms of, you know, people at high risk for secondary illnesses that may impact, you know, the, the effects of COVID on, on the population. And so based on that, that's, that's why the decision was made.

You know, do I agree with it now? I think there could have been better ways to handle it, but you know, let's not, you know, let's not put El Salvador in a, in, in a corner and judge them alone. Let's, let's look at what everybody else did at the time, including the, you know, certain states in the us and Canada and Europe.

Right. So, I don't know if Alex, if you're familiar with mass flow's hierarchy of needs, right. You know, Maslow hierarchy of needs, you know, at the bottom of the pyramid, are your physiological needs your safe then followed by safety, love and belonging then self-esteem. And then at the top is self-actualization feel when it comes to El Salvador, everybody's judging El Salvador by self-actualization when they're just starting to get their physiological and safety needs in order.

So, you know, let's. Maybe pause about it, let's check our financial privilege and let's look at everything within context. I wanna just

[00:33:00] P: jump in and push back a little bit there, because I think that Alex's point is that the extremes to which the Salvador and government went during, for example, COVID seems disproportionate given the the situation.

And I think that, you know, people are very, very, or were very, very quick to to kind of castigate China's behavior during this period, you know? And they were, there were videos of people, them like welding building shit. Everybody was like, oh my gosh, this is, this is so intense. This is horrible. And there was a lot of fear involved tutoring that period because people didn't know exactly what was going on and everybody was trying to figure it out.

But I think that to Alex's point, these types of situations are. Or can be very convenient when one is trying to, you know, suppress the movement of a people and control information flow in a group of people in order to serve different ends. And so, I, I, I do think it's, it is, it is I don't think anyone should be trying to justify those kinds of actions within like a context of sort of like public safety.

Cuz I think that regardless, I feel like most Bitcoiners at least would argue that like, you know, we should be able to move freely and, and conduct ourselves as we, as we would like. But, but I feel like with El Salvador, because Bitcoin is involved, people tend to, I don't wanna say turn blind eye, but use kind of kid gloves in a way that I think is, is, is interesting and counterproductive.

[00:34:24] Jamie Garcia: Well as a Bitcoin, I would tend to agree with you, but you know, as. As, as a decision maker for the entire country and health, and not really knowing if this thing is like, you know, as bad as it could be, you know, I can also understand why things were done the way that they were. I mean, you know, yeah.

Things could have been done better on that, on that, but again, we we're, we're two years out from that. And and let's remember that El Salvador was one of the first country to give up all restrictions, you know? And you know, I just recently saw one of the things that. One, a tweet from a, a Bitcoin or that was leaving El Salvador from Mexico.

And it was prevented to go into the plane because you wouldn't wear a mask. You don't have to do that in El Salva. See when facts change, then you have to change your thinking and then you have to change your policy and that's what's happened. Right? So, and, and, and that's, that's what shows growth is when you're able to look at situations, say, you know what, maybe, maybe we didn't get it right.

But here it is, we're gonna rectify and we're gonna make it right. Move forward. That's you know, that's, I think that's more important rather than, than when we got it wrong. You know, like to my own kids, I say just like, don't be afraid to make, make mistakes. Okay. If you think you're, you're doing the right thing, if you make mistake,

[00:35:47] Alex Gladstein: learn from it and move on, this is an extremely charitable description of what he did in reality.

He got tired and couldn't really squeeze more justification for extreme measures out COVID. So he moved on to the gangs. It's pretty clean. Actually, if you look at the chronology of it Then he was locking up tens of thousands of people, tens of thousands of people here. I mean, okay. No government, as you say, was, was innocent there and, and it certainly, it, it ranged, right.

I mean, you had China at the extreme end and you had, you know, some other countries that were quite pretty light touch on the other end. I mean, imprisoning tens of thousands of people certainly is on the extreme end. I mean, we, we, we could be very critical about like, I live in California. I mean, no one was arrested here for there.

Weren't tens of thousands of people arrested here for not wearing a mask or, or not, not, you know, you know, adhering to some sort of protocol. I mean that there are degrees of freedom. And this was, this was extreme. Once that cooled down. He moved on to other things. And by the way, there were other PR projects there.

Like he started this, he, he claimed to build this whole new hospital. That was gonna be like the leading light of whatever. Never even got finished. It's still under construction,

[00:36:56] Jamie Garcia: but again, no, it's, it's there and it actually took not done from

[00:36:59] Alex Gladstein: Costa Rica. It's not done, it's not done the,

[00:37:02] Jamie Garcia: the part where he actually could house extreme cases and, and actually triage, you know, the expected flow of, of sick people.

That's all completed. And it's actually

[00:37:14] Alex Gladstein: functional, but it's PR device because it, it's not anywhere close, gone to the hospital. No, I've gone to the hospital. Say

[00:37:23] Jamie Garcia: that. No, no, no. See,

[00:37:24] Alex Gladstein: see dude, you're in Canada. I mean, what, what right now I am. Yeah. So are you there right now? Like, no, but my

[00:37:32] Jamie Garcia: family's there.

They have access the hospital.

[00:37:34] Alex Gladstein: Actually the hospital thing is a total PR move, but anyway, we can move on. So yeah, it just is, it just is so, if he, if he was committed to it and actually cared about it he, would've not like moved on to some other thing. He would've continued to focus on that stuff, but anyway, the point being that Bitcoin that continues to get improved.

Okay. Bitcoin should be extremely skeptical of this guy, given sure. I

[00:37:57] Jamie Garcia: invited everybody who's down there to go

[00:37:59] Alex Gladstein: check it. No, no, no. Forget the hospital. That's just one outta many little things he sprinkled there. Okay. We're forgetting

[00:38:04] Jamie Garcia: the hospital now. Yes.

[00:38:06] Alex Gladstein: We're forgetting the main thing that we're not gonna forget is the tens of thousands of people that were arrested without due process.

That's the main thing that I've been talking about. Right? What I was trying to say,

[00:38:14] Jamie Garcia: you know, Salvador alone, when every other country did that,

[00:38:18] Alex Gladstein: California. No, no. California government did not lock up tens of thousands of people without to process

[00:38:23] Jamie Garcia: ELs Salvador didn't lock up. Yes, they did. First of all,

[00:38:27] P: yes, they did that.

That is undeniable. There were people that were jailed.

[00:38:30] Jamie Garcia: Yes. There's more than

[00:38:31] Alex Gladstein: 30,000 people in what, what, whatever you, I mean, if you wanna sit here, say that's a detention center, but that's a jail. Like

[00:38:39] Jamie Garcia: there's a difference. There's a difference. Okay. They were, the treatment that you get in jail is, is very different than the treatment that, that you get in, in quarantine.

Look, I mean, we're probably on the same page with a lot of

[00:38:51] Alex Gladstein: coping stuff. Good. We can move on. The point is that's you're right. That chapter's over now. He's moved on to the gangs. So now it's tens of thousands of people being. Arrested without due process. Again, minors being treated as adults the media being forbidden from reporting on the topic.

And this is just, this is the next thing. So what's the next thing gonna be? I, I would say, I

[00:39:10] Jamie Garcia: don't know

[00:39:11] P: that in particular is extremely concerning to me. There's a lot concerning here, but when, whenever the media is prevented from reporting on a topic, that is a huge, huge red flag in my mind. And it's, I can't think of any rational way to justify that

[00:39:27] Alex Gladstein: as a reasonable action.

Again, I went through the, the things that I, I would credit this government for doing mm-hmm and I just don't see why these actions are necessary. Like, if you wanna pursue a new economic model, if you want to promote Bitcoin in the country, This has nothing to do with locking up all these people. And, and in fact, I think what's kind of noticeable and obvious that I, I realized a while ago is that he uses these like announcements to to sort of, or, or he uses PR and announcements to kind of like distract from like what's happening.

He started doing this during COVID so he used COVID to like basically justify all these actions he had. And then later he, he, you know, right after he sacked the attorney general and, and cleaned out the Supreme court, he had the announcement in, in Miami, which, which I was there for. And by the way was, was awesome.

It was great. But I didn't, I, I didn't realize what had happened. I was like, kind of fooled. Like I didn't realize what, what was happening in El Salvador. I was ignorant of what was happening on the ground. I just thought this was cool. Cause I was like a Bitcoin. Right? I didn't actually do my homework on that one.

Later at the end of last year, this whole Bitcoin city announcement, which obviously is a huge joke. There's not gonna be a Bitcoin city in the way he like laid out. I mean, it's, it's obviously a distraction was right after they passed. They proposed a new foreign agent law again, which I described if you are a journalistic outfit or a human rights outfit in Salvador, in Sal Salvador now, and this law passes as designed by the government.

And you receive any money at all or any indirect support from like, let's say my organization or any organization. Okay. Then you have to give 40% of those funds to the government, 40% tax. And it's like, he basically gives license to the banking sector to freezer stuff. So, I mean, he's consistent. And then of course the Bitcoin law, when it passed.

Then when it was implemented in September, it was right after he basically got the Supreme court to say he could rule forever or whatever. So, every time there's like a major kind of erosion of, of the state and his checks and he dismantles checks on his power. He finds some way to distract the public from it.

He's a very, very, very, very savvy politician. He's very, very good at what he does. That's why he's extremely popular. Alex, can you

[00:41:43] Jamie Garcia: point out exactly how the law states that the, or the proposed law states that it forbids people to report on gangs?

[00:41:56] Alex Gladstein: Okay. So we're going back to a different thing.

[00:41:57] Jamie Garcia: Yeah, no. The first thing that you started to talk about, like the thing is, it's difficult to answer all your points when you squeeze in.

[00:42:06] Alex Gladstein: Well that's cuz there's so many, so many blatant violations of civil liberties in El Salvador. I mean, we don't, we only have an hour dude.

We could be here for, I know, I know, but

[00:42:15] Jamie Garcia: can, okay. Let's just for argument sake, 10 years in

[00:42:17] Alex Gladstein: prison for journalists, I'm reading it 10 years in prison for journalists that could panic the public. You wanna challenge

[00:42:22] Jamie Garcia: that? No, that's not what it says, dude. Wait, did wait minute. Okay. OK, go ahead. You read it in Spanish.

Give a translation. Here's here's here's the intent of the law. It's it's that if you are reporting or in an ethnographic investigation embedded within criminal organizations, it is your duty to report. If there is going to be people's lives at stake, otherwise you become a, a, an accomplice to the crime.

It just bringing clarification to that because there was instances where so-called journalists were embedded with some of these criminal organizations. They knew some of the things that they were gonna do. They wrote about them and failed to report that to the organizations. There's an ethical principle behind journalism and, and, and I state

[00:43:24] Alex Gladstein: the state.

Doesn't get to decide that no,

[00:43:27] Jamie Garcia: when, when journalists don't actually live up to those principles and, you know, I think maybe, maybe some states will decide to do that. I'm not saying, okay, well, I think

[00:43:37] Alex Gladstein: the audience can determine whether or not the government should providing the laws for whether or not, you know, what, how journalists should report.

But, well, it's,

[00:43:43] Jamie Garcia: it's more or less about whether you can be accomplished to a crime.

[00:43:48] Alex Gladstein: So wait, where, I mean, the government is literally working with the gangs.

[00:43:50] Jamie Garcia: I mean, I don't, I'm sorry. Can you provide actual evidence that that's happening? Tons guys is

[00:43:56] P: your source. What's your source. I've lost the thread personally.

Yeah. So what is the higher level topic or the point that, that is that we're sort of discussing? I think that Alex, you made the, what to me feels like a very reasonable point like this this, the law that, that is apparently saying that there's basically you, you can receive to 10 years in prison for reporting on gangs.

I think there's some nuances there Hemi that you're going into, but

[00:44:20] Alex Gladstein: let's just say if we don't do it correctly per the government. Yeah, sure.

[00:44:23] Jamie Garcia: Well, you just can be an accomplice to a crime. That's what it's

[00:44:27] Alex Gladstein: so well, when you own the court system, Jamie, then, then to decide, dude, you

[00:44:31] Jamie Garcia: can report, you can report.

You just can't be an accomplice to a crime without sorting

[00:44:37] Alex Gladstein: it. You know, let me, let me ask you who decides let's move on, but, but let, let's just say that this let's say you go back to El Salvador tomorrow. Mm-hmm , you're there. You have a change of heart. You change your mind after our debate here today and you become critical que okay.

So let's say you. Contribute to an article in a news story comes out or you in, in some way you are publicly critical of him. I mean, how confident are you that that court system is gonna uphold your rights? I mean, how confident are you that this court system, if you are critical of que is gonna actually protect your stuff, or is this just a country for beque supporters now?

[00:45:13] Jamie Garcia: You know, there are several newspaper, like I said, most media, like 98% of the media and Salvador, I would say like, you know, probably the state paper, but, you know, could you believe them either, right. But other than that is all opposing B, they report daily, not one journalist is in jail. They have taken actually to put cartoon characters with such disdain.

Not only for his policies, but for him as a person actually mocking his two year old daughter and insulting her. No, one's in jail.

[00:45:58] Alex Gladstein: Okay. You didn't really answer my question, but no, like what I'm

[00:46:02] Jamie Garcia: saying is that the press can report freely. Nobody has gone to jail. Nobody is being prevented from reporting. This is all just embellishment who like, who, like, which of your friends are from El Salvador that are journalists supposedly are in jail right

[00:46:19] Alex Gladstein: now.

Well, that would be a pretty low bar dude. I mean, that would be horrible journalists who are in prison.

[00:46:25] Jamie Garcia: Yeah. But so there's, there's nobody because it's not happening.

[00:46:30] Alex Gladstein: Okay. Well, I mean, I think that there is something called a climate of fear that governments use. I mean, a lot of people say the same thing about the United States.

You know, there's no journalists in prison. I don't know. I mean, you, you, you, you can judge, you can judge, you can judge whether or not that makes, that means the media climate is free or not. The point is there are laws in place that prevent people from speaking their mind and from free expression. Mm-hmm um, I, I, again, if you wanna justify, look, this is, this all comes down to this huge philosophical debate over law and order versus freedom.

And if, if you wanna take the side that, Hey, in special times, we need to restrict the rights of the people to secure the nation. Then B's your guy. There's no question. There's no question.

[00:47:19] Jamie Garcia: I think you can have both

[00:47:21] Q: I wanna hop in here and present a question. Alex, to you, as someone like I come from a perspective of.

An American immigrant. I see laws, how they operate in other countries like Iran, my Homeland, as well as in this country. And I see certain benefits as well as some flaws in assuming Western systems into other countries and cultures. There's a historical example of this. And the one I will pull on is Singapore, regardless of the approach of the prime minister and how long he held power and his approach and toughness against drug and drug users and drug dealers.

We cannot discount how far that country and that region has grown as a result from a very strict leader, imposing their own will on the country and its people we've heard B Kayley compare himself to. This leader from Singapore, we've heard him say statements like I'm the world's coolest dictator. My question is, are we putting too much emphasis on Western values and principles into a country that quite frankly doesn't want those principles ingrained in, in its society?

[00:48:45] Jamie Garcia: That's a good question. I mean, you know, and, and like, again, I, I'm gonna refer back to master's hierarchy of needs, you know, and where El Salvador is in that continuum is it's in the safety needs. It's trying to establish personal security, making sure that people have employment, make making sure that people have health and access to property, you know, yet a lot.

Liberal Democrats philosophy in terms of philosophy, speaking on ideologically speaking, judging El Salvador to be at that self actualization. If you are a nation who's developed and self actualizing that at that point, if you start infringing on, you know, randomly on people's rights, of course that's wrong.

Salvador's not doing that. OK. El Salvador is specifically targeting the people who are extorting the population. That's just not less than 1% less.

[00:49:49] Alex Gladstein: One's false. It's less than 1%. There's there's no process. None of these people have there's no, there's no trials. They're being put the tens of thousands of people are being arrested with no trials.

So how can you say, how can you say it's targeted? So in the constitution

[00:50:05] Jamie Garcia: under extreme circumstances, Which

[00:50:10] Alex Gladstein: executive are conveniently three of the last four years. Like, I don't know, like when is it not gonna be an extreme circumstances? Oh no.

[00:50:16] Jamie Garcia: The El Salvador to be Frank has been extreme circumstances since the Maka invaded, you know, the region.

Okay. So, okay. So, so, so let's be Frank. The state of exception was used consistently throughout the civil war. Right? In fact, it's, it's only recently that hasn't been used and it's been invo specifically to, to deal with, you know, the insecurity issue. And so when we think about that, the constitution, cuz you know, you said the rule of law, the constitution permits that is a tool and the president asks for it from the assembly, the assembly then has to get an absolute majority.

That means. Three quarters of, of a part of the assembly in order to get that, if it doesn't meet that bar, it doesn't, he doesn't get that state of exception. So that, that is the due process and that is what's happened. Okay. And it's undisputable that, that assembly was dually elected with international observers, vetting it and qualifying as fair and free.

[00:51:34] Alex Gladstein: Okay. Well, I mean the audience can fact check that. I obviously sure. No, absolutely disagree, but no, I think, I think just to, just to go back to the previous point, I think you have a climate in El Salvador now where like, I don't know how anyone, I know there's a lot of Bitcoiners down there who are very pro UK who are psyched good for them.

But like, if you're, if you're antique. I don't know how you could possibly be confident that a court would rule in your favor in a high profile case. I just don't

[00:51:58] Jamie Garcia: don't pro or anti B Kelly. You can just be Salvador. And I think that that's what a lot of people are. Wait, wait, wait. But

[00:52:06] P: that feels like a

[00:52:07] Jamie Garcia: side step because I think, no, it's not a side step I'm listen, I'll change my mind about B Kelly.

If he starts to do things that, that I feel are

[00:52:17] P: in,

[00:52:18] Jamie Garcia: in, in, in a way that pressing innocent people, the people who are in jail right now, the majority are gangsters. So wait, right.

[00:52:29] P: Alex just made a statement. He said that if you, he would not, or he don't, I'm gonna, I'm gonna for butcher this, but he said something to the effect of.

The average person should not feel comfortable or he would not feel comfortable if he was in a Harry Parel case you know, arguing or expressing negative sentiment around the president of El Salvador. And you said, I think that I would only be worried if I wasn't expressing or if I was expressing negative sentiment around El Salvador as a country, but I think that's still a problem, right?

Like one should be able to express one's opinions, whether negative or positive in a high profile case or a low profile case and not have to worry about you know, whether or not you're gonna be put into a dark

[00:53:04] Alex Gladstein: hole. Right? Like how good is your, how good is your Bitcoin? If the government can just come and just grab you without any justification, I think that's what Bitcoiners should consider here.

[00:53:12] Jamie Garcia: No, I mean, you, you can use any wallet you want and they're not gonna confiscate

[00:53:16] Alex Gladstein: it from you. No, no, no. I mean, how good is Bitcoin general? If the government can just take you off the street without any sort of due process or a trial, they can just, I think we'll agree.

[00:53:25] Jamie Garcia: That's why we like Bitcoin,

[00:53:26] Alex Gladstein: because that can't happen.

Okay. Well, but that, that is happening right now in El Salvador. No, it's not. People

[00:53:33] Jamie Garcia: can have their Bitcoin in, in a,

[00:53:35] Alex Gladstein: I'm not, not, sorry. I'm not being clear. What I'm saying is let's say you're one of these 50,000 people who've been detained without any sort of due process or trial over the last few months in this state of exception.

What good is that? Person's Bitcoin. If they're just, they could just be jailed like that. Like Bitcoin is a great tool. I support it. The most important tool for freedom in the world, in my opinion, mm-hmm, , it's not sufficient. Like mm-hmm and, and the fact that so many people are out here, one thing is being.

Nuanced about PKA and I've tried to do that. I, I, at the outset, I tried to say there are a bunch of things that are positive. I'm not here, like Steve hanky, like with some, like, you know, yeah. Personal anti Pallia agenda. I could care less. The fact is you should be nuanced and reasonable and it is unreasonable to just be like, oh, whatever, everything he's done is like, it's not that big of a deal.

Let's just support him cuz he is pro Bitcoin. It is a big deal. We should be alarmed about tens of thousands of people being arrested. And we should be alarmed about like the way he goes after his critics. And we should be alarmed about the way he's preventing justice from being served with regard to the war crimes in the eighties,

[00:54:44] Jamie Garcia: like you should be alarmed.

The us should be alarm international as a global, a global citizen, Salvador, Salvador, and should

[00:54:50] Alex Gladstein: no global citizens should be alarmed. Jamie. So like as

[00:54:54] Jamie Garcia: in a neo-colonial type of paternalistic way, we're gonna tell no,

[00:54:59] Alex Gladstein: dude I've written a lot more about anti-colonialism than you have. Like I'm I'm very anticolonial thank you.

This is

[00:55:05] Jamie Garcia: why I'm I'm I'm actually I'm actually I, you

[00:55:10] Alex Gladstein: wait you're are you not, are you not clear that he's he's preventing justice from happening at Elte? Like you're not clear on that, that

[00:55:20] Jamie Garcia: have you actually have you actually read what happened at. Of course, have you actually read what happened? Yes. Cite that

[00:55:28] Alex Gladstein: book.

Well, you said you wrote my in my book, I cite that book. Of course, the judge who's trying to get the military dictator folks who had ordered all those massacres in prison has been basically taken out and B's preventing justice from being served. That's the latest you know, there, and he doesn't, he doesn't wanna piss off the military, which I understand cuz he's gotta have them run his brick and COVID containment centers,

[00:55:51] Jamie Garcia: centers.

So do, do you understand those do not exist? First of all, what don't exist? They're no COVID containers.

[00:55:58] Alex Gladstein: They no, no, no. Those were in 2020. Okay. And now they're the, the gang, the gang centers.

[00:56:03] Jamie Garcia: Have you read the piece? The, the

[00:56:06] Alex Gladstein: peace agreement, the peace agreement between El

[00:56:10] Jamie Garcia: Salvador government and the girls.


[00:56:12] Alex Gladstein: is, this is not relevant. The point I'm no,

[00:56:13] Jamie Garcia: it is relevant because, because it gives amnesty to all these crooks. The same crooks that, that you dislike. I, I dislike. So

[00:56:21] Alex Gladstein: if BCA is on your side then, and he doesn't want them to have amnesty, why is he stopping an investigation into the military role? The S

[00:56:29] Jamie Garcia: peace agreement gave amnesty to these crooks.


[00:56:35] Alex Gladstein: A peace

[00:56:35] Jamie Garcia: agreement that he did not sign. He was in the side of the people who got

[00:56:39] Alex Gladstein: was a child. It's not, he wasn't

[00:56:42] Jamie Garcia: responsible. Exactly. So then why, why are you claiming that he's responsible somehow?

[00:56:47] Alex Gladstein: He's he is defrocking or whatever verb you want use. He's basically removing from power judges that want to go after the military who committed these murders in collaboration with the United States government.

What, why, why is that not a problem for you? Okay. Let,

[00:57:03] Jamie Garcia: let me just ask you something. Mm-hmm if you're, you're gonna tie up resources to, to go after people who are either dead. No, they're not dead gone Salvador. Some of them are old who have amnesty because of the peace agreements. Anyway,

[00:57:21] Alex Gladstein: I mean, I think it would be great to see these people behind prison and behind bars, but I guess that's just my

[00:57:25] Jamie Garcia: personal, do you understand the concept of amnesty?

[00:57:29] Q: I think we're, I think we're losing the plot a little bit. Step. Hi. Hi Matt. Let's just, let's. We're gonna shift. We have about 30 minutes left on the scheduled debate conversation. I don't wanna shift now to the Bitcoin of it all specifically. We've highlighted the Chivo, the Chivo wallet rollout. I want to discuss that as well as I just wanted discuss the fact that bouquet has been purchasing Bitcoin.

Government funds. Seemingly has slowed down a comment we were having internally amongst ourselves is why have we not seen or heard anything of BHA announcing buying more Bitcoin, buying the dip in the way he did a year ago, six months ago. And I don't wanna necessarily call it the failed rollout, but the delayed rollout of the volcano bonds to Alex's point earlier as well, this promise of a Bitcoin city, a lot of promises around Bitcoin and a lot of moves made by Quele.

Alex, I will start with you to just sort of take both sides of what are the things at Al's done with Bitcoin that you will applaud 'em for as well as some of the things you are more critical.

[00:58:42] Alex Gladstein: Yeah. I mean, I thought that the volcano bond thing was cool. I think it's a cool idea. I think he's having trouble executing it.

I think there's probably forces beyond his control that are preventing from him, from executing on that macro environment is not great. I think mining is great, really happy to see hopefully the Salvador government and society take advantage of the geothermal power that's been sort of, you know, not used.

And in general, like choosing Bitcoin as a, as a national currencies is great. I think my, my issues have a lot less to do with Bitcoin and a lot more to do with everything else that PKA does. If I were to nitpick I think the Chivo wallet is, was a misallocation of resources and effort. I know that hindsight's 2020, but generally speaking, I think just sort of just saying, Hey, you don't have to pick capital gains on Bitcoin when you live.

Would've been sufficient. I think launching this like national campaign to, to launch a national wallet is, is was a waste of resources at best and, and had a lot of mal intent at worst because it signaled that he wanted people to use Bitcoin inside a Chibo, which is obviously, as we all know, not Bitcoin, it's somebody else's Bitcoin, it's his Bitcoin.

He wanted people to use that system, which of course could be frozen and surveil just like the currency. So I've always said, you know, I've taught a bunch of Salvador how to use other wallets. And I know, I know he has to and everything great. But like I would nitpick about Chivo. I think Chivo the wrong way for governments to, to approach Bitcoin.

But in general, I'm not that I'm not that critical of how he's approached Bitcoin. Yeah. The price has gone down. I think it's smart for the solvent or government to buy Bitcoin. I, I, I don't have a lot of issues in this area. My issues are, are much more on the. Civil liberties front, but you know, I'll let, I'll let I'll let you guys fill in.

[01:00:32] Q: Hi, may I present the same question to you just about specifically the Bitcoin rollout? What are your feelings, thoughts, both things he's done successfully and things you are critical of BHAs Bitcoin

[01:00:42] Jamie Garcia: rollout. Yeah, no, I think, I think that Alex and I probably find a lot of common ground on this, you know, for me as a Bitcoin you know, I think that having your own Bitcoin in your, in, in a sovereign way in your, you know, cool storage is, is the way to go.

You know, again, I'm gonna point to mass those hierarchy of needs, you know, that's when you're at the self, self actualization stage for most selfs that's. Where they are because it's really hand to mouth. They, whatever they, they earn, they have to spend El Salva, there's a high propensity to spend kind country Bitcoin parlance it's time preference for sure.

But we have to have a low time preference in, in kind the, the benefits of, of the country adopting it. I'm not a huge fan of for sure. But as the law was designed, she was a necessity because the government had to provide the means for every citizen in the country to accept. Payment and, and automatically get it converted again.

That's because I think that in some ways you, the government realized that a, of people not. So that conversion feature was a necessity. And so that's what, that's the primary reason why it, it, it was created right? The, the, the other part is that, you know, it's because it had to facilitate merchants to be able to accept Bitcoin and again, convert it to us D and so, you know, it, and I think that the rollout it was quick maybe some more time would've been needed to get all the bugs out, which I think, you know, and I, I agree.

Would've probably been better received. But I think like, I, I think about you know, two terminologies in it waterfall and agile, right? I think this was an agile project where they rolled it out. They knew there was gonna be bugs. And then they would iterate based on user input as they went along.

And I think that since I've written a couple of articles documenting that it has gotten better. And but I think that, you know, because of the missteps and, and the rollout you know, people are. A little bit disenchanted. One of the things that I like about the law though, is that it provides the ability for the private sector to, to provide these services of auto conversion.

And I has a really job and beta that they have, have been lucky enough to test it. And it's, it's amazing. They use a synthetic dollar, which takes that volatility out. And so, but that's one of the main reasons, the other, the other main reason why, and, and I, I would say, you know, I would disagree with Alex on this point was like miss allocation of money or poorly spent money.

It's like, you know, El Salvador spends money in buy. Dollars from the federal reserves. It has service that it has to, you know, maintain that. Right. So, you know, at some point, if it was gonna make Bitcoin legal tender in the country, it had to make a similar investment. Right. And and I think that it, you know, there's gonna be some people who are always gonna disagree and they're always gonna think that that was a MIS of money, but at the same time, you know, that's they actually, escrow provides that's

[01:04:23] Q: of the two of you where I think we've fully established. That what we all agree on is Buka and El Salvador's attempt to adopt Bitcoin is the right step. Some of his other actions are, I think, where we're all. all four of us are in disagreement. And we're just gonna go around the full circle cuz P and I have also somehow interjected and, and shared our opinions on this matter as well.

There's no right or wrong answer, but I would like everyone to share how or why they are justifying or condemning what BKA has done outside of Bitcoin and how that could have an impact, either positive or negative on the greater adoption of Bitcoin. I will start because I threw a lot of words and probably made that question and statement a lot more complicated than it should I myself feel as though, while bouquet has taken some aggressive actions in this manner, while he has done things that by standards of United States law, we would condemn and he would be viewed as.

Close to, I would say almost a, a gang leader in which he condemns himself. I, however, do not feel as though these laws should be replicated and should be held accountable in every jurisdiction. I do think overall his steps towards Bitcoin are the right steps. I do question whether or not he actually understands Bitcoin and sees the grand potential of what Bitcoin can do.

I've always been long skeptical of politicians and he still falls into the camp of people that I quite frankly just think is saying Bitcoin, for the sake of garnering more eyeballs and attention for himself and his country he has done so quite successfully. If I may add, as we have pointed out, the tourism in El Salvador has spiked over the last two years to in large part to Bitcoiners themself, making this almost pilgrimage down south south of where I live at least.

My one caveat with this will always be he may be our, a hero today in the eyes of some and a villain in the eyes of others. But it's on history to look back and judge this. Ultimately I think we can, we will just have to wait and allow a few more things to play out. My fear quite honestly, is countries like Russia countries like Iran leaders, like president bouquet, or even North Korea, those types of political leaders as viewed as by Western countries, G seven countries today.

If those are the countries that first adopt Bitcoin, the rest of the world will be much slower at adopting Bitcoin. But ultimately everyone I do believe will get there. I do think this is a speed bump. If we, if you will, in the global adoption of Bitcoin.

Hi, I present it to you next, Alex, and then P you will be the last one to share your opinion. So don't fuck it up. P

[01:07:25] Jamie Garcia: sure thing. I mean, okay. So, you know, as a self owner, I do have my perspective and, and, and I, I do believe that Bitcoin, the right way to go. I have to keep presenting this to, you know, Bitcoin is all all over the world is that Bitcoin was not originally designed for Salvadorians, even with the Bitcoin law.

You know, the very first part of it is to attract investment into the country. You know, a country that exports very little that you know, has very little value add. We have beautiful people beautiful. Country for tourism that we wanna share with the world. And, and it's a way to, you know, invite everybody in and kickstart the economy.

But it's also a way to invest in the rising monetary system, as opposed to a declining one. El Salvador has been a dollarized country for several years now. And at a time when the dollar is in decline, you, it makes sense to make this just purely as a game theory mode. And I, that this is where I disagree with you a little bit Q where I believe understands more than he lets on.

He understands the game theory. He was tweeting about adopting Bitcoin back in 2017 when he was being blocked by the people that Alex actually empathize with now, from running for the presidency. And so. You know, I think that what we have to understand also is that there, there is a process. There's a process by which as more people come into the country, introduce Bitcoin.

People will begin to accept it beyond Sante, you know, and I would suggest this to Bitcoiners and people in general that are going there. Yeah. Go and visit Chivera. He's awesome. And Mike and everybody, the whole crew down there, but take some time to go to other places around the country, to the mountains, to, to lake GU and try to orange people there.

Because as people see that, you know, the currency that you wanna use is Bitcoin. They will begin to become more open and accepting it and they will see right now we're in a bear market. Nobody wants it, but they will see that as we transit. Some of what you, some of the tips that you gave them, or some of the things that you bought from them will continue to rise and right.

And so I do have my, my belief, my, or my beliefs in my biases around the country. I think that one of the things that I would highlight is that, and I, I would never wish upon none of you

[01:10:11] Q: or Alex

[01:10:13] Jamie Garcia: is to know the fear of what it was like during the height of gang extortion, to get off the bus

[01:10:23] Q: and walk two

[01:10:23] Jamie Garcia: blocks from the bus, stop to your house at 9:00 PM at night, because you didn't know if you were gonna make it alive.

That is a paralyzing feeling. And to experience it every day, the amount of cortisol that gets injected into your veins, not knowing if you're gonna see your, your daughter, your sister, your mom and dad. I don't wish that upon anybody. And that feeling is gone right now for most people. You know, if we go by the 80 20 rule, you know, and, and I know that a lot of libertarians will probably reject Jeremy Bentham's views on utilitarianism, but the greatest goods for the, for, for the greatest amount of people, you know, that probably doesn't jive well, but to get to that libertarian view, you have to sort of go through these steps where you have to do what's best for most of the population, you know, at the, at the risk.

Of putting some of these folks that are really bad in jail. Now there's still obvious Corpus right now. It's just instead of 72 hours, it's 15 days, you know? And so it, you know, some of the assertions that a Alex makes that people are jailed, indefinitely are, are wrong, but I would say that, you know, SA Salvadorians and, and they approve 90% notable killer, but on the measures that have been enacted to clean up and to offer them safety.

But otherwise I think that you know, I think Bitcoin's the way, and we'll see where it ends up. Let's.

[01:12:22] Q: Thank you. Hi Alex.

[01:12:24] Alex Gladstein: Yeah. I mean, look, no one here's arguing that Bitcoin's not the way, obviously Bitcoin's the way. I just think that we're gonna go through a period of pretty intense global adoption of Bitcoin over the coming decade. All in my view, all governments and corporations are eventually gonna integrate or adopt it in some way.

It doesn't mean we have to support those governments. A lot of them are gonna do it begrudgingly. A lot of them are gonna do it. You know, in a, in a way that's sort of, opportunistic I think you can look at a lot of, and I'm, I'm not saying that El Salvador is as repressive as these states.

It's it's, it's not, we should be very clear about that, but generally speaking throughout history, you've had. Very repressive states adopt good measures. You've had, for example, the Chinese communist party, you know, introduce more private property. Like that was great, but we didn't like cheer the CCP, right?

The Cuban government introduced internet to the island 2017. The very, very good. It doesn't mean I'm gonna go cheer for the Cuban government. The Saudi Arabian government introduced the right for women to drive. Very good. Doesn't mean I'm gonna go cheer for them. I, I, I think we can observe what's happening in El Salvador and, and, and visit and you should visit Elante is an incredible place without needing to cheer for the government.

I just don't understand you have this all these Bitcoiners who are like cheering for the government to me, you know, makes very little sense. So again, we don't disagree very much about Bitcoin here. It was of course the right choice. There's deserve credit for that. It's just about everything else he's doing and, you know, I think what's, what's.

What's been clear, is that what the people who are supporting bouquet try to do is they try to dismiss facts as not real or as false. So I'll just remind the audience of a couple things that are, you know, incontrovertible like these things did happen. Amen. Again, remember this government leader that you are, you know, some of you are currently simp sipping for to, to put it lightly, especially in the chat here.

It's amazing. He detained tens of thousands of people after the COVID breakout in 2020 with, without any sort of due process currently in a war against gangs. He has issued a state of exception and there are more than 50,000, 50,000 people who've been detained without any sort of due process.

These are actual facts that are not fake. This is not fake news. This is real. More than 30 journalists and activists who are the most high profile ones had their phones sped on with Pegasus software. That's real, that's a fact, and there's a proposed law that could come into effect soon that basically treats any, any organization in El Salvador that receives any sort of foreign support as a foreign agent, and then any, any incoming income from abroad gets taxed to the tune of 40%.

Another fact. And then finally, the biggest fact to me, the, the, the really the most jarring thing that changed my mind on all this cuz when I first reported this, I was kind of like, well, we'll see what happens when it comes to his next term. That's really what it's gonna be all about. Is he, is he gonna do Ugo Chavez and, and try to change the change, the paradigm so he can rule for longer that that was the real key here and I expected it to happen in the next few years.

I did not expect it to happen in the near future. The fact that he did it last summer was just so brazen and aggressive. But yeah, I mean, he really got down right to business and he sacked the attorney general sacked, the Supreme court justices that he didn't like, and he got them to go over a constitutional ban to allow him to run again.

And that's really all you need to know about this guy. So I think we should focus on Bitcoin and on separating money from state and on providing Salvador the tools to use Bitcoin in a non-custodial manner. And we should stop cheering on this guy who is as sad to see has, has indoctrinated or, or, you know, basically like, one over, so many people in the Bitcoin community that really shouldn't be cheering for governments.

But anyway ha thanks for having me.

[01:16:29] P: Yeah, I think I can, I I'll jump in here and I think I'm a huge fan of El Salvador. I'm a huge fan of everything that you know, that is going on there in terms of the. Adoption of Bitcoin, but I, I, I will say I am surprised at how willing Bitcoiners are in general to put people on pedestals.

And I think that I definitely don't have as negative of a view as I think Alex does, but I think that we need to be able to have these conversations critically about the policies and the actions that anyone is taking. Right? The same things that we castigate the United States government for doing, I feel like somehow when there is a, a person involved who is very pro Bitcoin and positive for Bitcoin, The the larger Bitcoin community has a tendency to kind of give them a pass, especially when it's, you know, complicated with you know, the fact that there are large governmental or sort of extra governmental organizations like the, we like the IMF actively attempting to sabotage those government's efforts.

So it be, it does become a very complicated issue, but I think we really need to hold ourselves as Bitcoiners and as a Bitcoin community accountable for, for being able to critically evaluate all aspects of every situation and, and really be able to to have those kinds of these kinds of critical discussions without it being about like, are you pro Bitcoin or anti Bitcoin, cuz it's not about that.

It it's about being able to view the world as it really is and be realistic and have these meaningful conversations because it's the only way that we can learn as Bitcoiners is the only way that we can is by engaging in these sometimes heated conversations. So. That is my thought, Kim.

[01:18:16] Q: Yeah, I wanna, I wanna echo what P said.

Just the last part. Nothing else P ever says is valid anyways. Like the beautiful thing about Bitcoin as we continue to adopt and grow is there are gonna be a multitude of ideas and perspectives that come into place. And if we are not willing to have difficult conversations and disagree on certain facts, we're, we're not gonna grow.

We will just stagnate. And Bitcoin will, in my opinion, it will fail if we don't accept the fact that if we do have global adoption of what, what's the global population now, 8 billion people. I lose track every day, honestly, but that's 8 billion different ideas. And I think we're naive to think that everyone is gonna believe in Bitcoin the same way that we individually believe in it.

And so I appreciate both of you sharing your time and perspective today because these conversations are important. We don't have to leave agreeing on things we can leave disagreeing. And frankly, I think we're about to leave this conversation disagreeing on a lot more things than we walked in here agreeing on, but I do think it is important because you, we need to have these conversations.

I think the thing, the reason why I was inspired to reach out to each of you to ask you to join and have this conversation is because I, myself in hearing the story that I shared of Singapore, it rang so true to what I'm seeing in El Salvador. But of course there are so many more details in the story of Singapore's growth, as well as what we're bearing witness to in El Salvador that don't get reported on fairly or justly and maybe get over exaggerated or just.

Misinformation is shared as a result in byproduct. What the truth is of what's going on in El Salvador. I doubt any of the four of us know the whole entire truth, but maybe we could come up with some pieces of it. And from that can make judgements on our own. If this conversation was a conversation you enjoyed, or even just felt strongly and D disagreement with anything, myself, Jamie, Alex, or P has ever said I urge you to take that feeling and go down a rabbit hole, learn more DM me.

I don't care. My DMS get blown up with so many scammers. I could use a DM or two from a real person. Tell me what you find that maybe I, I would be surprised I would disagree with or not. Cuz that is the point of this. That's how we're gonna hold this next iteration of politicians accountable is by having these hard conversations and then calling to question their actions.

Hi, Matt, I give you and then Alex final word each. And again, I really do thank you both for your time and your perspective in this discussion today.

[01:20:47] Jamie Garcia: Yeah, I just, you know, one of the things that we didn't really actually get to dive deeply into is like how everything has been done by the rural law, by it democratically elected president and the demo critically elected Assembly.

I think that you know, I actually spent was, was hoping to get into that and spent some time last night talking to one of the authors of the Salvadorian constitution, which he, he had, its actually said that that reelection is possible that the judges were replaced according to, to the rule of law, according to, in, in the spirit of the, of the constitution.

And no rules were violated, of course, you know, and the funny thing is that, you know, this was done with their set of rules and, and and I think that that's what stinks for a lot of them more, but you know, we'll leave that for, for another time because I would love to, to really dive into that.

But what I really wanna say is that thanks, Alex. I think, you know, We probably have a lot more in common than, than, than we do. And, and contrast, you know, I myself left El Salvador because my human rights and my, my father's human rights he paid a dear price were violated. So human rights are extremely important to me.

And so, but I understand the complexity of of the world. And and, and I understand that the dire situation that most Salvadorians found themselves because of the so I wanna thank you for having this conversation as well. And thank P Q for facilitating that. And the last thing that I wanna maybe say is is, or ask Alex is if you, if you participate in a stack chain yet,

[01:22:23] Alex Gladstein: no.

Wanna answer.

[01:22:35] Q: As far as participation in stack chain. I have not.

[01:22:40] P: I've not nor no, no. Nor

[01:22:43] Alex Gladstein: is Alex. Haven't had the pleasure. Sorry.

[01:22:46] P: No, no. It's, it's a random meme that people are trying to encouraging people to stack stats, even in the bear market. That's basically what

[01:22:51] Alex Gladstein: it's. Oh, well then. Sure. Yeah. That's a good idea.

Cool. Yeah. Well, thanks guys. This has been a good conversation. I like what P said a lot. I, I, you know, again, I think we need to think adversarially and I'm surprised to see Bitcoiners put so many people on, on pedestals. I think we should try and help the Quinn adoption in El Salvador as much as we can.

And just, just, you know, be skeptical of what you hear out there. Yeah. I mean the dominant narrative. And Bitcoin land is that, is that bouquet is this sort of like awesome, cool hip hero guy. It's a lot more complicated than that. And at the end of the day, Bitcoin is very important, but it, it's obviously only one aspect of life and it takes a lot of time to work.

I mean, we're, we're going through a very volatile process, obviously where Bitcoin has lost a lot of value in the last year. You know, this thing's gonna take decades to really start to change the world and it's begun its journey, but it's gonna be a long, long time. And in the meantime, people have to deal with the reality of today.

And I'm just not convinced the way that bouquet is running his policy is, is, is, is the best way to go about doing things. But I think what, what, what he may said is is a fair, it's a fair position to hold that, you know, we need to prioritize, you know, sort of law and order Over freedom. I just disagree.

So I guess we'll see, we'll see where that we'll see where that goes. But yeah, I would encourage everyone to continue to support Salvadorians support Bitcoin adoption there and, and continue to stack. And we'll see you around.

[01:24:31] Q: Thank you both. Thank you to our audience on all platforms for tuning in, please, please, please.

If you are not yet subscribed to our channel smash, the subscribe button down below, over there on YouTube or up there on rumble. That's a wrap guys that is our episode for today. Tomorrow we will be back with another exclusive special report with a special guest joining us. Tickets for Bitcoin Amsterdam are on sale.

The Bitcoin print magazine is available. At your local Barnes and Nobles at your local indigo over in Canada, available the Bitcoin magazine store as well. Use promo code BM live to get 10% off. That's a wrap. We'll be back tomorrow.

[01:25:14] BM Pro Commercial: Hey guys this is Q from Bitcoin magazine live

[01:25:17] BA Ad: Bitcoin magazine and the team that brought you the world's largest Bitcoin conference is bringing the mission of hyper colonization global with the inaugural European gathering. This fall Bitcoin Amsterdam takes place October 12th through 14th at the beautiful Western GOs venue in the heart of the city.

Join thousands of Bitcoiners for three days of curated Bitcoin content that is relevant to the emerging Bitcoin scene in Europe and the global.

Confirmed speakers include Dr. Adam back, Alex Gladstein, Greg FOSS, Ray USF, and many, many more. This will be an immersive conference, which includes hands on engagements at our proof of workshop stage as well as exclusive content for VIP whales in the deep Bitcoins Amsterdam's exclamation point will be a massive Bitcoin party in music festival that you won't wanna.

The European installment of sound money Fest takes place on day three of the event, October 14th and admission is included with GA and whale passes. Check out all the details at and use promo code BM live for 10% off. Ticket prices increase on August 21st. So grab your tickets a day for 299 euros for a GA ticket and 3,499.

Euros for VIP whale passe.

[01:26:28] Print Ad: The censorship resistant issue of the Bitcoin magazine print edition is available. Now, grab your copy at your local Barnes and noble store or head on over to the Bitcoin magazine store and use promo code BM live to get 10% off of your order today.

By: Bitcoin Magazine
Title: Is The President Of El Salvador Acting Like An Authoritarian?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2022 07:00:00 GMT

Did you miss our previous article…

Recent Posts
Latest Featured Posts
Latest News Posts