by toni solo July 19th 2012
This year, participation of Nicaraguans celebrating the 33rd anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution in Managua was even greater than in 2011. Only die-hard enemies of Daniel Ortega's government doubt the overwhelming popular support enjoyed now by the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional. The event today confirmed what the centre-right opinion poll company M&R found in their survey published this week.
Over 58% of people in Nicaragua support Daniel Ortega's presidency. 69% believe the Ortega-led Sandinista government is doing a good job. 74% feel optimistic about their future. 64% of people believe the Sandinista government is democratic and respects the rule of law. Over 70% believe Daniel Ortega and his government have worked hard to achieve national reconciliation and a climate of peace. The survey showed that Rosario Murillo, the constant butt of snide and ill-informed misogynist comment, has the approval of over 62% of people in Nicaragua.
So in Nicaragua, as in Venezuela, even the right wing polling companies are reporting what is self-evident from recent election results. Both governments and their leaders enjoy overwhelming public support which is likely to give their political parties equally overwhelming victories in the elections scheduled for later this year. Venezuela has presidential elections in October. Nicaragua has municipal elections in November.
During his relatively brief speech in Managua's Plaza de la Fe today, Daniel Ortega pointed out the special importance of the forthcoming municipal elections. He reminded his huge audience that two pieces of Sandinista-promoted legislation, now law, will make the 2012 municipal elections the most democratic and representative elections ever in Nicaragua. The two measures were passed with the support of Nicaragua's political opposition in the National Assembly.
One law mandates that 50% of all candidates in all elections in Nicaragua must be women. The other reformed the make up of the country's municipal councils by expanding the number of councillors to be elected. These two measures will significantly increase the levels of representation for Nicaraguans in decision making in their local affairs. The measures also mean a complete transformation of the gender balance at municipal level because women will have an equal voice for the first time ever. Nicaragua is already a world leader in terms of women's representation in the national legislature.
This reality – the overall popular acceptance of the Sandinista led government and the dramatic democratization of popular participation – has left Nicaragua's political opposition bereft of initiatives and facing ever-diminishing electoral support. Ever since they lost ground in the municipal elections of 2008, all the opposition have been able to do is to make false accusations of systematic electoral fraud. But they have neither ever seriously substantiated those claims nor mobilized popular support for them.
The Nicaraguan opposition and the Venezuelan opposition are both headed for humiliating electoral defeat in their countries' respective elections later this year. The tactic of both sets of national political opposition is to plan to make yet more absurd false claims of electoral fraud to justify their rejection by voters. The right wing M&R poll found that over 67% of people in Nicaragua dismiss the right wing opposition parties as a worthwhile political choice. In response, the Nicaraguan opposition are already claiming that the elections will be rigged against them.
The similarities between Venezuela and Nicaragua figured also in an important point made by Daniel Ortega during his address on this 33rd anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution. President Ortega made clear that the threats and fear-mongering of the United States and its regional allies are much less effective than in the past. Latin American unity among progressive governments from Argentina and Brazil to Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and also to Nicaragua and Cuba makes it far more difficult for the United States and its allies to intimidate otherwise vulnerable small countries.
President Ortega made that point in a context where the US State Department has already cut bilateral aid to Nicaragua. It is also contemplating a measure that may trigger attempts to influence multilateral lenders like the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund from lending to Nicaragua. Those economic threats are accompanied by constant propaganda lies about threats in Nicaragua to democracy and human rights. These follow the same pattern as the recent deceitful psy-warfare report by Human Rights Watch on the Venezuelan government's human rights record.
The malevolent folly of US foreign policy is all too vividly clear in the sinister insistence by murderous genocidal terrorists like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and their accomplices on attacking the well-being of people in Nicaragua. They tacitly recognize the fact that people in Nicaragua overwhelmingly support Daniel Ortega's Sandinista government. That is why, as part of their endless war on humanity, they seem once again to be organizing vicious, anti-democratic economic aggression against Nicaragua's people to accompany their endless psy-warfare offensive.
The difference from the 1980s is that Nicaragua is supported by almost every other country in Latin America. In the majority world outside North America and Europe, Daniel Ortega's government enjoys great international prestige. It has excellent relations not just within Latin America and the Caribbean but with many countries in Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as its enduring alliance with Russia. Even among US allies in Latin America, the Sandinista government enjoys excellent relations with both Mexico and Perú.
President Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo made one other absolutely fundamental point during the 33rd Anniversary celebrations of the Sandinista Revolution today. They both emphasized that Sandinista government support is built on the country's youth. Young people make up the great majority of Nicaragua's population. They are growing to adulthood experiencing the radical improvement of Nicaragua's economy and society under the Sandinista government's socialist-inspired policies.
The US government has all too easily assaulted its own people, stealing from them to rescue the country's corrupt financial sector and trashing basic democratic rights. By contrast, a century after its marines invaded Nicaragua in 1912 to impose a US puppet government, it is having to think hard about how to attack Nicaragua's Sandinista Revolution. That definitive decline in US power and influence is compounded by the fact that a new dynamic creative young Sandinista generation is just as ready to defy them now as their revolutionary forebears were in 1979.