Inteligencia y Seguridad Frente Externo En Profundidad Economia y Finanzas Transparencia
  En Parrilla Medio Ambiente Sociedad High Tech Contacto
Frente Externo  
26/09/2011 | Latin America - Opinion: Nicaragua and the Anti-American Axis

Roger Guevara Mena

President Daniel Ortega has grown close to Iran and Venezuela while persecuting domestic dissidents.


Nicaragua has been a democracy since 1990. But with the considerable financial support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez—and a generous amount of bribery and intimidation—Daniel Ortega, the longtime enemy of the United States, was elected president in 2006, receiving just under 38% of the vote.

His Sandinista party has since stifled the opposition through massive layoffs of public employees, from law enforcement to independent groups; controls on non-Sandinista entrepreneurs; political persecution using the police and the judiciary; and denying employment to working professionals and independent people who do not have the endorsement of the party.

Now Mr. Ortega is using that dominance to run for re-election in November, a re-election bid that is forbidden by Nicaragua's constitution.

In the past, Mr. Ortega's power grabs have had at least the tacit disapproval of the powers in Washington. Not this time. U.S. silence makes the job of those of us in the opposition almost impossible.

It is the outrage of thousands of Nicaraguans who fought hard for democracy in the 1980s that compels me to return to a political life. It is tiring to spend your life as a political dissident—particularly if that duty includes periodic stints in jail, where Sandinista thugs get to beat prisoners for sport. But Nicaraguans need to believe in a truly democratic option again.

That is why I am running for president with a relatively new organization, called the "Alianza por la Republica" (APRE), which gives the Nicaraguan people an alternative to the Sandinistas and a chance to once again believe that their country can remain a democracy, and that we can effect a significant change in governance without violence.

With money from Mr. Chávez, Mr. Ortega now owns most of the media under the names of family members and junior supporters. In fact, the State of Nicaragua is in a sense run as if it were his personal property.

Messrs. Ortega and Chávez have built an economic empire in the shadow of the state, as a result of the government's unfair competition with local entrepreneurs. With this, the middle class has disappeared, and the vast majority of the Nicaraguan people have been excluded from the economic, social and political life of the nation.

There is also the alliance between Mr. Ortega and the government of Iran. Shortly after his inauguration, early in 2007, Mr. Ortega made an official visit to Iran to meet with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. While there, he told the Iranian press that the "revolutions of Iran and Nicaragua are almost twin revolutions . . . since both revolutions are about justice, liberty, self-determination, and the struggle against imperialism."

Ahmadinejad has made a habit of stopping off in Nicaragua during his periodic visits to Mr. Chávez. Exactly what ventures he has planned in the country are unknown. But don't count out trouble in this hemisphere if Iran acquires nuclear weapons or seeks to unleash terrorists on American soil. Messrs. Chávez and Ortega would be all too willing to help their Iranian friends.

Most Nicaraguans understand the benefits of remaining friendly with the people of the United States. But the clock is ticking and we must avoid any further deterioration of the U.S. image in Latin America. The White House has recently named a new ambassador in Managua, who has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Jonathan Farrar is a career diplomat with the Foreign Service, who will dutifully carry out the orders he receives from the White House. If those orders continue to include the same cynical acceptance of the abuse of the rule of law that we have seen over the last few years, Nicaragua is lost.

If, on the other hand, the new U.S. ambassador stands up and holds the Sandinista government to account for the clear violations of constitutional laws that have marked the run-up to the election, the opposition might have a fair chance in November.

We urge the American people to stand by the people of Nicaragua at this critical moment in history.

**Mr. Guevara is a lawyer and a candidate for president of Nicaragua. He previously served as Nicaragua's Ambassador to the European Union, the Benelux union, and Venezuela.

Wall Street Journal (Estados Unidos)


Otras Notas Relacionadas... ( Records 1 to 10 of 2155 )
fecha titulo
07/12/2014 El parón latinoamericano amenaza la caída de la pobreza y la desigualdad
05/12/2014 How Organized Crime & Corruption Intersect in LatAm
05/12/2014 How Organized Crime & Corruption Intersect in LatAm
26/10/2014 El gran laboratorio
15/09/2014 En el túnel de la incertidumbre
15/01/2014 América Latina no podrá erradicar la pobreza extrema antes de 2030
15/01/2014 Contar presidentes
10/01/2014 Tiempo de elecciones en Centroamérica
05/01/2014 30 años en perspectiva
28/12/2013 2013: democracia latinoamericana

Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House