Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quote of the day: Nicaragua

Ortega has Forrest Gumped himself onto all the major battle lines of the struggle that dethroned dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979, carried the Sandinista movement to power and radically changed Nicaraguan history.

--Tracy Wilkinson reporting in the L.A. Times about the Museum of the Sandinista Victory


leftside 1:02 PM  

This was actually little more than a shameful hit piece, a not so sly bit of anti-Ortega propoganda. The story might have had at least some level of journalistic merit if the writer had actually determined that Ortega was being placed in battles that he had no part in in the museum, or had some proof of "Danielismo," other than a few billboards. Instead, the "proof" comes soley from the self-serving assertions of 2 disaffected politicians, who now oppose Ortega. Not one word of pro-Government comments were even offered as an attempt at balance.

The writer could have also used some context. She admits that previous Nicaraguan Governments had similar tendencies, but neglects to mention this is really a region-wide issue.

Anonymous,  11:05 AM  

What a bunch hoooeeeey! LOL! If you throw enough darts one might hit the board...Defense #1 no evidence, #2 sinister motives of former Sandinisata leaders, #3 writer provides no context, #4 no pro-Ortega "balance," and #5 even if true, everyone does it.

Lefty, you are blindly loyal in a way that is comical. This would qualify as shameful post if it wasn't so absurd. To cite an egregious example of how Ortega has put his political interest before the people's how about explaining Danny's compromise with the church and Aleman over the hemisphere's strictest anti-abortion law? Many more examples abound but please don't re-write history and declare the Nicaraguan intellectuals such as Ramirez (and Cardenal etc...) as just disaffected politicians. The left deserves better.

leftside 6:52 PM  

Well, my 2 messages have still no arrived and I don't have the energy to write a full 3rd reply.

But I had 2 general points - one is that Ortega is not responsible for the retrograde abortion policy in Nicarauga. It passed 52-0 in the National Assembly and then President Bolanos signed the Bill into law.

Second point, is the amazing gains the poor are making in Nicaragua, according to a new report. Extreme poverty has almost halved. An innovative program that provides pregnant pigs, cows, chicken and bio-fuel production systems has been a success - actually lifting folks out of poverty rather than just providing a clientelistic cash hand-out like the lauded Brazilian Zero Hunger program.

So am I pleased Ortega switched his position on abortion - due to an authentic change in religious observance? Of course? But there are more important things in governance and on that score, I am impressed.

Anonymous,  9:32 PM  

"Nicaragua’s ban, which passed 52 to 0, was a clear bid to curry support from the Catholic Church before next weekend’s presidential elections. Conservative parties were expected to vote for the legislation. But Daniel Ortega’s Sandinistas also backed it. Once the party of social revolution, the Sandinistas have become the party of political opportunism." 10/29/2006

Anonymous,  9:41 PM  

"The law was the fruit of the recent presidential election, as conservatives saw a chance to gain its passage in Parliament during the election season.

The country is 85 percent Roman Catholic, with most other voters belonging to conservative evangelical churches. Four of the five presidential candidates supported it.

Daniel Ortega, the former Marxist who was president from 1985 to 1990 and the leader of the Sandinista Party, abandoned his ideological roots and supported passage of the law in an effort to gain support from the Roman Catholic Church in his campaign to regain the presidency. He narrowly won the election, on Nov. 5, with about 38 percent of the vote.

The support of the Sandinistas in the National Assembly was critical, because they had blocked similar measures in the past. The bill passed on Oct. 26." NY Times 11/19/2006

Anonymous,  9:47 PM  

Lefty--Yes it was Bolanos who was president. But Caudillismo as it has recently resurfaced in Nicaragua was not centered on him but on the two great parties; the Liberals and the Sandinistas. Although Aleman was seemingly out of power, he retained great influence in the legislature through Bolanos term. The return to power of Daniel Ortega was only accomplished by cooperation between the two caudillos and their parties. The abortion laws were intricately tied to the 2006 election and while the Liberals could be expected to support it due to their ideology, the Sandinistas did so for reasons of political opportunism.

Boli-Nica 10:47 AM  

Leftside at it again.

The issue here is Daniel Ortega placing himself at the center of every front in the anti-Somoza civil war.

Fact is, Daniel was the Sandinista's main polical tactician, his brother Humberto one of the main military tactician.

But, he was hardly a top battlefield commander during the main phases of the war which were the insurrection in 78 and the final offensive in 79, in any of the main fronts - Frente Norte, Frente Sur or Frente Interno.

And as a matter of policy after the triumph of the revolution the 9 commanders of the Sandinista National Directorate including Humberto and Daniel were co-equal in directing the affairs of the party, the army and the state. That was the result of a power sharing agreement, brokered by Fidel Castro, where the 3 main factions or "tendencias" within the FSLN would be represented at the top and theoretically co-govern equally. Even as president later in the mid-80's Daniel was still in theory accountable to the other 9 commanders.

Having spent years watching and seeing Sandinista propaganda on a daily basis, I can say that their message always focused on the party directorate and less on indviduals.

One of the main slogans of the FSLN, chanted by its cadres at rally's and propaganda was:
"Direcion Nacional Ordene!"

The only individuals they propped up in propaganda were dead - "martyrs".

The bottom line is that there was in the FSLN a tendency to not elevate individual commanders or politicians. Some of that due to them wanting to keep the peace internally, after the sectarian conflicts in the FSLN in the 70's. The other political one, was to avoid creation of a cult of personality that would bring back terrible memories by the Nicaraguan people. After all they had just risen up against Somoza 3.0 who ruled Nicaragua like the family farm for decades, continuing the dynasty started by 1.0 in the 30's.

Daniel Ortega placing himself everywhere in official memory is on the one hand misleading if not untrue. He was not in the main battle fronts when the fighting was going on -annoying former comrades who were there. Also annoying some other former Sandinistas because it is against their policy of subordinating individual personalities, and a dislike of personalism inherited from Somocismo.

leftside 2:49 AM  

Boli, why you don't you go to the museum in question and tell us exactly what lie is printed there about Ortega. Until then, all we have is an article and a post making allegations without the need for actual facts.

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