Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Nicaragua in Trouble

Many thought with the collaspe of the Soviet Union communism would die, but instead it has come back with a vengeance. It looks like Nicaragua will fall again to the brutality of communism:

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) - The U.S. government bluntly threatened Nicaraguan leaders to abandon a pact between two opposition chieftains or cost their country international aid and trade while losing their own ability to travel freely around the world.
The declaration at a news conference here by Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick was the strongest support yet for President Enrique Bolanos, whose anti-corruption campaign drove his own party's lawmakers to oppose him.
Bolanos' cleanup crusade led to a 20-year sentence for his predecessor, Arnoldo Aleman, and outraged the majority of legislators from his own Constitutionalist Liberal Party, which is dominated by Aleman.
The Liberals, pressing for Aleman's release, have aligned themselves with their historic enemies, the Sandinista Front, to pass laws stripping Bolanos of power while splitting control of appointments to the courts, electoral agencies and comptroller's offices.
U.S. officials have long denounced Sandinista Front leader Daniel Ortega, the target of a U.S.-backed guerrilla war in the 1980s. But Zoellick's words were clearly aimed at backers of Aleman, a former U.S. ally.
Nicaragua "is threatened by a creeping coup," Zoellick said. "It is threatened by corruption. It is threatened by a clique of caudillos," using the Spanish word for political bosses in a reference to Aleman and Ortega.
"There's going to be no deal here with Aleman on the part of the United States," Zoellick said, branding the former president as "a convicted criminal."
Zoellick said a US$175 million (euro147 million) American grant and other funds would be blocked if Nicaraguan leaders continued to support Aleman and Ortega and said the United States would work to halt aid from other sources.
"If you have a corrupt process where you remove a democratically elected president from power," he said, "well, then you're not going to get the US$175 million."
Zoellick noted that the United States already has removed the visas of Aleman and several of his relatives and allies and threatened that others, too, could face international travel bans.
"The United States will not welcome corrupt people to our country," Zoellick said. "We will take actions to block them. You can expect more such actions.
"And we will not stop with the United States," he added, promising to use "no-safe-haven" agreements with other leading industrial and Latin American nations to keep such people from traveling.
Zoellick singled out Aleman personally, saying "his family is not welcome in the United States. He is not welcome in the United States," and adding "we're going to everything we can to make sure he's not welcome anywhere else either."
He said leaders of the governing party need to decide "if they want to go down that path" of following Aleman "and frankly cut off their relations with the United States."
Many of the Liberal Party leaders had been exiled to the United States during the Sandinista era of the 1980s and others have close business and family ties there.
Zoellick said Aleman was "a criminal" who had been convicted because "he stole tens of millions if not more from his country." Ortega, he said, "has never accepted democracy."
Under a pact reached in the late 1990s, Aleman and Ortega agreed to have their parties split control over the courts, electoral organs and other agencies - effectively freezing out small parties.
While many polls show that Aleman and Ortega are deeply unpopular with the general public, they have managed to maintain hold of their parties and laws they encouraged have kept most rivals off the ballots.
On Monday, the U.S. Embassy confirmed that chief prosecutor Julio Centeno, a close friend of Aleman, and two of Aleman's daughters had been stripped of their visas.


Charles D said...

When Nicaragua fell to the brutality of the Somoza regime did the US come to its aid? When Cuba fell to the brutality of the Baptista regime did the US come to its aid? When Guatemala fell to the brutality of Rios Montt, did the US come to its aid? No, No, No, and as you are aware I could go on for quite some time in this vein.

Communism has indeed spawned some brutal regimes, but the answer is democracy - not threats of interference from an outside power. Nicaragua has a democratic process (through which its legislators were chosen) and they should be encouraged to continue that democracy, not be threatened with economic sanctions if they choose one leader vs. another.

I fervently hope that all the people of Latin America will be able to freely and democratically elect their own governments without interference from any foreign power, and choose economic policies that reflect the interests of the majority of their people - even if those policies are unpopular with the US or the IMF.

I also hope we in the US can wake up to the hypocrisy of our own government and stop interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. We cannot truly stand for democracy and freedom while infringing on the rights of others to make free democratic choices.

Alfredo said...

We both agree that democracy is the answer in Latin America. Now the Somoza and Batista regime were considered brutal dictatorships by many(Always by the media, but never Castro or any leftist)).Are you saying that castro and the sandinistas are no were near as brutal? Jimmy Carter basically paved the road for the Sandinistas and led to the demise of Somoza.(No intervention here?)Mentioning intervention you have to mention castro. He was behind the sandinistas, he is behind Chavez in Cubazuela, he is behind the FARC in Colombia, and all the political unrest in latin america we also can go on and on here...
Now many are still debating the Bush elections, no one dares to object to the elections in Venezuela? Was it clean? How do we know, carter left in such a hurry not bothering to address all the irregularities? Yes, Democracy is the answer and the elections have to clean both ways!!


Alfredo said...

Here is a response from someone who is from Nicaragua:

The concept of Democracy as we know it in the United States has not
materialized in Nicaragua and in most countries of Latin America. One needs
to have a personal insight into the very complicated political scenario of
Central America (beyond textbooks and the popular literature) in order to
appreciate that democracy (as we know it) has not yet arrived in Central
America. When countries like Nicaragua have political parties like the
Sandinistas who often manipulate the transportation mechanisms during
electoral periods to carry (bribe if necessary) people to electoral booths,
then we begin to understand that people don't truly have choices or free
will. They are simply slaves to the oppression of Marxism. Frankly, it is
not even Marxism for this ideology dictates some degree of equality (in its
pure form); the Sandinistas are capitalists with a Marxist ideology. They
own houses confiscated from wealthy Somoza supporters and still enjoy
fruits of their "revolution" against the Somoza administration. They
threaten others and have been cited as being responsible for the death of
innocent people including reporters, religious, and even lay citizens who
simply get on their way of total control/chaos.

The comment made that the US should stay out of Nicaraguan politics shows a
certain degree of naivete of Nicaraguan politics. Currently, Nicaragua
owns SAM (Surface to Air Missiles) inherited from the former USSR. If
these missiles fall in the hands of potential terrorists, we may be
witnessing yet another threat to our homeland. With ties to the Libyan
government and other extremist nations, the Sandinistas, if they
manipulated their way into power again, could potentially allow Nicaragua
to serve as a bridge for Terrorists interested in infiltrating into the
U.S. Restated, the U.S. has a direct responsibility, as it protects its
citizens, in offering a voice of criticism to currently manipulative
tactics from the Sandinista to derail the current government. It is in OUR
NATIONAL INTEREST to have a Nicaragua that is stable with no ties to
terrorist groups.

Further, the United States has an ethical obligation to guide the world in
its path to democracy.None of us would dare say that the U.S. democracy is
perfect; however, it is clear that we have one of the best forms of
government in the world. If you don't believe this, travel to other
countries like Nicaragua and you will be convinced. Thus, it is our duty
to provide a compass to nations experiencing crisis. It is the American way
and it reflects the generosity and good will that the American people are
famous for throughout the world. This does not suggest we should interfere
in other countries' businesses; it simply means that we should provide
leadership when asked. Nicaragua has asked the US to help and assist in
bringing calmness to a very unstable situation.

I know this to be true since I am from Nicaragua. I have never been
involved with a political party from my native land but I experienced the
brutal war of the 1970s and the traumas associated with being a refugee in
a foreign land. Now, a proud American by choice (and not birth), I feel
the right to call it as it is. Let's not be confused with the rhetoric of
individuals who often oppose US leadership and call it (wrongly)
intervention. Thank God for the U.S. and for its proactiveness; the
absence of this would be catastrophic!