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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Are The Sandinistas Coming Back?

Nicaragua may well be next domino to fall to socialism in Latin America. The FSLN or "Sandinistas" are favourites to win the upcoming election.



From the Communist Party USA's latest People's weekly World.

As Nicaragua prepares for elections Nov. 5, and with Daniel Ortega of the Nicaragua Triumphs/Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) leading in the polls, a delegation of academics and activists is visiting the country to investigate charges of U.S. interference in the electoral process.

A delegation in June condemned U.S. interference in Nicaragua’s affairs. It noted that Paul Trivelli, the U.S. ambassador, called former President Ortega a “tiger who hasn’t changed his stripes,” and said the U.S. would “re-evaluate” its relationship with Nicaragua should the Sandinistas regain power.

Washington’s current maneuvers aim at building right-center unity to block Ortega’s election. The goal is to unite those in the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) and the Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC) in a coalition behind the candidacy of Eduardo Montealegre of the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN).

Ortega is making his fifth run for office. He is mobilizing peasant farmers, women, former guerillas, students, environmentalists and intellectuals, along with some former Contra and Miskito Indian adversaries, into the Nicaragua Triumphs coalition. The coalition is calling for agrarian reform, fair trade before free trade, nationalization of key industries, health care, expanded educational and cultural opportunities, environmental stewardship, indigenous rights, gender equality and increased trade with Cuba and Venezuela.

The red and black FSLN flag may once again flutter over this resource-rich nation, whose people remain among the poorest of Central America. The Sandinistas continue to reflect the class interests of an increasingly mobilized working poor and those who are anti-CAFTA, anti-International Monetary Fund, pro-environment and pro-democracy. Nicaragua may well be on the road to rejecting neoliberalism and embracing the continent-wide movement for self-determination and socialism, with Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba in the vanguard.

Rosario Murillo, FSLN campaign chief and spouse of Daniel Ortega, writes: “We will win, there can be no doubt. Let us raise our hearts, our ideals and our wills. … We will triumph ... the Nicaraguan people will triumph on Nov. 5! ... Viva the Sandinista National Liberation Front!”

24 Comments:

Blogger Oliver said...

The Sandinistas continue to reflect the class interests of an increasingly mobilized working poor and those who are anti-CAFTA, anti-International Monetary Fund, pro-environment and pro-democracy.

I think that's a platform that many can identify with, and you seem to imply that 'pro-democracy' is a negative thing? I guess it makes sense having supported Pinochet...

Additionally, you really need to right your total ignorance of Nicaraguan politics today. Ortega has swung out to the right, and most of the original Sandinista's (including his former deputy) have formed their own groups/gotten away from him.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Marxist-Leninists like Ortega often use the term democracy. Kim Jong Il rules the Peoples "Democratic" Republic of Korea.

As some wag once said "any country with Democratic in its name ain't".

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have any evidence that trev supported Pinochet oliver?

EXOCET

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you saying that you disagree with Washington's attempted interference in the democratic process in Nicaragua, Trevor, or are you all for it?

7:22 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

That would depend on the type of interference anon.

Is Washington justified in attempting to stop a Marxist-Leninist government take power in Nicaragua? Unequivocally yes.

It is the how that i am less certain on.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Nicaraguan people were to vote in a Marxist-Leninist government, would you be in favour of the United States overthrowing said government?

5:55 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Most certainly anon.

You answer my question.

If the Nicaraguan people were to vote in a Nazi government (as the germans once did), would you be in favour of the United States overthrowing said government?

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you support democracy, only as far as the people vote for the candidate most liked by the United States government?

And you can hardly compare Ortega with Hitler.

And you can also hardly blame the people of Nicaragua for wanting to try something else - the last few governments have hardly done a cracker job of helping that nation rise out of poverty.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

As if the Sandinistas did last time around.

You miss the point of my question anon. I never mentioned Hitler, i talked about a Nazi government.

My point being that Nazi and Marxist-Leninist governments are criminal organisations and hence fair game.

I believe the US should be much less involved in other country's business, but it has a legitimate interest in countering any M-L activity within their sphere of influence.

I believe most leftists would support the US taking out a Nazi government whereever it was located.

I support the US's (or anyone else's) right to vigourously oppose M-L regimes.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you do not support democracy; or you do, only so far as the people vote for the right party. That's not democracy, and I'm not sure what you would call it.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As if the Sandinistas did last time around."

Good point, Trev. I'm sure it would have been a piece of cake for anyone to fight a civil war against terrorists (the Contras) armed and supported by the most powerful nation in the history of the planet (the USA) and at the same time provide public services to help the country rise out of poverty.

Good one. You really got me laughing there.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Furthermore, I just had read an article on wikipedia about the freedom loving, American-backed Contras.

An exerpt:

"Contra Atrocities

The Nicaragua conflict claimed an estimated 60,000 lives. The Contras were frequentely accused of being responsible for multiple political assassinations, kidnappings, and the widespread use of torture. They were opposed by many Nicaraguans as well as foreign human rights organizations who viewed their tactics, which included the targeting of civilians, as brutal and indiscriminate.

The Contras were accused of blowing up bridges, civilian power plants and schools, burning fields of crops and attacked hospitals. Their tactics were said to include rape, kidnappings of peasants and civilians, ambushes and massacres against small rural communities, farms, co-operatives, schools and health clinics. Contra raids caused extensive damage to crop fields, grain silos, irrigation projects, farm houses and machinery. Numerous state farms and co-operatives were incapacitated; other farms still intact were abandoned because of the danger. Witness For Peace, an American Protestant watchdog body, collected a list of Contra atrocities in one year, which included murder, the rape of two girls in their homes, torture of men, maiming of children, cutting off arms, cutting out tongues, gouging out eyes, castration, bayoneting pregnant women in the stomach, amputating the genitals of people of both sexes, gouging out eyes, scraping the skin off the face, pouring acid on the face, breaking the toes and fingers of an 18 year old boy, and summary executions.

One survivor of a Contra raid in Jinotega province, which borders Honduras, reported: "Rosa had her breasts cut off. Then they cut into her chest and took out her heart. The men had their arms broken, their testicles cut off and their eyes poked out. They were killed by slitting their throats and pulling the tongue out through the slit."[1] The human rights organisation Americas watch, concluded that "the Contras systematically engage in violent abuses…. so prevalent that these may be said to be their principle means of waging war."

What a bloody lovely group of fellows. It is amazing what people can get away with when they are backed by a superpower.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra_(guerrillas)

7:07 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

What's your point anon?

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's an easy way out for you, isn't it. "I don't understand", "Me no comprende". The United States government backed and armed the Contras, who were a vicious group of homicidal terrorists. The Contras waged a brutal war against a group of people (the Sandanistas) who overthrew another American-backed dictatorship (The Somozas), and you accuse the Sandinistas of not doing enough to help the Nicaraguan people to escape poverty. Your points are hollow, ignorant, and mind-boggling. You have no point and you made it badly. You support democracy, but only if the people vote for the right party (the one annointed by the United States in most cases). Do me a favour - don't trumpet the wonders of democracy anymore or say how the United States stands for democracy. History has shown that to be false.

That's my point. Comprende?

11:12 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Lighten up anon. I fully understand what you're on about but you're way off the point of this thread.

My points are.

Marxist-Leninist and National Socialist regimes are criminal organisations and should be fought with all means necessary. Whether they are democratically elected or not is irrelevant.

The Nazis were democratically elected, does that mean they should not have been overthrown? It would have saved the world some grief if they had been and I would have supported any such moves.

The United States, whose foreign policy I am generally highly critical of, has a right (as does any other nation) to oppose or overthrow any criminal regime within their sphere of influence.

It's called self defence.

All this stuff about the alleged crimes of the Contras is irrelevant.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on what I have written in this thread, who do you think I vote for? Take a guess.

I wrote the 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 14th comments.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

McGillicuddy Serious Party?

4:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch. Not quite.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

ACT?

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Anon, i don't know why you support ACT, whether for its liberal social policies, its liberal economic policies, both, or for some other reason.

However the Nicaraguan Sandinistas are Marxist-Leninist totalitarians with very little liberal outlook.

Why would you want Nicaragua to suffer such a government?

Maybe you don't, maybe you simply believe that the people have a right to vote in any government they choose.

I have a different view. A true liberal believes in putting individual rights before those of the collective. M-Ls consistently violate individual rights and are therefore, from a liberal point of view illegitimate.

Majority rule is useful in deciding who might be best for a certain position, but no majority short of 100% has any right to violate individual liberty.

M-L regimes are evil anon and should not be tolerated by truly "democratic" societies.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teh problem is, Trevor, that when fighting monsters, people tend to become them. The Sandinastis and Contras are the perfect example of this. You say that the Sandinastas are totalitarians, which is all very well and good, but what about the Contras? Were they librarians in disguise? No, they were also monsters, and the problem is that they were monsters backed by a country that you "support" - whatever that means - and is supposedly allowed to overthrow governments when it feels morally correct to do so. Don't you see something wrong with this picture?

6:01 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

You forget anon that the Sandinistas conquered Nicaragua by warfare. They then proceeded to establish a dictatoship and murder people.

The Contras fought back, with US aid, just as the Sandinistas had Cuban and Soviet backing. (Todays Sandinistas have Cuban and Venezuelan backing)

I'm not excusing everything the Contras did, nor do I support much US foreign policy. However I think it is pretty clear that the Contras had every right to take their country back and the US had every right to help them.

How could a liberal possibly argue with that?

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On what do you base the claim that the country belonged to the Contras? Did it not belong to the Sandinastas? Did they steal it? Did they overthrow a democracy? The Contras fought back, with US aid, and brutally murdered men, women, and children. How could a Liberal possibly agree with that?

5:16 PM  

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