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watching  the protests against the Sandanista grow throughout the country, as the police brutality and assasinations continue...

No this is not a colour revolution organized through the CIA...even the base of the Sandinista movement is outraged...the leadership of the country will be forced out leading to chaos, without any serious organized political alternative....

The global financial collapse is behind this....lack of work opportunities, diminishing exports, so much of the country not being planted........

This I expect to see in Canada when the crisis hits us, where there remains zero alternatives to the support of the global economic system, except perhaps in some pockets amongst the sovereigntist indigenous movements...


You can`t help but fall in love with this country....ongoing, the people are amassing to demand peace and security for Nicaragua, an end to the crisis and conflict in perhaps the only country in Central America where government has given a damn for its people! A country, clean, based on a cooperative economy, where security of the streets is guaranteed!

Ken Burch

(self-delete.  Dupe posts).

Ken Burch

Ortega should have retired a term or two ago.  It was one thing for the guy to want to returnt eh FSLN to power, he didn't need to try to hang on to the job for life.

We can only hope that teh anarchists have worked out some sort of plan to create a libertarian socialist alternative structure.  

It could only be a tragedy if the rich ended up running the place again.  Nicaragua has nothing to gain from higher food, water, and fuel prices, wage cuts, the end of job security or exploitative "maquila" type corporations.  All any of that can be, as all any of neoliberalism has ever been anywhere, is theft.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Family-Party-State Nexus in Nicaragua


The Family-Party-State Nexus

Since resuming the presidency in 2007, Ortega has governed through a close alliance with Nicaragua’s principal business groups. COSEP, the main private business organization, had a highly conflictual relation with the Sandinista government in the 1980s but has enjoyed very close relations with the current government. The American Chamber of Commerce, which includes the major U.S. companies in the country, has also worked closely with the government, although after a heavily contested election in early 2018 the head of Cargill’s Nicaraguan subsidiary became president after campaigning for a more independent path. The government has also been able to count on the support of the leaders of the main unions, which are affiliated to the FSLN.

Ortega has tried to ensure that no political force emerges on the left and the breakaway MRS was unable to register for the elections in 2016. There are numerous right-wing parties, but they are small and in many cases little more than the personal fiefdoms of their leaders. Among the larger groups, the Partido Liberal Constitucionalista (PLC), which won the elections in 1996, has since the early 2000s provided political support for Ortega, initially under a ‘pact’ which allowed its leader, Aleman, to serve his jail sentence for corruption on his rural estate.

The other main right-wing grouping, the Partido Liberal Independiente (PLI), was the leading force in an electoral front which could have provided the most serious opposition to Ortega at the elections in 2016. However, this was effectively undermined a few months before the election when the country’s supreme court, which is dominated by Sandinista appointees, handed control of the party to a minority group. The party’s original candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency were prevented from running and its 28 representatives in the national assembly had to relinquish their seats. The PLI’s long-time leader – a banker – has since retired and former members of the party have established two new political organizations: Cuidadanos por la Libertad (CxL), which obtained legal recognition in May 2017, took part in the municipal elections later in the year; the Frente Amplio por la Democracia (FAD), by contrast, argues that current elections are a farce and it is concentrating on building a new movement from the base up.

At the general election in 2016, when the FSLN principal candidates, Daniel Ortega and Rosaria Murillo obtained 72% of the vote, the turnout was reportedly low as many people, including FSLN supporters, apparently considered the result to be a foregone conclusion. In the vote for the National Assembly, the FSLN obtained 70 out of 91 seats, with 14 seats going to Ortega’s tamed opposition, the PLC.

Ortega himself makes relatively few public appearances and there are unofficial reports that he is in poor health. Murillo, who was already playing an important role in coordinating the work of different government ministries, has come to play an increasing role in managing the day to day government of the country. Virtually all ministerial announcements are now made by Murillo, usually during a regular mid-day radio broadcast, and the mayors of the FSLN controlled municipalities are required to attend regular meetings with her in Managua. She has also build a strong base of support in the Sandinista youth movement, which has an important presence in the universities.


 She has also build a strong base of support in the Sandinista youth movement, which has an important presence in the universities......

Don´t know how the mass demo went yesterday in Managua...but the youth, the students are horrified with the Sandinista talks with Sandinista leadership at the base is a regret for the errors of their leadership...

but the Sandisnista movement at the base is strong and proud of its achievements, particular in the cooperative, worker and campesino movements...I cannot possibly see how this could be overturned by a rightist electoral win

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Capitalist Development in Nicaragua and the Mirage of the Left

The image carefully cultivated by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his supporters as the standard-bearers of the popular revolutionary process led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in the 1980s has all but crumbled in the wake of the mass protests that broke out last month against pension reform that left dozens of people dead, and hundreds injured and jailed. For some, the protests were a plot organized by the United States to destabilize a revolutionary government. For others, it was an explosion of mass discontent against a corrupt and authoritarian regime.


While the FSLN retains a mass, if dwindling, base among the country's peasantry and urban poor, the FSLN leadership has made pacts with the traditional oligarchy; suppressed dissent; enriched itself through plunder of state resources and an alliance with transnational capital; and deployed the army, police and paramilitary forces to violently repress peasants, workers and social movements opposing its policies.

Now capitalist development is entering into crisis in Nicaragua. The government's announcement that it would cut pension payments to retirees and increase the contribution required by workers and businesses into the pension was the spark that ignited the April uprising. But political tension and social conflict has been building up for years, and it is this crisis of capitalism that forms the larger backdrop to the recent events.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Roadblocks and possibilities: The Nicaraguan student insurrection

Canadian internationalist feminist Lori Hanson, who has been working in solidarity with rural Nicaraguans for more than 30 years, has just returned from Nicaragua. Jack Hicks interviewed her for New Socialist. Together, they crafted this piece based on the interview and an article Lori previously wrote for the Greek newspaper, AlterThess. The analysis of an emerging movement in Nicaragua is a work in progress for Lori, who continues to work with Nicaraguans on the deeper meaning of a 44 day-long uprising and the state violence that has accompanied it in April and May, 2018.


Hanson: Last Monday morning students from the Nicaraguan University of Engineering (UNI) decided to return to occupying their campus in solidarity with the students of three other public universities in Managua, that have been en las trincheras – barricaded in and occupying the universities since April 19. UNI is of symbolic importance to the regime of President Daniel Ortega as many engineers, IT specialists, and others graduate from it, providing the technical brains to operationalize Ortega’s pseudo-socialist, neoliberal extractivist, crony capitalist agenda.

Although spontaneous, leaderless, and uncoordinated in their initial self-organized (autoconvocado) mobilizations, the anger that welled up after the first students were killed on April 19 quickly manifested in university students and other civilians working to support each other across the country. The movement didn’t get its start in April – there are antecedents – but the spark has ignited, and it has grown exponentially over the past 45 days. UNI students had been participating in the occupations of the other universities, but it would seem that their return to take their campus took the regime by surprise.

By noon on Monday, para-police forces – known locally as turbas – had moved on the campus. Videos show Hilux trucks filled with armed men shooting wildly from the street.[1] The riot squad police joined them later in the afternoon. It was a renewed level of response and repression – the police had been absent, some say in civil disguise, for days. At the end of the day there were two more dead and reports of 22 to 40 detained. The America’s director of Amnesty International was on the campus during the stand-off with the forces of repression, and posted powerful cellphone video of the attack...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i'm having great difficulty sorting things out in nicaragua. lots of interventions/interference from the us, the media and the rich. plus ortaga himself is creating problems by cozying up to the imf and capital then promising reform. this can't be done in my experience. one comes at the cost of the other. 

Nicaraguan Negotiations Suspended: A Return to Violence? (Pt. 1 & 2)  

Following two months of protests and an estimated 170 dead, the violence briefly subsided, as opposition-government negotiations tried to resolve the situation. The opposition now says the government is reneging on commitments and will abandon negotiations. What led to this crisis and where will it go from here? We discuss the situation with Trevor Evans and Camilo Mejia


The US and Nicaragua: A Case Study in Historical Amnesia and Blindness

"What is happening now in Nicaragua is not revolution, but in fact counterrevolution. And, this is no less true because there are some self-described leftists who are participating in and cheering on this uprising..."



US Govt Meddling Machine Boasts of 'Laying the Groundwork for Insurrection' in Nicaragua

"As Nicaraguan student protest leaders meet with neoconservatives in Washington DC, a publication funded by the US government's regime change arm, the National Endownment for Democracy (NED), boasts of spending millions of dollars 'laying the groundwork for insurrection' against Daniel Ortega..."


As Demonstrators Demand Nicaraguan President's Resignation, Government Accuses Opposition of Coup (and vid)

"The political crisis in Nicaragua is intensifying..."


Corbyn, Chomsky and Now Nicaragua

"An open letter has slammed the Guardian for 'wildly innacurate coverage of Nicaragua.' It's the latest condemnation of a newspaper which positions itself as a champion of the left, but is increasingly accused of attacking it..."


Max Blumenthal Interviews Daniel Ortega

"Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega held a wide-ranging interview with Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal on July 25 in Managua. The two discussed the coup attempt that Ortega's Sandanista government has just faced down and the factors behind it."


Crashing the System (podcast)

Eyewitness Nicaragua with Max Blumenthal

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The Nicaraguan Crisis and the Manicheanism of the US Left

In accord with the infantile manichean view of a significant portion of the US Left, the world is black and white and there are good guys and bad guys. This is a template into which everything must by political dogma fit. Since the US is intervening in Nicaragua (which it is, and which is condemnable) then, ergo, it is doing so in order to overthrow the regime of President Ortega and his wife, Vice-President Rosario Murillo, and ergo this regime must be the good guy. In these accounts there is absolutely no focus on — apparently a quite studious non-observation of — the internal contradictions in Nicaragua that have given rise to the crisis. There is little or no inkling of an understanding of the internal class, social, and political dynamics in the country, much less what exactly what the US is up to in Nicaragua or what its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) funding actually seeks to achieve.


Yet the facts and the history are there for all those who actually wish to see them. Until the crisis, Ortega has had excellent relations with the US. His government has received US economic aid and even some military assistance. It has cooperated with Washington in the "drug war" and in its immigration policies. It has co-governed with the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP, the powerful umbrella association of Nicaraguan capitalist class) and has turned Nicaragua into a haven for transnational capital precisely by achieving the internal conditions (e.g., lowest wages in Central America, internal stability) for it to flourish in the country, which in turn has meant that transnational capital has poured massive investment into the country and helped generate those growth rates that the Harris and others applaud. Has the free provision of health and education been something positive? Absolutely. Has that earned the regime the enmity of Washington? Absolutely not. Social indicators have significantly improved, in part, because of high growth rates brought about by high commodity prices until a few years ago, by the massive influx of foreign capital, and by several billions of dollars in a Venezuelan subsidy to Nicaragua that has now almost dried up. The agricultural sector is not dominated by peasants but by transnational agribusiness while peasants have had to push out into what remained of the agricultural frontier, encouraged by the Ortega government which has provided support to peasants to do so. In the course of capitalist development in Latin America this is the well-known pattern of rural capital accumulation. The Ortega twist was to give some limited support to the peasant sector while simultaneously subordinating it to the agribusiness sector. Has the government handed out zinc roofs, pigs, and chickens to many poor peasant families? Yes. While this may be positive for those families, why should the Left consider this something revolutionary rather than the same clientelism as elsewhere (the Institutional Revolutionary Party in Mexico is a model).

Since when should the Left be applauding that the IMF and the World Bank declares that the Ortega government is doing a wonderful job? Since when should the Left consider a government progressive (much less revolutionary) because it has generated all the conditions to attract transnational capital? Well then, should we not have applauded all the neoliberal regimes in Latin America for such commendation by the IMF and the World Bank, for how they have provided transnational capital with all that it wants? Has the Ortega regime, with its assistancialism, been anywhere near as “bad” as these other neoliberal regimes? Certainly not. But that neither means that its social programs have earned the wrath of Washington nor that it should be defended in the face of the mass opposition generated by its own project and by a course of capitalist development it has pursued that has now entered into crisis.


TRNN: Debate: Who is Behind Nicaragua's Turmoil? (and vid)

"We have a debate between Dr Mary Ellsberg of George Washington University and Max Blumenthal of the Grayzone Project."


'Troika of Tyranny' is New 'Axis of Evil' (and vid)

"Anya Parampil reveals the new propaganda strategy the US is using to delegitimize socialist governments in Latin America. She reports on John Bolton's speech delivered in Miami on Thursday, coining 'Troika of Tyranny' as the new 'Axis of Evil'. Anya discusses Bolton's emphasis on US animosity for the democratically elected governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. She then talks to Nefta Freeman, from the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity to the Peoples, about why the US targets these countries, and how the recent election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil may enable the Trump administration to target them further."

Canada supports.


First Venezuela, Now Nicaragua? Bolton Says Ortega's Days 'Numbered' & People 'Will Soon Be Free'

"The US repeatedly backed the uprising against the left-wing government, and last November Bolton made a keynote speech calling for the 'crumbling' of what he called the 'Troika of Tyranny' - Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba - saying the states represented a 'sordid cradle of communism' in the Western hemisphere..."


'Canada Imposes Sanctions on Nicaraguan Officials'

"In coordination with the United States, Canada is announcing sanctions in response to gross and systematic human rights violations that have been committed in Nicaragua. Canada is imposing sanctions against key members of the Government of Nicaragua under the Special Economic Measures Act..."

Obviously Nicaragua has now joined Venezuela on the Freeland/Trudeau shit-list of official enemies of the 'rules based international order'.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Super disappointing. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia get to commit premeditated murder on its journalists, arm a war in Yemen, and behead dozens of dissidents on an annual basis if not more frequently. Oh and then there is how women are second class citizens.

Mr. Magoo

This is the new international rule of law. We get to apply sanction against individuals from other countries without having to bother with niceties like proving guilt apparently opinions will suffice. Freeland has an opinion about many foreign nationals, she must have set a record for imposing sanctions on individuals by now. I wonder which branch of the 5Eyes or its cousins she relies on for her information?

"The sanctions target Saudi Arabian nationals who are, in the opinion of the government of Canada, responsible for, or complicit in, Khashoggi's killing," Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in the statement.


Beating The Western Media Blockade (and vid)

"Ideas, infrastructure, solidarity..."


PEN admitted it collaborated with USAID-funded right-wing Chamorro Foundation

"Now fake 'human-rights' group PEN International (which is funded by US govt CIA cutout the NED) is closing operations in Nicaragua to protest its new foreign agent law."