US Central America Policy Should Address Corrupt Nicaragua Regime

daily signalTwo days before U.S. voters flocked to the polls, Nicaragua held its own elections. But the results there surprised no one.

For the fourth time, leftist strongman Daniel Ortega was re-elected president. Back in the 1980s, he led the Marxist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) during Nicaragua’s bloody civil war. And his victory in this latest sham election ensures that Nicaragua will remain an authoritarian regime allied with every enemy of the U.S. from Caracas to Moscow.

And let there be no doubt: Sunday’s elections were nothing short of fraudulent.

The systematic fraud was a culmination of months of work. In June, the FSLN-dominated Supreme Court removed Ortega’s would-be challenger from his leadership role in the opposition party. He then expelled 28 opposition congressmen from the National Assembly. Friendly courts backed this illegitimate process. …

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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 elections of radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. 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, and lackluster support for regional counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics initiatives.

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 American policymakers and American and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.