Things That Matter

Donald Trump And El Salvador’s New President Are Both Using Twitter To Fire People And Twitter Isn’t Sure How To Feel About

As Nayib Bukele waged an underdog bid for the presidency of El Salvador, savvy use of social media helped propel his rise.

Now, in his first week in office, some officials in the Central American country are reeling from the power of the presidential tweet.

Since taking office, El Salvador’s President has taken to Twitter to fire officials.

Credit: @Reuters / Twitter

The 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador, who was sworn in on Saturday, has taken some of his first actions in office via Twitter, including giving officials the ax.

His targets so far have included relatives of former president Salvador Sánchez Cerén and figures from the outgoing political party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.

In one such tweet, the 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador said: “CEL president William Granadino is ordered to remove Claudia Sanchez Villalta, daughter of former president Sanchez Ceren, from her position. Do not hire a replacement.”

Mr Bukele, an avid social media user with more than 700,000 Twitter followers, has fired several other officials via tweet.

Credit: @nayibbukele / Twitter

Translation: The president orders @ANDAElSalvador @FredckBenitez to remove Manuel de Jesús Cornejo, the Father OF the FMLN’s deputy, Cristina Cornejo, from his position as head of the security unit, with a salary of 1.500 dollars per month.

Some of the dismissed responded with tweets such as: “Your order will be executed immediately, president @nayibbukele.”

While some of Mr. Bukele’s supporters have cheered the new form of presidential communication, his opponents on the right and the left described the practice as autocratic.

Norman Quijano, the right-wing president of the Salvadoran congress, told reporters: “This is not a monarchy.”

He added: “The absolutist monarchies were a thing of the Middle Ages and we are in the 21st century, where institutionality must be respected.”

The president isn’t just firing people though.

Credit: @nayibbukele / Twitter

As was the case of José Rafael Mena Castaneda, a talented student in architecture who, a few months ago, almost left school because of economic problems. His desire to continue studying led him to launch a project making full-scale cardboard buses.

When Bukele read his story in a local media, he “ordered” his presidential commissioner of strategic projects to give the young man a job interview.

Only a few hours later, he announced that José Rafael had been hired to modernize El Salvador’s schools.

Many on Twitter pointed out that just because the firings are being made public, doesn’t mean they should be celebrated as transparency.

Credit: @GeovannyVicentR / Twitter

Twitter users were taken by surprise and not all for the same reasons. Many see Bukele’s posts as signs of transparency and say they’re happy to see that the new president is taking action and doing something for El Salvador, a country that suffers from endemic violence, poverty and corruption.

Others are less amused. According to them, the “war” that Bukele is waging against the FMLN is an abuse of power — considering local media have revealed that the new government also employs several of Bukele’s relatives

Jaime García Oriani, El Salvador political analyst, believes Bukele could face other problems if he does not follow the legal process of dismissals the country has.

The president is also using Twitter to enact policies.

Credit: @GeovannyVicentR / Twitter

After tweeting demands at fellow government officials, most have responded immediately confirming they’ve completed his request.

Many took to Twitter to warn Salvadorians that this doesn’t always play out well.

Credit: @Reuters / Twitter

The obvious connection between El Salvador’s President use of Twitter and that of Donald Trump was lost on nobody.

It echoes the approach of U.S. President Donald Trump, who communicates to his Republican Party base daily via Twitter and has also fired some officials via tweet.

Trump, perhaps recognizing another Twitter fan, sent the following tweet on Saturday: “The United States stands ready to work with @NayibBukele to advance prosperity in El Salvador and the hemisphere. Congratulations President Bukele on your inauguration!”

Lea Michele Half-Apologizes For Subjecting Former Co-Star To Relentless Microagressions

Entertainment

Lea Michele Half-Apologizes For Subjecting Former Co-Star To Relentless Microagressions

Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

The world is watching and reacting as the investigation into the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Activists have been raising their voices and organizing to maintain and grow sustained protests around the world demanding justice. Celebrities have been swept up in the anger and protest as well and, for some, it has backfired.

Former “Glee” star Lea Michele tweeted about the death of George Floyd.

Michele joined the trend of celebrities who have started to join in the protests against racial injustice inflicted by police in the U.S. Even major corporations joined the Black Lives Matter conversation after being silent for years with many participating in #BlackOutTuesday. Yet, Michele is facing accusations of her own microaggressions against former co-stars.

Samantha Ware had issues with Michele’s tweet of solidarity.

Ware played Jane Hayward in the sixth season of “Glee” and accused Michele of microaggressions. The microaggressions were relentless and traumatic enough to make Ware’s tenure on the show “a living hell.”

Ware’s response immediately rang true for so many who have faced a lifetime of microaggressions.

Microaggressions are a major issue in everyday life for people of color. They are defined as verbal, behavioral, or environmental things that have underlying hostile and prejudice roots. They are things like assuming that a Black woman is wearing a wig or locking your car doors when a Black person walks by you.

Dabier Snell also spoke up about Michele’s behavior.

Snell continued with a second tweet explaining that he is always here to make content that people will enjoy. He tries to stray away from creating anything negative in the world. However, according to Snell, seeing Michele’s tweet for George Floyd brought back bad memories of her treating him as less than while on set.

Another “Glee” co-star, Alex Newell, echoed Snell and Ware.

Three of Michele’s co-stars have come forward to call her out in public because of how she treated people. All three have been Black actors who have accused the actor of treating them with no respect and lodging microaggressions against them.

Some people are doing the work and reminding us that Naya Rivera tried to call Michele out first.

In her memoir “Sorry Not Sorry,” Rivera recounted how Michele treated her while they were on “Glee.” Rivera did not hold back when she described Michele’s reaction as Santana Lopez became a more and more important character in the “Glee” universe.

“As Santana moved from a background character to one with bigger plot lines and more screen time. I think Rachel – erm, I mean Lea – didn’t like sharing the spotlight,” reads the memoir. “If I’d complained about anyone or anything, she’d assumed I was bitching about her. Soon, she started to ignore me, and eventually it got to the point where she didn’t say a word to me for all of season 6.”

Michele offered a half-apology to address the accusations while admitting to them at the same time.

“While I don’t remember ever making this specific statement and I have never judged others by their background or color of their skin, that’s not really the point, what matters is that I clearly acted in ways which hurt other people. Whether it was my privileged position and perspective that caused me to be perceived as insensitive or inappropriate at times or whether it was just my immaturity and me just being unnecessarily difficult, I apologize for my behavior and for any pain which I have caused,” reads part of the statement. “We all can grow and change and I have definitely used these past several months to reflect on my own shortcomings.”

Her apology sparked more backlash from people who claim to have been part of the “Glee” cast and crew.

Credit: leamichele / Instagram

Other people have commented on her apology claiming that she is not really apologizing if she claims not to remember. Others are frustrated that Michele is apologizing for how people have perceived her words, not for the words itself.

READ: Naya Rivera’s Memoir Talks About Abortion And Anorexia

Tropical Storm Leaves At Least 20 Dead In El Salvador And Now Threatens The U.S. Gulf Coast

Things That Matter

Tropical Storm Leaves At Least 20 Dead In El Salvador And Now Threatens The U.S. Gulf Coast

Salvador Melendez / Getty

The 2020 Hurricane season is off to a very strong start – in fact, it’s a record breaking one. The season officially started on June 1st, however, we’re only on June 3rd and there have already been three named storms. Even before the season got started, officials were warning of an above average season and it seems their predictions are playing out.

Tropical Storm Amanda killed at least 20 people when it struck El Salvador, unleashing flooding and landslides.

After making landfall in El Salvador, Tropical Storm Amanda has been blamed for at least 20 deaths in the country. Officials there say that more than 7,000 people have been taken into shelters as the country attempts to recover from the devastating effects.

Torrential rains and strong winds destroyed hundreds of homes and left highways and roads out of service, stranding many in very dangerous situations.

Carolina Recinos, a senior aide to President Nayib Bukele, said the storm had dumped the equivalent of “almost 10 percent” of the annual rainfall on the country in a relatively short span of time.

Bukele declared a 15-day state of emergency to cope with the effects of Amanda, which he estimated to have caused $200 million in damage.

“We’ve never experienced this,” Maria Torres, whose house was damaged, told the Associated Press news agency. “The rain was so strong and suddenly, the water entered the homes, and we just saw how they fell.”

The storm came as the country of some 6.6 million people is grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Credit: @Minerva_Juarez / Twitter

To date, El Salvador has reported 2,582 confirmed Covid-19 infections and 46 related deaths. It’s not been as hard hit as many other Latin American countries, but experts agree that the country is poorly equipped to handle any further strain.

“We are experiencing an unprecedented situation: one top-level emergency on top of another serious one,” said San Salvador Mayor Ernesto Muyshondt.

The country had already instituted some of the most strict lockdown measures across the region. Even a trip to the market is heavily regulated – you’re only allowed access depending on the numbers in your identity documents, and residents aren’t allowed to cross municipal boundaries, even to buy food or medicine.

The storm also lashed other countries across Central America.

Credit: @Minerva_Juarez / Twitter

Both Guatemala and Honduras were also badly hit by the storm. In Honduras, four were left dead after they were swept away by rising flood waters. Meanwhile, several communities were left buried under feed of mud and debris and mudslides happened across the country.

Two people were also killed and two injured in Guatemala, where authorities reported 500 homes damaged.

After weakening, the storm has now reformed as Tropical Storm Cristobal and could pose a risk to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Credit: NOAA

Tropical Storm Amanda weakened after impacting Central America and then entered the Gulf of Mexico, where it’s since reorganized into a new Tropical Storm – this time named Cristobal. This marks the first time in history that there have been three named storms so early in the hurricane season. Typically, the third named storm does not brew until way later in the season, occurring on average around Aug. 13

The weather disturbance is expected to move through the Gulf of Mexico in the coming days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, and is likely to severely impact the Mexican coastline in the coming days.

The storm is expected to take a northward turn, and it could gain strength over the Gulf of Mexico prior to reaching the southern United States coastline.