Well, Ronald Reagan’s administration used arms money from sales to our enemy, Iran, laundered through Swiss bank accounts to try and stop him.
We shipped cocaine up from South America, tranferring it in Panama (which would cause us a quick, Christmas war to arrest and silence Noriega), glutted the market and midwifed the birth of crack cocaine (which brought the black market back to robust sales and a rosy future). We armed mercenaries and “freedom fighters” — which we would have called “leftist guerillas” had they been trying to bring down a dictator we backed), and sent them into the country to murder and sabotage — even after Congress explicitly cut off funds for so doing.
And it seems it was all for naught. The Christian Science Monitor tells us:
But, as you will see in virtually ALL US media outlets, nobody wants you to think that this is a GOOD thing. The sub-head immediately following the headline makes that explicitly clear [emphasis added]:
But critics say that Daniel Ortega’s overwhelming electoral win, of dubious constitutionality and marred by irregularities, will only serve to underscore Nicaragua’s autocratic government.
By Tim Rogers, Correspondent / November 7, 2011
Sandinistas took to the streets jubilantly in the early morning hours Monday to celebrate what appears to be a resounding victory in the legally questionable reelection campaign of President Daniel Ortega.
A preliminary vote count announced Monday morning at 2 a.m., with 16 percent of the ballots tallied, shows the Sandinista strongman leading with 63 percent, followed by octogenarian radio producer Fabio Gadea, with 29 percent. Former President Arnoldo Alemán is in third place, with 6 percent. A final vote count will be announced today at noon.
The preliminary results for National Assembly are similar, meaning that, if the numbers hold, Mr. Ortega will win a majority in the legislature and essentially take full control over all branches of Nicaragua’s government – despite ongoing doubts that his election to a third term is legal under Nicaragua’s Constitution….
Old-line Reagan “Revolution” enabler The Heritage Foundation is suitably angry about the horrific tragedy they think that this represents:
Evil Communist Sandinista!
Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua and Democracy in the Americas
November 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm
The Economist captures the tone of the elections quite accurately: “Buoyed by a growing economy and Venezuelan cash, the Sandinista leader who toppled a dictator is set to win an unconstitutional third term.”
A win for Ortega would be bad news for Nicaragua, the U.S., and friends of democracy around the world.
A recent Heritage WebMemo by former Ambassador Robert Callahan and Heritage senior policy analyst Ray Walser accurately described the subversion of democracy in Nicaragua.
Ortega, an adversary and revolutionary once called the “little dictator” by President Ronald Reagan, has after 30-plus years at the center of Nicaraguan politics become a formidable operator and dynasty builder. He has gamed the political system to lower electoral thresholds, co-opted the Supreme Court and Electoral Council, dodged serious allegations of sexual abuse, escaped normal checks and balances, robbed municipal elections, and constructed a personal power and wealth base.
Reagan-backed Nicaraguan “Contra”
(“Freedom Fighter”) !
See? Even if the entire country votes overwhelmingly to return Ortega to power — he, whose deposition by bullet the Reaganistas so strenuously pursued, was “deposed” via the ballot a few years later, by the same voters whose decision to ignore THEIR ‘term limits’ laws — is seen as illegitimate by American hubris, and its voters are not seen as competent or qualified to choose their own leader.
Of course we have a problem with
honoring our OWN electoral outcomes …
Because, as we know, any blogger with quick fingers and a philosophy xeroxed from an old mimeographed copy of the Young Republicans’ “Ronald Reagan, The Savior of America,” (which is fictional in this posting, but may well be reality somewhere) — any such blogger KNOWS more about Nicaraguan governance than the Nicaraguan electorate.
Was convicted of felonies
for his role in Iran-Contra and
got off on a technicality about
his “immunity” for testimony
given to Congress. Guilty as sin.
We are always in favor of elections whose outcome we agree with, but seldom believers in any process that produces results not to our liking.
Therefore: Daniel Ortega’s re-election to the presidency is illegitimate in American eyes, and every article will make sure that you know it.
Because landslides only confer legitimacy when they are Republican-approved landslides.
And besides, Americans are deeply troubled by the concept of “majority rule,” as evidenced by the fact that nary a peep was heard last week when a 51-49 vote in the United States Senate was INSUFFICIENT to pass an infrastructure construction bill, and was labelled by nearly all news media as a “defeat” for President Obama’s jobs proposal, with little further explanation.
Jobs policy deadlock remains in Washington
By Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
The San Bernadino (Calif.) Sun
Posted: 11/04/2011 05:26:18 PM PDT
Obama’s jobs plan hasn’t found much success in Congress with Republicans succeeding in opposing his stimulus proposals.
A $60 billion measure for building and repairing infrastructure, such as roads and railways, was defeated in a 51-49 Senate vote on Thursday – short of 60 voted [sic] needed to start work on the bill.
Supporters of the failed measure said …
And witness the wholesale movement across the land to make sure that as few voters are qualified to vote as possible.
No: we deeply distrust this notion of majority rule. Instead, we place our faith in the Golden Rule:
Who has the gold makes the rules.
But, lest you think this cynical and depressing, there is a light at the end of the tunnel-vision. It’s OK: The Meese Commission strove to end all pornography in the USA and carried its dog and pony show across the breadth and lack-of-depth of our Great County, and just look at how successful THAT turned out to be.
Daniel Ortega elected to the Presidency of Nicaragua in a ‘legally questionable’ election.
Reminds me of the old Soviet-era joke about the dual track meet.
Next day in Pravda, the headline reads:
Glorious Soviet Track Team comes in Second; Imperialist Americans come in next to last.
The “liberty cap” in the center of the
Nicaraguan coat of arms comes from
the American Revolution, which inspired
countries all over the world to adopt the
now-forgotten symbol of American Independence.
Who knows? It might have happened without crack cocaine. And maybe Gary Webb wouldn’t have blown his brains out.
In retrospect, Webb’s suicide could be viewed as an exclamation point on that sorry era, which had begun a quarter century earlier with the rise of Ronald Reagan and the gradual retreat – under right-wing fire – of what had once been Washington’s Watergate/Pentagon Papers watchdog press corps.
We’ll never know.
But perhaps this is a salutary moment to reflect that encouraging democracy ofttimes produces democracies that are not to “our” taste or liking.
Foolishly liberal perception that I have, of course, is that the right to self-determination by sovereign peoples is (within rational bounds) absolute.
No matter how much I might personally disapprove.
Too bad Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy boys didn’t think the same way.
‘No self-determination now, no self-determination forever!’
Congratulations on your electoral win, Mr. Ortega! Sorry, Ronnie.
UPDATE Reuters makes it official:
Nicaragua’s Ortega wins landslide re-election
By Miguel Angel Gutierrez and Ivan Castro
MANAGUA | Mon Nov 7, 2011 3:52pm EST
(Reuters) – Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, a socialist former guerrilla leader, cruised to a landslide re-election victory after drawing broad support for his anti-poverty programs.
Ortega had 62.7 percent of the vote with returns in from 86 percent of polling stations in Sunday’s presidential election. That was more than double the tally for his closest rival, conservative radio personality Fabio Gadea.
Ortega’s supporters poured into the streets of Managua to celebrate….
A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog.