By Andres Kogan Valderrama
HAVANA TIMES – The current imprisonment of more than 140 people by the authoritarian regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo in Nicaragua, which even includes former Sandinista guerrillas like Dora María Tellez and Hugo Torrez, is not only an episode of human rights violation and of concentration of political power on the part of the presidential couple, but also of a moment that should serve for the deeper reflection of the Latin American and the world left.
I point this out since a good part of the left in the region has said little or nothing about a criminal government, which, since the popular revolt of 2018, has engaged in deepening its policy of terror towards those who try to criticize the regime, recalling the worst of the region´s dictatorial experiences in the 70s, such as that of the Somozas in Nicaragua.
The paradox of the Ortega-Murillo dictatorship is that apart from repressing anyone who opposes it politically, it has co-opted the Sandinista struggle, through a revolutionary discourse abroad, since, in practice, it has done nothing but apply neoliberal policies that in any country would be considered as right-wing.
It is surprising then, that left-wing sectors in the region continue to appeal to an almost religious defense of the current Sandinista National Liberation Front of Nicaragua, which for many years has nothing revolutionary or progressive in it, but quite the contrary. It became a strongly reactionary party and lackey of colonial organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Consequently, that left that argues that there is an imperialist offensive on the part of the United States to overthrow the criminal and rapist Daniel Ortega, should also know that it was he himself who between 2007 and 2008 made a pact with the large economic groups of Nicaragua (Supreme Council of the Private Sector—COSEP) and with the hierarchies of the Catholic Church of that country, to promote policies of structural adjustment and extreme targeting, in the style of ultra-neoliberal countries such as Chile, Peru and Colombia.
In the same direction, it is a shame to defend from the left a government that presents itself as Sandinista, but that has dedicated itself to prohibiting and criminalizing any type of abortion, including therapeutic abortion, which reflects its extreme patriarchal character and its contempt for all women of that country and of the world.
On the other hand, as if all that were not enough, the state’s patronage nature has also deepened through the so-called Family Cabinets, which have served Ortega to seek support and mobilize its supporters for official rallies.
Given this, I rescue something expressed by the former Sandinista guerrilla, Monica Baltodano, also persecuted by the tyrant, who has pointed out how far this government is from others in the region that were progressive at the time (Lula in Brazil, Kirchner in Argentina, Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador or Chavez in Venezuela), since “he is, really, not only reproducing and expanding the capitalist regime, but also brutally constraining essential freedoms (1).”
Hence, the 2018 revolt began with protests against unpopular social security reforms and the fires in the Indio Maiz biosphere, under a strong extractive model. It led to a complete criticism of the murderous and corrupt regime of Daniel Ortega, who in response, pushed his repressive policy to the maximum, taking hundreds of lives, carried out by the Police, and his paramilitary groups..
From then on, the large business groups and the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, withdrew their support for Daniel Ortega, which the dictator opportunistically used to speak of an attempted coup by the right and the United States.
The current situation continues to be very similar since 2018 and even worse, since in the month of November of this year the presidential elections are scheduled in Nicaragua. Daniel Ortega has jailed several presidential candidates and anyone who dares to criticize his rule or is considered a threat to his interests is in danger.
Given this, what is happening in Nicaragua becomes very serious not only for that country, but also for the future of the entire region, so now more than ever it is necessary to take a clear and unambiguous position in this regard. Those of us who criticize the repression and human rights violations in countries like Chile and Colombia cannot stand aside and be silent about what is happening in Nicaragua.
For this reason, the left that still defend or do not pronounce on a deadly regime such as that of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, will end up being accomplices of a revolutionary discourse, in a delusional way, since in practice it has been anti-poor and anti-Sandinista.