Waiting for Paradise

There’s something deeply ironic about this:

Thousands of protesters have marched in the Nicaraguan capital Managua and other cities to demand the resignation of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice-President Rosario Murillo.

Demonstrators blocked main roads, waving placards and chanting slogans.

Weeks of anti-government protests have led to at least 76 people being killed in clashes with security forces.

The latest rallies took place after peace talks mediated by the Catholic Church broke down on Wednesday.

Four people were killed in clashes on Saturday, police and witnesses say.

“They want to take us off the streets at the point of bullets,” said protest leader Francisca Ramírez, who led a rally in the north-west city of Leon.

Nicaragua was the setting for a pretty nasty proxy war during the Cold War, with the Soviet Union backing the popular Marxist Sandinistas who’d taken control of the country in a coup, while the US backed the hated Contras, who were basically a bunch of thugs. Insofar as America’s Cold War policies go, Nicaragua wasn’t one of their highlights. One of the claims lefties in the West used to make was that had the US not interfered, Nicaragua would have become a socialist paradise under the Sandinistas, who were led by Daniel Ortega. Asked to hold up an example of socialism that worked, they’d often point to Nicaragua – until the Yanquis got involved.

It was an interesting twist of history that, two decades after he was at the head of a Marxist Junta fighting US-backed forces bent on killing him, Ortega was democratically elected President of Nicaragua in 2007. The US had lost interest in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union, meaning this time around his government wouldn’t have to fight a devastating guerrilla war against right-wing rebel groups. This was his chance to deliver what, according to lefties, he’d been prevented from doing in the 1980s only thanks to US interference. Yet here we are, 11 years into his rule, and the country is in free-fall. Maybe he needs more time?

However, his critics accuse him and his wife of also behaving like dictators.

Now there’s a surprise, eh? In fairness to Ortega, I expect things would be the same no matter who was in charge.

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11 thoughts on “Waiting for Paradise

  1. Nicaragua looks to Venezuela as something to emulate – not as a warning.
    (Same is true for South Africa vis-a-vis Zimbabwe).

  2. Funny, isn’t it? Former Spanish, French, and Portuguese colonies and territories prove almost impossible to govern. Former English ones, well, not so difficult, with examples of succesful self-governance abounding.

  3. Funny, isn’t it? Former Spanish, French, and Portuguese colonies and territories prove almost impossible to govern.

    I had some dolt on Twitter recently telling me it was “impossible to compare” because “different factors” applied in each case.

  4. Compare and contrast:

    – 52 ‘protesters’ ( 50 of whom were Hamas security) are killed in Gaza. The world goes crazy. It is the lead item on the BBC and the front pages of Western newspapers.

    – 76 protesters are killed in Nicaragua. Crickets.

  5. Recusant,

    The Syrians massacred a few hundred Palestinians recently when they leveled some hovel they were forced to live in, but nobody said anything. People only care when it’s Jews doing the killing.

  6. Of all those false paradises, the one looking most at risk today is the EU superstate. Elitist establishment types vetoing the electorate is never a good look (Remainers take note). The markets seem to have noticed.

  7. ” “impossible to compare” because “different factors” applied in each case”

    But one big one they all share. The baleful influence of the Catholic church.

    It’s something I repeatedly come up against with S. American. Fatalism. That the future is decided by luck, prayer & the whole rag-box of superstition. Almost impossible to convince them that their fortunes are in their own hands, to do with what they will,when they’ve a culture of centuries of teaching it’s governed by God, Jesus & Mary, an assorted pantheon of saints, angels dancing on pin-heads & of course, His Satanic Majesty to get all the blame.
    It’s just not a culture sits well with democracy. To judge potential leaders on accomplishment & merit. They’ll always be prey to the charismatic & those with the big promises.

  8. @Patrick

    That Italian Job is kind of similar in ways to when the Queen took off her velvet glove and crushed and sacked the democratically elected PM of Australia, Gough Whitlam because he had had differing views to those in control. Certainly there is a crisis in the making here, the opportunity being for the French and Germans to restructure and decentralised towards an EU-Lite, placating the Little Englanders in the process, but the chances of this are extremely low and if not this will go down as another major milestone in the end times of the doomed Euro program.

  9. Dunno about the French, but using Germans and decentralize in the same sentence is truly amusing.

    All that colossal effort exerted by the enlightened bureaucracy regulating minute details of life, only to be thwarted by some peasants who want to live differently? Unmöglich!

  10. Yes quite. Remember when Berlusconi threatened to pull Italy out of the single currency, and Merkel and to a lesser extent Sarkozy brought pressure to bear his bugged telephone conversation revealed that he called her “an unfuckable lard-arse”, all pretty good stuff and no invite to the bunga bunga party for her but it didn’t take him too long to get his P45 after that. Then El Presidenti appointed Mari Monti the ex Goldman Sach the unelected politician as their Prime Minister!

    I don’t see Macron as being the hero that saves the Euro Program either.

    So it all boils down to what’s best for the US in the end, and in the longer term it would have to be a single Europe.

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