Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., said in a news release, El Salvador President- Nayib Bukele engaged in “foreign election intervention” in her election after being re-elected to the House.
Bukele, whose government accuses Torres of interfering with its affairs, urged 35th District voters in California to vote against Torres in a tweet last year. Legislators from Bukele’s party openly backed her opponent on social media in the months before this year’s midterm elections.
One tweet says, “Let’s say no to Norma Torres because she did so much harm to El Salvador.”
Members of Bukele’s government publicly backed her opponent in rallies and social media posts, according to Torres told NBC News, who also claimed to have been harassed offline and online with cruel and racial remarks.
The State Department views it as an effort to influence the outcome of the election.
A State Department official wrote in an email, “Throughout our most recent electoral process, we noted with alarm rising direct attempts by some Salvadorans to influence certain political outcomes in the U.S.” This is unacceptable, as we have constantly stated, and we have consistently conveyed this to the Government of El Salvador through formal diplomatic channels.
The spokesperson stated, “The integrity of our elections, is an important part of our democratic processes: the self-control of residents must not be sabotaged by foreign influence.”
The Salvadoran ambassador to the United States, Milena Mayorga, declined to comment on the legislators’ tweets criticizing Torres when asked about them since they represent a separate part of the government. But she said, during the months running up to the country’s 2021 February legislative elections, Torres was the one who interfere in El Salvador by denouncing Bukele in Salvadoran media sources. Torres denies the allegation.
In the history of El Salvador, New Ideas, Bukele’s party, Nuevas Ideas, and their allies went on to win the largest congressional majority.