[Marxism] Danielismo in Nicaragua - Presidential power: Phoenix today, fugitive tomorrow

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Nov 25 10:38:32 MST 2006

(Thanks kindly to the author for sharing this text.)

Danielismo in Nicaragua

Presidential power: Phoenix 
today, fugitive tomorrow

Por: Pastor Valle-Garay 
Senior Scholar, York University 

November 25, 2006 Toronto, Canada – A fortnight ago Daniel Ortega y
Rosario Murillo rightfully celebrated the electoral triumph with the
Nicaraguan right. They won. The Carter Center said so. An army of
national and international observers rubber-stamped the vote count.
The Catholic hierarchy held a thanksgiving mass. The vote was
officially declared transparent. In the colorful Nicaraguan
vernacular some declared it as pure and clean as chicken shit. For a
nation riddled with institutionalized corruption and political pacts
with the devil, this is as close as democracy will get. Hey! We are
growing up!

Petty politics aside, Nicaraguans exhaled a sigh of relief, shrugged
collective shoulders, looked the other way and yawned. For now it is
best to overlook that during the electoral campaign Daniel Ortega
discarded the red and black Sandinista emblem, wrapped himself in
pink, got in bed with the opposition and grabbed the ultimate prize
shortly after deciding that a laughable 35% of the vote would be
sufficient to guarantee him the presidency.

Pre-cooked election? Details! A bit more respect, please, we are
talking about President Daniel Ortega Saavedra and First
Lady-in-waiting Rosario Murillo, reborn Christians, devout Catholics,
sworn enemies of therapeutic abortions, in short, a fairy tale about
the transformation of perennial losers into wealthy national leaders.
Like Bush, rightful representatives of the American Dream. Not a bad
deal. And if people chose mediocrity over common sense, who are we to
criticize? One question remains unanswered: Does Ortega deserve the
presidency? Who knows but time will tell.

For the time being, the noisy birds of ill omen at the US Embassy in
Managua finally shut up. Like failed harbingers of mayhem the State
Department buzzards vanished. Otto Reich, Condoleezza Rice, Collin
Powell, Robert Fisk, Donald Rumsfeld, two Ambassadors-at-large and
countless Republican congressmen finally quit making the Nicaraguan
pilgrimage, packed their suitcases, took flight and left the carcass
alone. Good riddance. Better to concentrate on one failure at a time.
For them it is back to the Irak drawing board. For Nicaragua it is
about time to stop interfering in their affairs.

Watching from the side lines, Nicaraguan novelist Sergio Ramírez
Mercado, ex vice president in Ortega´s government of the last century
and presently his unrelenting critic, called for national calm and
suggested to give Ortega the benefit of the doubt. Without batting a
false eyelash Rosario Murillo, Ortega´s wife and campaign manager,
thought it convenient to put aside the campaign’s blushing pink
emblem and to resuscitate the Sandinistas traditional red and black.
Clever move. It fitted nicely with Ortega’s image of the Phoenix
rising from its political ashes. Daniel’s followers took to the
streets. It was time to celebrate. But, was it time to pop open the
champagne or the Flor de Caña, Nicaragua’s celebrated rum? Perhaps.
¡Quién sabe! It is advisable nevertheless to do it carefully. Flying
corks have a wicked way of bouncing back and smacking the celebrants
in the face.

Under the current political wave of change in Latin America, it’s
advisable to exercise caution, to act in a more sober fashion, and to
rejoice in moderation. Not too long ago other so-called “statesmen”
provoked similar outbreaks of unbridled dementia. At one time or
another the followers of General Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Alberto
Fujimori (Perú), Alfonso Portillo (Guatemala), Raúl Cubas (Paraguay),
Juan Bordaberry (Uruguay) y Arnoldo Alemán (Nicaragua) hailed them as
the Hemisphere’s new Messiahs. They were dead wrong.

Today, coincidentally with Ortega’s electoral triumph, each one of
these nations demands that the ex presidents be brought to trial.
They stand accused of theft, bribery, nepotism, corruption, torture,
assassinations, fraud, money laundering and who knows what else.
Pinochet at 90 and Alemán, a younger 60, attempt to hide behind their
ages and their self-inflicted parliamentary immunity to escape the
prison terms they so richly deserve. The others are in the process of
being extradited from various exile heavens to face justice in their
own countries.

These should be sobering thoughts for Ortega. As his presidential
term begins, he has only two options: he either governs well or
prepares himself to face Nicaraguan justice five years from now.
History does repeat itself and Ortega can no longer afford to abuse
the presidency as he did in the past. Should he fail again neither
Fidel nor Hugo, Lula, Evo or the Holy Virgin Mary recently adopted by
Rosario Murillo will save him. There will be no place to run and at
66 years at the end of his presidential mandate Ortega will be too
young to hide behind his age or claim immunity and too old to try to
run away. The Phoenix may have risen. The ashes still smolder. Good
luck, Señor Presidente!

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