ALBA Gold! Another Caudillo Wants to Be Prez for Life

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We have noted the anniversary of the moon landing (or, if one believes investigative journalist Whoopi Goldberg, the "moon landing") and the anniversary of Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg's failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, though understandably overlooked Sunday's celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. At a parade celebrating this ignominious start of a decade of civil war, Nicaraguan President (and Latin America's number one Gary Glitter impersonator) Daniel Ortega shouted to his followers that Barack Obama was planning to finish what Ronald Reagan started—and Violeta Chamorra thought she finished. "[The Americans] are going to try and invade Nicaragua. Come and try to invade Nicaragua! Come and try and defeat this people! But we will never be defeated."

The Ortega kleptocracy, rejected by voters in 1990 in the country's first honest election in a bazillion years, returned to power in 2006 with a plurality (38 percent) of votes. Now, following the lead of his fellow leftist leaders in the region like Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa, Manuel Zelaya, and Evo Morales, Ortega wants to stay in power beyond what is constitutionally permitted.

The Christian Science Monitor reports:

Speaking in front of hundreds of thousands of Sandinista loyalists Sunday at a rally to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the leftist revolution he helped lead, Mr. Ortega called for a constitutional referendum on scrapping presidential term limits.

It's the latest in a series of moves to consolidate power by leftist leaders allied together in the Venezuelan-led Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America (ALBA). Critics decry such measures as undemocratic, but Ortega, Mr. Zelaya, and other leftists say that taking the decisions to the people is the purest form of democracy and that they must band together against the conservative powers that have traditionally run things in the region.

Last year, Brookings Institution scholar Kevin Casas-Zamora warned that, yet again, Nicaragua was on a "downward spiral towards authoritarian rule under Ortega's watch." Not much has changed since the first revolutionary iteration of Soviet-backed Sandismo. I always appreciated that Ortega's thugs so desperately desired democratic legitimacy and so often used the language of democracy when lording over an obviously undemocratic experiment in modern caudilloism. Bayardo Arce, a member of the 1979 ruling junta, told the Washington Post soon after the revolution that "We support freedom of the press. But, of course, the freedom of the press we support will be a freedom of the press that supports the revolution."

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  1. Your article very interesting, I have introduced a lot of friends look at this article, the content of the articles there will be a lot of attractive people to appreciate, I have to thank you such an article.

  2. Hell, the purest democracy ever practiced, by the people who invented it (Athenians), included slavery. What could possibly be wrong with that?

  3. Your article very interesting, I have introduced a lot of friends look at this article, the content of the articles there will be a lot of attractive people to appreciate, I have to thank you such an article.

    Broken Engrish spambot is hitting on you guys.

  4. The Ortega kleptocracy, rejected by voters in 1990 in the country’s first honest vote in a bazillion years…

    Actually, the election in 1984 was closely observed by about 400 officials and the only ones who claimed it wasn’t free and fair were sponsored by the U.S. government, which was also busy sponsoring terrorism in the region at the time and for a several years to come.

    And I point that out as someone who is vehemently anti-Sandinista.

  5. Rule by libertarian plutocracy would render all discussion of term limits pointless. I say this is good faith.

  6. I clicked on this thinking I was going to see some pics of Jessica Alba. Let down.

  7. Interesting that Ortega thinks Nicaragua is important enough to invade. I dunno, maybe it is.

  8. Nicaragua was important enough to inspire this timeless classic.

  9. “[The Americans] are going to try and invade Nicaragua.”

    We are? Why? Tradition?

  10. If you start a revolution that you never win doesn’t that make you a loser?

  11. I know dudes holding hands is traditional in the Middle East, and Ortega was accomodating Arafat, but did Ortega have to cross his legs?

  12. Danny and Yasir sittin’ in a tree…

  13. I thought the existence of Obama was going to prevent places like Nicaragua from fearing that the USA was a threat. Oh wait, would-be dictators might have their own agenda?

  14. I wonder if Arafat mentioned that he had AIDS to Ortega. It would be the right thing to do, wouldn’t it?

    Then again, the only right thing Arafat ever did was die.

  15. Washington Bullets

    Oh! Mama, Mama look there!
    Your children are playing in that street again
    Don’t you know what happened down there?
    A youth of fourteen got shot down there
    The Kokane guns of Jamdown Town
    The killing clowns, the blood money men
    Are shooting those Washington bullets again

    As every cell in Chile will tell
    The cries of the tortured men
    Remember Allende, and the days before,
    Before the army came
    Please remember Victor Jara,
    In the Santiago Stadium,
    Es verdad – those Washington Bullets again

    And in the Bay of Pigs in 1961,
    Havana fought the playboy in the Cuban sun,
    For Castro is a colour,
    Is a redder than red,
    Those Washington bullets want Castro dead
    For Castro is the colour…
    …That will earn you a spray of lead

    Sandinista!

    For the very first time ever,
    When they had a revolution in Nicaragua,
    There was no interference from America
    Human rights in America

    Well the people fought the leader,
    And up he flew…
    With no Washington bullets what else could he do?
    Sandinista!

    ‘N’ if you can find a Afghan rebel
    That the Moscow bullets missed
    Ask him what he thinks of voting Communist…
    …Ask the Dalai Lama in the hills of Tibet,
    How many monks did the Chinese get?
    In a war-torn swamp stop any mercenary,
    ‘N’ check the British bullets in his armoury
    Que?
    Sandinista!

    – The Clash Sandinista (1980)

  16. Hey if it worked for Bloomberg and his city council cronies, why not this guy.

  17. Woody Allen’s “Bananas”. The lot of them.

  18. Makes pretty good sense to me dude, I like it!

    RT
    http://www.anonweb.net.tc

  19. “Daniel Ortega shouted to his followers that Barack Obama was planning to finish what Ronald Reagan started…'[The Americans] are going to try and invade Nicaragua.'”

    I see that the Obama apology tour has been successful in causing other countries not to hate us any more.

  20. Why is Arafat holding hands with Edward James Olmos?

  21. “[The Americans] are going to try and invade Nicaragua.”

    Why, do they have oil?

    Ba-zing! Daily Show, here I come!

  22. Has Chavez sent Ortega the files containing the results of the upcoming referendom yet? Like he did for Zelaya.

  23. modern caudilloism

    It’s caudillismo.

  24. “Now, following the lead of his fellow leftist leaders in the region like Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa, Manuel Zelaya, and Evo Morales, Ortega wants to stay in power beyond what is constitutionally permitted.”

    how to ‘democratically’ stay in power until the day you die…Castro style.
    Only Honduras gives me a glimmer of hope.
    *sigh* this is going to be a long and painful ride.

  25. Only Honduras gives me a glimmer of hope.

    Good thing the Obama administration is exerting all the pressure they can to get Zelaya back in charge there, eh?

    Seriously, is there one single fucking thing that Obama has done that isn’t wrong? Other than backing off somewhat on medical marijuana raids in CA, for now?

  26. Cut short F-22 orders?

  27. OK, that’s two:

    (1) Cut back on medical marijuana raids in CA.
    (2) Reduce F-22 orders.

    Anything else?

  28. I’m not even convinced that cutting F-22 orders is a great thing. Yes, the military is spendthrift, but it wouldn’t be the first time the US has said, “What do we need all these expensive new weapons for anyway? We’re not going to be getting in any major fights,” and then been proven to be wrong.

  29. (2) Reduce F-22 orders.

    Yeah, but that’s not even one that you can say “better than McCain,” considering that McCain led the charge to get them cut and got 13 other Republican Senators to vote for it. (While 14 Dems voted to restore funding.)

  30. good to read,thanks
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    any more,pls let me know
    see u

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