Differences Between Protests in Latin American Countries

Elio Delgado Legon

The presidents of Venezuela and Nicaragua, Nicolas Maduro and Daniel Ortega. File photo: abcnews.com

HAVANA TIMES — It’s really symptomatic that street protests are peaceful in countries with neoliberal governments, in spite of the gravity of the situation (as we will go on to see with this article), while protests take on a more warlike character in countries with progressive governments.

In the latter, lives and properties are destroyed for no clear reason or concrete vindication, just to destabilize the government to bring about its collapse and make way for a new neoliberal, right-wing government.

To give you more concrete examples: protests in Argentina have been more than justified, fighting against Mauricio Macri’s government’s reforms, as well as huge layoffs of thousands of workers, who had stable lives under the Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez governments and are now living in extreme poverty as a result of unemployment.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, layoffs were joined by so-called “super price hikes”; that is to say, prices of the country’s main public services, such as electricity, water, gas, have all increased making families who still have their jobs are also facing difficulties because of the huge expenses they are now forced to pay. However, in the face of such a dismal situation, public protests haven’t been violent in the slightest.

Brazil is another example I’d like to bring your attention. They have an illegitimate government, which wasn’t elected but was rather the result of a parliamentary coup against President Dilma Rousseff, who had been elected by the people and was overthrown because of false accusations. This seems to be the International Right’s new favorite mechanism, while joining up with US Imperialism to get rid of Leftist leaders. Before, they assassinated them or made them disappear, now they incapacitate them “legally” and try to demoralize them in public opinion, accusing them of being corrupt.

Even though people are living an abnormal situation in Brazil and are suffering the consequences of the de facto government’s neoliberal policies, street protests making fair demands haven’t been violent either.

The above two examples are so different to what’s going on in Venezuela and Nicaragua, where the Right have used violent groups to wreak havoc and death, so as to accuse the government of being violent and thereby bring about its end. The difference between these two pairs of countries is that governments in the former are to the US’ liking (even though their own people don’t want them), and they have no interest in replacing them.

But, it’s a different story with the latter pair, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Their people have nothing to complain about. Venezuelans receive free healthcare and education; the country has declared that it’s illiteracy rate is 0 and they build millions of homes to improve the lives of its poor. And even though the Right has done everything possible to discredit Nicolas Maduro’s government, he won the recent elections, with a majority vote. However, this isn’t enough in Imperialism’s eyes. Because it is a government of and for the people, it needs to be overthrown even if it means bringing about chaos and death.

The Nicaraguan people have also greatly benefitted ever since the Sandinista Front came back into power, as it has made progress after neoliberal governments and policies had sunk the country into poverty. Under the Sandinistas, the economy has been growing steadily, which has had a positive impact of the population’s quality of life. President Daniel Ortega was reelected for this reason only 7 months ago, having received over 70% of the vote in his favor. However, this doesn’t seem to be enough for them to let him rule in peace and continue to improve his people’s lives and the economy.

Nicaragua has been subjected to violence, chaos and nearly 200 lives have been lost, thanks to a plan conceived and financed by Imperialism, according to statements made by one of the leaders of a violent group who had been arrested by the police. First of all, they refused the dialogue talks, while violent groups continued to wreak havoc; now they are demanding that there are early elections (when the next elections are scheduled for 2021), which the government can’t agree to because that would mean ignoring over 70% of the population’s wish at the last elections just 7 months ago.

These are the differences between protests and demands in countries whose governments are to Imperialism’s liking and countries where they want to overthrow the government at any cost, no matter how many people die at the hands of violent mobs hired to do their dirty work.

Elio Delgado Legon

Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

5 thoughts on “Differences Between Protests in Latin American Countries

  • July 11, 2018 at 7:55 am
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    *Note to Editor: Elio understands that you LIVE in Nicaragua, right?

    It’s amazing that Elio continues to regurgitate Castro talking points to an international audience that has access to the truth. If he were writing a Letter to the Editor of Granma, his ridiculous restatement of reality would make sense. A large number of Cubans in Cuba have no other access to facts other than the official Castro Communist Party tripe. But here at HT, where many readers actually live part-time in Cuba, or as I do, visit frequently, it begs the question, whom does he think he is fooling? The blog editor is probably the most expert on the reality in Nicaragua and yet Elio contends that the election of 7 months ago in Nicaragua was fair and democratic? Elio is amazing. He is either super stupid and believes others to be likewise or he is super smart and is trying to manipulate public opinion with techniques way above my pay grade. Either way, his posts, I have to admit, are entertaining.

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  • July 12, 2018 at 1:27 pm
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    The most notable thing about this article supposedly from the pen of Elio Delgado Legon, is that he as a Cuban of 80 years of age and a deep admirer of all things emanating from the communist system imposed upon Cubans, fails to record ANYTHING about protest or demonstration in Cuba. Come on Elio, do you know anything about your own country and protest?

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  • July 12, 2018 at 9:15 pm
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    Regarding Nicaragua, you have no idea what you are talking about. You take the same position as Daniel Ortega, talking about the economy when the issue has been the killing of 250-300+ unarmed citizens by the government. Just on Tuesday, I watched live as Sandinista thugs vandalized a Catholic church, throwing pews and everything else out into the street. But here’s the most striking thing: the police stood outside watching and doing nothing. They are complicit. Nicaragua has been the poorest country in Latin America for many years, and look at Venezuela. So 39 years after the revolution in Nicaragua, this is your example of great progress? The elections were widely boycotted as they were not fair. Despite disallowing the opposition, Daniel Ortega would not allow outside observers to validate the results. Why not, if they were fair? 39 years! When will you stop blaming outside “imperialists” for every problem in these countries, and in your own? People from the US send a tremendous amount of aid, medicine, and workers to Nicaragua. I am one of them. Uncloud your mind and open your eyes and ask why you feel so compelled to argue against the vast majority of Nicaraguan citizens who want real democratic change, something that, living in Cuba, you would probably know absolutely nothing about.

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    • July 16, 2018 at 1:42 pm
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      Elio knows about the two socialist progressives shown in the photograph – and he approves their actions in Venezuela and Nicaragua. He has no criticism of Ortega’s actions saying that it is all due to “a plan conceived and financed by imperialism”. Whereas those who support freedom are described as “violent mobs” when he says that they: “have nothing to complain about.”
      Elio is a true disciple of totalitarian dictatorship. I summarized the requirements for Cubans seeking to have a quiet life in ‘Cuba Lifting the Veil’.
      “Don’t challenge the system, accept it, stay mute and exist”
      “No desafies al sistema, aceptalo, quedate mudo y existe.”
      That is what Elio supports and he seeks acceptance of a similarly politically evil system for others in addition. He is a true spokesman for the Stalinist version of Marxism/Leninism.
      Those of us who have freedom should be grateful for our right to dissent, to our right of freedom of expression, for our right of freedom of movement, for our access to free media, for our right bring up our children as we choose, for given opportunity, Elio and his kith and kin would have all of that removed. The only question remaining is whether we should condemn Elio or pity him?

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  • July 21, 2018 at 8:09 pm
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    I have a query? Has Elio Delgado Legon actually seen a street protest in Cuba since 1959?
    If not, why not?

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