'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sandinistas on the Rise 

I guess Rumsfeld's cheerleading tour didn't take ... from "Sandinista wins worry U.S." Chicago Tribune:

As leftist leaders make gains across Latin America, an old U.S. adversary from the 1980s contra war has set off alarm bells in Washington: Daniel Ortega's Sandinistas.

The Sandinista Front won 87 of Nicaragua's 152 mayoral posts in elections this month, making significant inroads against a right-wing ruling faction divided by infighting and corruption scandals. Analysts say the victories also reflect the leftist party's success in running several cities efficiently and fairly.

At a time when the United States is fending off a growing chorus of leftist criticism in the region, Bush administration officials worry the victories will boost Ortega's chances of winning back the presidency he lost when Nicaraguans voted him out in 1990 after a decade of socialist rule and war against the U.S.-backed contras.

"People have begun to lose their fear of the Sandinista Front," said Herty Lewites, the popular Sandinista mayor of Managua who is leaving office but was praised for his governing of the city in the past four years.

[ ... ]

The developments come after a string of victories by leftist leaders across the region, at least in part because of frustrations over the failure of free-trade agreements and other U.S.-backed neoliberal policies to alleviate poverty and other problems.

It's nice to see the phrase "the failure of free-trade agreements and other U.S.-backed neoliberal policies" appear without caveats in a major American newspaper story. This failure used to be the elephant in the room that was not mentioned, but maybe given the reality of the recent victories of administrations advocating anti-neoliberal policies throughout Latin America, the subject can now be broached in mainstream discourse.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?