El Salvador Defies Skeptics to Pay Back $800 Million Debt

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • El Salvador has paid back an $800 million sovereign debt on time
  • Mainstream media outlets have spent 18 months opining that it would fail in this obligation
  • President Nayib Bukele said that those same outlets had gone into “silence mode” over the repayment

El Salvador has defied international skepticism and paid back an $800 million sovereign debt, with president Nayib Bukele pointing out that mainstream media outlets have ignored this. Bukele took to Twitter to announce that it has honored its bond in full, with interest, and that none of the outlets that said it would fail in this endeavor have covered its success, accusing them of going on “silence mode”. The country recently voted to introduce Bitcoin bonds, which it hopes will help create Bitcoin City.

Bukele Reprimands Mainstream Media

El Salvador’s $800 million sovereign debt was the talking point of the international press when the country adopted Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021. This was brought up again last year on the anniversary of its adoption, by which time of course the currency was in reverse. This led to heavy criticism by several major news outlets about El Salvador’s approach, all of which predicted doom for the country, as Bukele pointed out on Twitter:

This opinion wasn’t helped in September last year when ratings agency Fitch downgraded El Salvador’s Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Rating to ‘CC’ from ‘CCC’ on the basis that a default was “probable”, leading to more negative headlines.

Finance Minister Denounces “Disinformation Campaign”

Unfortunately for those licking their lips at the prospect of an El Salvador default, and a chance to bash Bitcoin into the bargain, the country has pulled it out of the bag at literally the eleventh hour and paid off its debt, with interest. Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya made the announcement on Monday, the same day the bond was set to mature, at the same time denouncing the “disinformation campaign” in national and international media.

Indeed, in the hours since Zelaya’s announcement, none of the outlets that criticized Bukele’s approach have pointed out the fact that the debt has been paid, with only Reuters being among the mainstream media outlets discussing the story.

The repayment comes almost two weeks after El Salvador’s congress approved a digital securities law that allows the nation to sell Bitcoin-backed bonds, which it hopes will raise $500 million to help build a tax-free, coastal town known as Bitcoin City, which will have geothermal energy from a nearby volcano for mining digital coins.