Nicaragua’s Leftist Ortega Embraces Business—and Authoritarianism

Wall Street Journal WSJ-01MANAGUA, Nicaragua— Daniel Ortega, one of Latin America’s best-known Marxist revolutionaries, first came to power by helping to oust dictator Anastasio Somoza 37 years ago. His government drew close to the Soviet Union, wrecked the Nicaraguan economy and fought a civil war against U.S. backed rebels.

Since being elected president in 2006—after a 16-year gap—Mr. Ortega is living out a second act as a pro-business, increasingly authoritarian leader, empowered by economic growth that is outpacing most of Latin America.

The transformation, say former comrades-in-arms, civil activists and business people, means Mr. Ortega is increasingly coming to resemble the dictator he overthrew in 1979.

“Ortega has become a new Somoza. He openly dislikes democracy and pluralism, and dreams of establishing a single-party regime,” said Humberto Belli, a former education minister. …

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Latest Tweets by @IASecurity

Videos Featuring Our Experts

Kingpins and corruption: Targeting transnational organized crime in the Americas Roger Noriega on the Crisis in Venezuela: The world's response | IN 60 SECONDS

Venezuelan crisis: A brief history by Roger Noriega | IN 60 SECONDS

About

During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and elsewhere. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, Russia, and even transnational criminal organizations.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform policymakers and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.