Nicaragua and the democratization of the economy

cwellen cwellen at
Thu Sep 12 00:47:03 MDT 1996


Comradely Greetings from Wei En Lin,

I would like some more information on the charges,
put forward by Michael, who is quoting Elizabeth

Here is what is contained in the Sandinista
economic platform, and it is consistent
with past policy.

"15.  Democratizar la econom=EDa incluye=20
la democratizaci=F3n de la propiedad y=20
de las relaciones de
g=E9nero, el acceso a las decisiones=20
y a los recursos (capital, cr=E9dito, capacitaci=F3n,
informaci=F3n y asistencia t=E9cnica),=20
evitando que la propiedad adquirida=20
se concentre nuevamente en pocas=20
manos, o solamente en manos masculinas.=20
El respeto a la propiedad
privada debe acompa=F1arse de=20
la defensa de la peque=F1a propiedad,=20
y el fomento a la
propiedad asociativa=20
(cooperativas, asociaciones de=20
productores individuales, empresas de
       los trabajadores)."

Rough summary in English:

The Sandinistas want to democratize property, give workers access to=20
decision making concerning resources, capital, credit etc.

They want to prevent the concentration of larger amounts of capital=20
in fewer hands.

They advocate respect of private property, but such respect should
accompany the growth of 'associative property' (cooperatives,
associations of individual producers, worker-owned companies).

Elsewhere they say they want to strengthen unions.

I do not see how promising 'good relations' with the US is
a betrayal of the revolution. (Castro had suggested
normalization numerous times.)

The charge that the FSLN is silent on the revolution
is false.  One need only read Ortega's and Borge's speeches.
Constant references are made to the positive aspects of the
revolution.  Ortega constantly speaks of the need to counter
what the current government has done to reverse the gains of=20
the revolution.

Ortega's running mate, whatever his real views are, will
have about as much influence on the Sandinista policy as
Jack Kemp will have on the US Republican party's policy:
virtually nil.

Ortega has consistently criticized all reactionary social
policies associated with the Catholic hierarchy.  No one
can believe that he has suddenly become Papist just
because he did not throw rocks at the Pope during his
recent visit.  (Stalin would have met with the Pope
if the latter had had more 'divisions'.  In Latin
America, the Pope, in a manner of speaking, has numerous

The charge that Ortega says he will pursue 'neo-liberal'
policies as urged by the IMF is a serious one.
Peruse the FSLN literature.  Again and again, the point=20
is made that the neo-liberal policies must be reversed.
If (as Dore asserts) Ortega has said he will allow
foreign companies to repatriate 100% of their profits,=20
I would like to see the quote.  It does not seem likely
that he would given his general orientation, and numerous
statements against neo-liberal economics.

Sincere regards,

Wei En Lin

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