During a visit to Nicaragua not so long ago, I spent a good deal of time speaking with a former Sandinista fighter, now a bank security guard in the town of San Juan del Sur, who was disillusioned with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and what he referred to as Ortega’s abandonment of Sandinista revolutionary ideals.
It was as if, the security guard said, the dead no longer mattered when one was in power.
The death toll of over one thousand in Libya has provided the Nicaraguan leader with a second opportunity for revolutionary abandonment, and Nicaragua’s opposition daily La Prensa reports Ortega’s affirmation of total solidarity with Muammar Gaddafi at the United Nations yesterday.
According to the paper, Ortega condemned “speculation by western media, which through exaggerated and contradictory news reports incite violence and [set the stage for] foreign intervention” (see Fidel Castro’s warning of an impending NATO invasion of Libya).
Al Jazeera, of course, is not readily classifiable as western media. And while Latin American opposition to U.S. imperialism is more than legitimate—especially when it comes from previous victims of U.S. “state-sponsored terrorism” (the description by a former CIA director of the contra war on Nicaragua)—Ortega’s betrayal of the martyrs in Libya only provides genuine western media outlets with more ammunition.
I’ll end with an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal, which has begun spewing incriminating evidence of Libyan influence on Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez:
The Venezuelan leader has borrowed more than just ideas. In December, Mr. Chávez said he would give up Venezuela’s presidential palace to people displaced by heavy flooding to move into a large Bedouin tent left him by Mr. Gadhafi after a visit to Caracas two years ago.”