Nicaragua - The false decalogue of the super-revolutionaries

Submitted bytortilla onSáb, 29/05/2021 - 17:38
Stephen Sefton, Tortilla con Sal, May 29th 2021

Tomas Andino Mencia's article "What's happening in Nicaragua? An approach from the critical left" appeared on the website Rebelión in April 2018, barely a week after the outbreak of that year's extremely violent failed coup attempt.

I comment on it now because the author offers a decalogue of lies that constitutes a kind of creed for people who support the fascist opposition in Nicaragua bu ttry to justify that support on the basis of false pseudo-radical arguments. The matter is current because the well-known Chilean writer Pablo Jofre Leal refers to this text by Tomas Andino Mencia in his recent article "Washington:  a new attempt to overthrow the Nicaraguan government".

The fundamental thing is that Andino Mencia asserts with all the confidence and ignorance in the world that the failed coup attempt of 2018 was initiated by a movement that "was self-convened by progressive sectors, of the university youth as has been said. The analysis to be objective, has to be based on reality."

It would have been a good idea had Andino Mencia taken his own advice, because his decalogue shows that he knows nothing about the reality of Nicaragua in April 2018

The extreme violence of the April 2018 protests began to claim lives on Thursday, April 19th with the murder in different incidents of a Sandinista policeman, a Sandinista municipal worker and a young bystander who was not involved in the protests. Despite the shameful misrepresentations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, it is clear that all three were killed by pro-coup opposition activists. No one died on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 although the coup plotters circulated the false rumor that the police had killed a student, which was a complete lie. The intense attacks of April 19th, 20th and 21st against municipal authority offices in many cities, against FSLN offices, against schools, markets and private homes of Sandinistas, were planned, instigated and executed by the most reactionary sectors of the Nicaraguan right-wing political opposition which were also allied with embittered ex-Sandinistas such as Dora Maria Tellez, Vilma Nuñez de Escorcia, Carlos Fernando Chamorro and Monica Baltodano among many others.

The initial student support quickly evaporated within a month, because student opinion in general could see that the leadership of the failed coup attempt represented a class war against... them. The case of Leonel Morales is emblematic of what happened at that time when criminal gangs took control of the Polytechnic University and the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua with the support of activists of the Sandinista Renovation Movement and its NGOs such as CENIDH, led by Vilma Nuñez de Escorcia, and Popol Nah, the NGO of Monica Baltodano, among others and also with the support of the Catholic Church.

Tomas Andino Mencia's decalogue of falsehoods is worth reviewing because it explains a lot about of why so many people in Latin America and the Caribbean currently have no idea of Nicaragua's reality.
  • Andino Mencia characterizes the Movimiento Campesino as a movement with broad popular support, which is false. It has the support of barely two thousand people in its main area of operation, in the areas of Nueva Guinea and Rio San Juan. By comparison, the Association of Rural Workers, which supports the Sandinista government, has a membership of over 45,000 campesinos, a truly national movement. The leaders of the Movimiento Campesino in 2018, Medardo Mairena and Francisca Ramirez, are violent criminals as demostrated by these interviews with over 25 people who were victims of violence by the Movimiento Campesino in 2018.
  • Andino Mencia's article claims that mining occupies about 22% of the national territory. In fact, the operations of the four mining companies currently active in Nicaragua occupy about 1% of the national territory. What is true is that about 20% of the national territory has been granted for the exploration of possible mineral deposits, which in no way implies the exploitation of that large territorial extension. In addition, mining in Nicaragua has very different characteristics than in other countries, since much of the mining activity is artisanal, regulated under environmental agreements between the mining workers, the companies that buy raw material from them and the local and national authorities.
  • He argues that African palm and sugar monocultures and cattle ranching have taken land from the peasant population. This is completely false. Nicaragua had a profound agrarian reform in the 1980s of which land redistribution for the most part survived the period of neoliberal governments from 1990 to 2006. Since 2007, the government has deepened the democratization of the rural economy in such a way that the main driver of peasant migration is climate change that displaces families from arid areas, especially the country's "dry corridor" in the west, where it is increasingly difficult for small producers to sustain the cultivation of basic grains and other agricultural and livestock activities.
  • He repeats the false opposition propaganda that the government does not care for the environment based on the gross lie that the 2018 fire in the Indio Maíz Biosphere Reserve spread though government negligence. The falsity of this stupid accusation can be seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
  • He alleges that the government repressed non-governmental organizations, despite the open abuses by these organizations of their status even before the failed coup attempt of 2018 in which they could not hide their clear complicity and protagonism in that attempt to overthrow the government. All these organizations were funded and supported directly or indirectly by the governments of the United States and its European allies.
  • He revives the false accusation that President Ortega violated the constitution to run as a candidate in the 2011 and 2016 elections. In fact it was precisely the 1994 alliance of the ex-Sandinista social democrats with the extreme right that violated the Constitution with a reform which prohibited re-election, a reform which was never consulted with the electorate. Interviews with the president of the Supreme Court and the president of the Supreme Electoral Council, or in this video here, explain how in 2010 the Supreme Court simply restored the integrity of the 1987 Political Constitution of Nicaragua by declaring the anti-democratic opportunistic reform of 1994 inapplicable.
  • Andino Mencia insists on considering the 2011 and 2016 election results fraudulent despite the fact that both were recognized as legitimate by neutral foreign electoral observers and, despite some reservations regarding technical aspects, by the OAS and the European Union. The results also reflected data very similar to practically that found by all the opinion polls prior to the elections.
  • He invents a non-existent repression of the media in Nicaragua by Vice President Rosario Murillo when at all times right up until now the opposition has controlled the national newspapers, several national television and radio channels, and most of the local cable television and radio media. In Nicaragua, the laughable situation exists in which, from 2007 to date, the country's political opposition media have consistently claimed that they are subject to a dictatorship while continuing to broadcast and publish hateful and false attacks against the government in general, against its ministers, against the National Police and the Nicaraguan Army, and against President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo. Only people who know nothing about Nicaragua swallow this absurd lie.
  • He again recycles the big lie of large scale corruption by Sandinista leaders when the government of President Ortega is recognized by all international financial institutions as one of the most efficient and honest LAtin American and Caribbean governments in the execution of finance for programs and projects.
  • Finally, Tomás Andino Mencia refers to the decision of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) to break the national agreement system agreed upon with the unions and the government, but omits to admit that the rupture of relations occurred because of government's insisted that private enterprise assume its fair share of the financing of the social security system. Perhaps at some point the ignorant, arrogant people who are still talking with zero knowledge about the proposed 2018 social security reform in Nicaragua will take the trouble to read it. They will realize, among many other points, that the reform sought to defend the rights of workers to social security by limiting the increase in their contribution to 0.7% of their salary while demanding more than 3% from private employers and also offering full coverage in the social security health system to retired pensioners financed, practically symbolicallygiven the benefits, with the contribution of 5% of their pension.
In short, Tomás Andino Mencia's Decalogue is an excellent summary of the main posionous lies spread by the fascist opposition in Nicaragua and its ex-Sandinista allies. To take the antidote, start by reading the following materials: