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04/05/2012 | Looking Forward while Looking Back: Sandinista leader Tomas Borge dies in Nicaragua

Martin Edwin Andersen

In September 1988, as director of Latin American and Caribbean programs and the Civil-Military Project for the National Democratic Institute [NDI] then headed by former Vice President Walter Mondale, I brought a group to Managua that included Argentine pollster Analia Del Franco and several Democratic Party political consultants, such as current MSNBC commentator Steve McMahon.

 

The purpose: To help a dispirited non-violent civilian opposition pull itself together in what later became presidential candidate Violeta Chamorro's winning coalition. 

[Our "Nicaragua's Municipal Elections: The Report of an NDI Survey Mission," written by ex-senior Gary Hart presidential campaign advisor Willard Dupree and I, found that "Unification is the single most important ingredient for the success of the opposition." See: http://www.getcited.org/pub/103498051]

The night of September 28, my birthday, the NDI team--together with future Chamorro Vice President Virgilio Godoy and another opposition leader, raised their glasses in a toast--only to find that our hotel restaurant's big-screen television had begun playing an ersatz "exposé" put together by agents working for Sandinista torture mogul Tomas Borge. 

Secretly filmed from behind bushes and after they entered, without my knowledge or permission, into my hotel room in order to portray innocent NDI documents as "proof" of NDI's spying, the Sandinista national television cabal (clearly trained by East German specialists) rolled out its tale, falsely accusing us of working for Reagan neo-con Elliott Abrams and his team, with whom I had previously clashed on Argentine human rights issues. 

Just moments after the Sandinista propaganda faded from the screen, Borge suddenly appeared in front of us.

Passing by our dinner table, he tipped his hat, smiled and wished us "muy buenas noches."

http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/05/01/3939403/sandinista-leader-tomas-borge.html#storylink=cpy

Offnews.info (Argentina)

 



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