Just as it seemed that the international pressure on Venezuela’s de facto president Nicolás Maduro was relenting, with daily headlines dominated by major protests elsewhere in Latin America, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced the expulsion of Venezuela’s entire diplomatic corps on 2 November. This came as Maduro, speaking from Cuba, heralded “a new anti-neoliberal wave” in Latin America with protests erupting in Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador, countries run by some of his fiercest critics. Bukele won plaudits from the US government, with which he has successfully renewed close ties, reaping some immediate benefits. The move also served a domestic political purpose, distracting attention from a pension protest two days earlier in El Salvador, which took its inspiration from events in Chile.

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