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Trump to new El Salvadorian president: US 'ready to work' with you

Trump to new El Salvadorian president: US 'ready to work' with you
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE congratulated newly-inaugurated Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele, saying he was ready to work with him to advance prosperity in Latin America. 

“The United States stands ready to work with @NayibBukele to advance prosperity in El Salvador and the hemisphere. Congratulations President Bukele on your inauguration!” Trump tweeted. Bukele retweeted the message shortly after. 

Bukele, a 37-year-old political outsider officially sworn into office Saturday, has vowed to prioritize bolstering El Salvador’s relationship with Washington, bolster education and social programs to curb gang violence in the country and, in a move likely to please the White House, veer away from the left-wing foreign policy alliances of his predecessor.

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Trump has hammered El Salvador, as well as Guatemala and Honduras, for what he says is a failure to prevent Central American migrants from traveling north and entering the U.S. illegally. The president in March directed the State Department to halt aid to the so-called Northern Triangle countries.

“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we're not paying them anymore. Because they haven't done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” Trump told reporters in March.

Democrats slammed the move as counter-productive, saying that aid to those countries benefited the U.S.

“U.S. foreign assistance is not charity; it advances our strategic interests and funds initiatives that protect American citizens. This latest reported move shows the Administration still does not understand that the United States cuts foreign aid to Central America at our own peril,” Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Kasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report MORE (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said at the time.

Immigration has emerged as an animating issue for both parties, with Republicans falling behind Trump’s hardline policies to curtail legal and illegal border crossings and Democrats saying any crisis is manufactured by the White House and that support to Latin America should not be reduced in retaliation.