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Meet Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s Rising Dictator

By: Guest Contributor - Aug 16, 2016, 8:16 am
(Martí Noticias) Ortega
Since 1990, Daniel Ortega has run as a candidate for president. (Martí Noticias)

By Byron Rodríguez Palacios

Both Nicaragua and its current President Daniel Ortega are very complicated topics to discuss these days. What exactly is Danielismo?

Kenneth E. Lawrence Morris’ book titled “Unfinished Revolution” does a good job of answering that question. It gave me a broader and deeper picture of Daniel Ortega Saavedra, whom many consider Nicaragua’s dictator.

It’s hard to figure out why a man who emerged from extreme poverty and obtained an education thanks to the help of a priest not only creates policy that takes from the lower class, but who is accused of raping his current wife’s daughter. He is also considered one of the the most bloodthirsty and ruthless murderers in Nicaraguan history.

Daniel Ortega was a very humble student, born in 1945 in the province of Chontales. He grew up in the mining town of La Libertad, where he worked alongside his father throughout his childhood.

His father, burdened by a lack of work and opportunities, moved the family to the city of Managua when Daniel was thirteen years old.

Ortega and his brothers acquired a very troubled “revolutionary” desire there, which later led his brother Camilo to die during a series of revolts in the city of Masaya.

The Ortega family was thrown out of rooms on numerous occasions for not paying rent. Their critical economic situation earned them fame as defaulters; no one in the neighborhood wanted to rent them a place to live.

At the age of 14, Daniel met Founder of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) Carlos Fonseca Amador. Daniel also visited a Masonic temple near his house, where he learned about revolutionary leader Augusto César Sandino. During these visits, Ortega’s admiration for Sandino grew.

In 1967, Daniel was jailed for robbing a bank in the heart of Managua. One of the orders that Ortega gave to his subjects was that all those who opposed the robbery should be killed, showing that his interests have always been more important than the law.

Ortega spent seven years in prison. During the revolution of 1978 and 1979, Ortega took refuge in Costa Rica. In 1978, he had a common-law marriage with Rosario Murillo, who would not marry him formally until 2005. Murillo, also a Sandinista militant, aimed to become the new Vice President of Nicaragua in the upcoming presidential elections, despite it being a direct violation of the country’s constitution.

The first lady has been criticized for her constant abuse of drugs and alcohol, as well as for promoting a culture of antisocial values derived from the “New Age” sect she follows. In addition, she has been accused of illicit enrichment, given that over the last 10 years, Murillo and her husband Daniel Ortega have managed to amass a fortune at the expense of tax evasion and bribes from state enterprises’ providers, among others.

Daniel Ortega has seven children and a stepdaughter named Zoilamerica Murillo, who formally accused him of rape. The Ortega administration has tried to cover up the situation.

Ortega’s political life truly began July 17, 1979 after President Anastasio Somoza Debayle left the country in response to the FSLN getting close to controlling Managua. Since 1990, Daniel Ortega ran for president until finally being elected in November 2006.

His triumph was called into question after winning the presidency with only 37 percent of the total vote. He came to power with minimal popularity, having won due to a split vote between his opponents.

One of the most interesting parts of this political mess loaded with corruption, nepotism, and kickbacks is an alleged pact between Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo that increased her power.

Murillo has held full control over all the government offices of the Ortega administration and its relationship with the media. Moreover, Murillo actually leads the ranks of Ortega’s political party, so the appointment as her husband’s running mate was only a matter of time.

In order to eliminate any dissent against President Daniel Ortega’s quest for his third term, the Nicaraguan Supreme Electoral Council recently dismissed 28 opposition legislators (16 members and 12 alternate members) from Congress.

The Congressmen belong to the Independent Liberal Party (PLI) and its ally, the Sandinista Renovation Movement. They were dismissed for refusing to comply with the Supreme Court’s appointment of Pedro Reyes, one of President Ortega’s “unconditional” politicians, as the new PLI president.

With this arrangement, and Ortega’s immediate announcement of Rosario Murillo as his running mate, all the formalities and pillars of representative democracy in the Central American nation have been weakened.

A dictatorship has officially started in Nicaragua.

Tensions Rise Between Bolivia and Chile after U.S. Military Carries Out Exercises on the Border

By: Ysol Delgado - Aug 15, 2016, 3:44 pm
The frontier crisis between Chile and Bolivia is worsened by exit to sea (Taringa)

President of Bolivia Evo Morales used his Twitter account this week to denounce the "joint military maneuvers between Chile and the USA" bordering his country. The conflict and tension between the two countries has increased this year, mostly originating from Bolivia's claim to a passage to the sea. Morales has claimed Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca received poor treatment when he visited Chilean ports and the Silala River. https://twitter.com/evoespueblo/status/763362537656180737?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Joint military operations between the US and Chile in the Bolivia frontier. Is there something old invaders need to learn? He then referred to the Global Peace Index 2016 presented by the Institute for Economics and Peace, where tranquility was measured in 163 countries. In that study, Chile was ranked as the most peaceful country in Latin America. Based on those results, Evo tweetted again: https://twitter.com/evoespueblo/status/763363385803153408?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Is Chile the most peaceful or the most privatized of Latin America? Who owns education, health, mining, forests, water, sea, ports? Morales' complaint is based on the "maneuvers" that more than 1,000 US and Chile military performed in late July under the name, "Combined Joint Southern Star Exercise," in which the Armed Forces of Chile carried out mock operations for UN peacekeeping. Read more: Bolivian Miners Take Policemen Hostage amid Protests against Forced Unionization Read more: Former Bolivian Minister Charged with Corruption in Rural Programs Some of the activities were done in "hostile territory." Various infiltration tasks, hostage rescue, parachute jumps, medical evacuations and night operations, among others, were also done. In 2007, it was the first time these activities were carried out as part of a plan to strengthen military ties and rapprochement between the US and Chile. In June, Morales said that "the Chilean Army is under the control of the Armed Forces of the United States." The Ministry of Defense of Chile said exercises will always be accompanied by American troops to ensure compliance with the law. When the exercises were completed, the Chilean Agency for International Development Cooperation said Chile was planning to carry out a program of cooperation with Bolivia, which unfolds through technical assistance and human capital formation. Source: Actualidad

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