Their desperate desire to impose the story of their starring role in the supposed miracle of our national history pretty much epitomizes the existential tragedy of Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo, Vice President and heir to the dynasty. However, despite their near monopoly control of the communications media and hence their ability to spread this message repetitively, the story doesn’t manage to be believable or credible.
Every July 19th, at the anniversary of the army’s founding, or that of the police; at the ALBA summits; or at his presidential inaugurations… on each of these occasions for his scarce public appearances, Ortega repeats to the point of satiation the official monologue, with minimal variations. The caudillo, who was never a historic leader of the Sandinista Front, presents himself as the one major figure in the 1979 revolution, a revolution that didn’t fully succeed due to the war and external aggression. He invokes a supposed second stage of revolution that began with his return to power in 2007, returning the nation to peace, stability and progress.
The tale continues: between 1990 and 2006, following the electoral defeat of the FSLN when the “neoliberal nightmare” occurred, Ortega was an example of “constructive opposition”; he didn’t govern “from below”, nor did he impose chaos and destabilization, nor did he orchestrate with his partner Arnoldo Aleman a pact with special favors attached to put the State institutions under party control and smooth the road for electoral fraud and corruption.
According to the story, the Supreme Ruler arose as the savior of a nation that had been divided and now finds itself happily reunited under the control of a single party, through the model of state-party-family and a corporate alliance with the large businesses, so that there are no more opposition forces to divide Nicaraguans.
For this we should be eternally grateful. While our leader protects us from an enemy that he himself has fabricated and histrionically wages “battles” against United States imperialism, his government pitilessly goes after the migrants that are trying to cross our territory to reach the north.
The comandante is also a man wrapped in the flag of world peace, who vehemently clamors for the sovereignty of Puerto Rico and demands that the United States return the Guantanamo naval base to Cuba. However, he handed over our national sovereignty for a period of 100 years to a Chinese influence peddler named Wang Jing, and has made equally dark deals with Putin’s Russia.
Nicaragua, ¿direct democracy?
Ortega and Murillo always speak in the name of the people’s direct democracy, but have never offered a balance sheet of the unfulfilled promises, the poverty that afflicts four of every ten Nicaraguans, the deplorable quality of education or the broken promises of mega-projects like the inter-oceanic canal, according to whose earlier projections the gross national product should have grown by 15% last year.
In the official story, the presidential couple represents the values of the traditional Catholic family that should be imitated. There never existed a chilling accusation of sexual abuse on the part of Ortega’s stepdaughter, now exiled, nor did he ever shield himself in his legal impunity to cover up an unscrupulous political negotiation that permitted the ascent to power of the current Vice President, after defending with cape and sword the penalization of therapeutic abortion.
It’s a delirious narrative of the drive for power, previously disguised behind symbols of popular struggle and now with a religious discourse, in which the power derives from God’s own divine plan. As proof of his faith, Ortega exhibits Cardinal Emeritus Miguel Obando y Bravo as his trophy in the plazas, and as his offering to the Vatican he has ordered the construction of an enormously costly museum in homage to Pope John Paul II. However, even all those millions from ALBANISA couldn’t buy the consciences of the Bishops from the Episcopal Conference, who were all absent from his inauguration on January 10.
No leftist movement in the world, not even Ortega’s ALBA allies or those from the Sao Paulo Forum has taken his regime seriously as a model of some kind of socialism, although reasons of State lead them to cast a blind eye on the opportunism. Ironically, Ortega has instead gained credibility with the large business sector, to whom he offers guarantees of continuance with the neoliberal economic policies, providing ample economic advantages at the cost of democracy and transparency. The new Putin of Central America extends the offer of authoritarian stability as a promise to all the business leaders of the region: order without democracy, or otherwise chaos would be imposed, unleashed by their own hordes.
In this way, Ortega has been transformed into the head of one of the most powerful new economic groups in the country, via the illegal appropriation of more than 3.7 billion dollars from the Venezuelan State cooperation money to his private coffers. This offense has been widely documented by the independent press, while he attempts to get it buried through the inaction of the justice system, the legislature, the district attorney, and the comptroller, all entities that are under Ortega’s absolute control. While in Central and Latin America winds of the struggle against corruption are blowing, in Nicaragua a complicit silence reigns in the face of the greatest act of corruption in our history. That’s the harvest from fear and blackmail, the true miracle in the story of the new dictatorship.
This article has been translated from Spanish by Havana Times.