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Nayib Bukele's "Soft Power" Uses YouTubers

The Salvadoran President Has Used A Large Number Of International Influencers to Improve His Image.

Luisito Comunica, Nayib Bukele and Berth Oh

Since his rise as Central American president, the politician has enjoyed great popularity among his voters, but many other people in Latin America have also expressed their support. Photo: Luisito Comunica

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Goméz Hernández

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Leer en español: "Soft power": YouTube y Nayib Bukele

The American internationalist Joseph Nye explained that there are two ways in which one country can exercise power over another. One is through military or economic force, considered as hard power. The other is through cultural closeness or empathy and making the other country want and assume that change as its own. The latter is called soft power.

That is what Nayib Bukele, the Millennial president of El Salvador, is achieving. Since his rise as Central American president, the politician has enjoyed great popularity among his voters, but several Latin Americans have also expressed their support for him. These include several social media celebrities with millions of young followers.

For example, Luisito Comunica (with more than 36 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel ) and Berth-Oh (with almost 10 million subscribers), two Mexican YouTubers with millions of followers interviewed Bukele for their podcast "En Cortinas". A program with more than 6 million views. This guarantees the Salvadoran president 2 things: international reach and a condescending interviewer.

Bukele also has a good relationship with Spanish influencers such as Auronplay. The Catalan, with more than 24 million followers on YouTube and one of the biggest stars of the Twitch platform, has also supported the Salvadoran president.

But Bukele has not only managed to maintain a good relationship with these celebrities, he has also played their game. For example, he appointed Raúl Álvarez (AuronPlay) as "Minister of Youtube" in El Salvador. This fact caused a stir in social networks, reaffirming the "cool" image of the president.

This not only generates empathy with the millions of followers of these content creators in the Hispanic world, but it can also generate an improvement in the country's image abroad. So much so that Luisito Comunica, before the pandemic, traveled to El Salvador and taking advantage of the visit to the president, made a series of tourist vlogs about the country. This with the intention of increasing visits to the Central American nation.

Also read: El Salvador, first country with Bitcoin as legal tender

JacoboWong, known for commenting on current affairs, said: "The president easily could have had the BBC or CNN. But he is reaching more people by interacting with YouTubers and I think it's incredible that he wanted to do that (...) at this moment in Mexico we know the name of the president of El Salvador. I have no idea what the previous one was called, nor the one from before, nor the one from before " highlighting the decision made by" the president coolest in the world".

Likewise, Bukele does not have too much international support, because despite the approval he has internally, analysts and international media warn of his authoritarian nature and several disputed actions. For example, the entry of the police and the Armed Forces to Congress to approve an increase in the budget for security; or the change of the judicial branch after Bukelism achieved an absolute majority in Congress, a measure that experts consider a risk for the division of powers.