El Salvador President Nayib Bukele criticized Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ongoing crackdown on participants of Canada’s peaceful “Freedom Convoy” in response to Trudeau supporting the freedoms of Ukrainian citizens while simultaneously stripping Canadians of their constitutionally guaranteed rights.
The Freedom Convoy is a movement protesting vaccine mandates and other violations of Canadians’ civil liberties related to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
Bukele’s post on Twitter included a video clip of Trudeau speaking to reporters on February 22 about Moscow’s decision on February 21 to formally recognize the independence of two Russian-backed separatist states in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region known as the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR).
There were times when I thought these stances about democracy and authoritarianism were real. pic.twitter.com/SnWzUFYVCi
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) February 22, 2022
The short video clip shared by Bukele captures Trudeau as he explains his decision to impose sanctions on Russia and deploy additional Canadian troops to eastern Europe:
Canada and our allies will defend democracy. We are taking these actions today to stand against authoritarianism. The people of Ukraine, like all people, must be free to determine their own future. We will continue working with our international partners to safeguard Ukraine’s territorial integrity and prevent further Russian aggression.
“There were times when I thought these stances about democracy and authoritarianism were real,” Bukele wrote in response to the video clip of Trudeau.
The Salvadoran president referred to Trudeau’s recent actions toward his own citizens, specifically those who participated in or indirectly supported Canada’s recent “Freedom Convoy” protest. The nationwide demonstration lasted from about January 26 to February 20 and consisted of thousands of commercial truckers intentionally blocking strategic stretches of Canadian trade routes to draw global attention to the Canadian government’s coronavirus vaccine mandates and other pandemic-related restrictions.
Trudeau invoked Canada’s Emergency Act on February 14 for the first time in history as part of a strategic effort to gain extraordinary powers that allow his administration to treat peaceful participants of the “Freedom Convoy” as violent terrorists.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), like Bukele on Tuesday, noted Trudeau’s conflicting stances in claiming to stand against authoritarianism in Ukraine while denying his own country’s citizens their civil rights. The U.S.-based newspaper observed the following in an op-ed published February 22 titled “Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Tyranny”:
Every trucker blockade in Canada has been cleared, yet Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal government isn’t giving up the emergency powers it claimed to criminalize the protest movement against vaccine mandates. ‘This state of emergency is not over,’ Mr. Trudeau said, citing the risk of future blockades. This isn’t how a nation of laws is supposed to function.
Mr. Trudeau’s new powers rely on defining the disruptive but peaceful truckers as a security threat akin to violent terrorists. His emergency law, a broad prohibition on public assemblies and even indirect support for them, ensnares tens of thousands of Canadians as ‘designated persons’ whose assets must, per another of his new laws, be found and frozen by any financial institution, without due process or court supervision. There isn’t an appeals process in case of error, and so far 200 accounts are frozen.
Canadian lawmakers voted to extend Trudeau’s use of the Emergency Powers Act on February 21. Trudeau revoked the Act shortly thereafter.