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

Monday, November 06, 2006


Looks like Ortega has won clean without a runoff. Anyway, Latin American press sources are reporting the story this way. Most bigtime US sources are still saying he "appears to be leading" or is approaching "almost certain victory". Bloomberg, however, has called it for Ortega: (from here)

Daniel Ortega, the Sandinista guerrilla leader who ran Nicaragua in the 1980s, regained power by winning the Central American country's presidential election, an early count of the votes showed.

Ortega, making his third bid to return to office since being voted out in 1990, had 40 percent of yesterday's vote with 40 percent of ballots counted, La Prensa newspaper said, citing the electoral tribunal. Ortega can win election in the first round by taking 40 percent of the vote or getting 35 percent and beating the second-place candidate by at least 5 percentage points. Calls to the tribunal by Bloomberg weren't answered.

I don't know much about modern day Ortega. I know he's moderated his image and has now replaced the out-and-out Marxism in his public speeches with Catholic populism, but I don't know if he will be more like a Lula or more like a Chavez.

Of course, from the White House's point of view, it doesn't really matter -- Ortega could come out in favor of the full neoliberal program, print Milton Friedman's picture on the Nicaraguan dollar, and the Bushies would still sling the full treatment at him just because it makes them look like idiots that a cold war icon was just elected president of a country that is "two days' march from Texas", to quote Chomsky quoting Reagan.

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