El Salvador Is Giving Away ‘5,000 Free Passports,’ Bukele Says

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has announced that the government will offer 5,000 “free passports” to highly skilled workers from abroad. This initiative, equivalent to a $5 billion program, aims to attract scientists, engineers, doctors, artists, and philosophers to the Central American nation.

President Bukele stated that these individuals will be granted “full citizen status,” including voting rights, as part of the government’s efforts to spur social and economic development. “Despite the small number, their contributions will have a huge impact on our society and the future of our country,” he wrote on social media.

To facilitate the relocation of these talented individuals, the Salvadoran government will eliminate taxes and tariffs on “moving families and assets” such as equipment, software, and intellectual property. This move is the Bukele government’s most recent attempt to bring in foreign investment.

However, Bukele’s latest initiative comes amidst ongoing concerns over human rights issues in the country. El Salvador has faced widespread criticism for its crackdown on crime, which has resulted in mass detentions and alleged human rights abuses, according to rights groups.

The International Monetary Fund has also repeatedly advised the country to ditch its adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, citing the cryptocurrency’s high volatility and associated risks.

But Bukele has repeatedly ignored the IMF’s advice (as he did Washington’s two years ago). He recently announced that his government would resume buying one bitcoin a day.

In February, the 42-year-old self-described “world’s coolest dictator” secured re-election after the country’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal allowed him to run for a second term even if this is prohibited under El Salvador’s constitution.

Information for this story was found via CNN, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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