On Monday, the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires in El Salvador, Jean Manes, announced her departure from the Central American country without the appointment of a new ambassador in a diplomatic legation, which has been without this position for almost a year and in a context of tensions in bilateral relations.
In the last few months, the relationship between the Governments of El Salvador and the United States has been far from improving, according to statements of the Chargé d'Affaires, who denounced that Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele is not giving any sign of interest in the bilateral relationship.
In particular, she mentioned the cooperation with Washington and assured that the White House sent her to the country as a bridge to clarify the situation. Still, the Bukele administration decided not to take it, so new ways are being sought to maintain cooperation with El Salvador.
Since President Nayib Bukele's military invasion of the Legislative Assembly (in February 2020), the dismissal of the Attorney General and the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber (in May of this year) and the publication of names of Salvadoran officials accused of corruption in the Engel List (in early July), diplomatic relations between the two countries have been deteriorating.
Given to the large number of Salvadorans living in the United States, the diplomat affirmed that "we should have the best relationship in the region because of all our economic ties, family ties and more than three million Salvadorans in the United States, but that is not where we are."
Given the unwillingness of the Bukele government to improve diplomatic relations, Manes also confirmed her departure from the U.S. embassy in the country, to return to her position within the Southern Command.
As such, she indicated that Brendan O'Brien would be the new chargé d'affaires at the diplomatic headquarters.
Manes had already served as ambassador to El Salvador. With the inauguration of Joe Biden, she was appointed as acting chargé d'affaires, pending the appointment of a new ambassador, which has not yet happened.