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Web Letter

Certainly, this article is informative about Father Miguel d’Escoto and the current government of Nicaragua, headed by Daniel Ortega. But perhaps more than inform, it unilaterally criticizes Ortega's administration. If, instead of relying only on the opinions of international personalities, Barbara Crossette had tried to look at what the general secretary of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional is doing within the context of Nicaraguan reality, the tenor of her article would have been different. Even though the country has been devastated by sixteen years (1990-2006) of neoliberal government, Oretega’s programs are already proving to be beneficial in education, health and personal security. Special emphasis has been placed on increasing the productivity of small and medium entrepreneurs in rural and urban areas.

Of course, in a nation which is among the poorest of this continent, much more needs to be done. But the opposition, denying any positive action by the government, has adopted an attitude of total criticism--focusing, for instance, on the recent prohibition of therapeutic abortion and on the alliance of the FSLN with political groups that were parts of the contra war during the Sandinista Revolution (1980s). The emancipation program of Sandino, the proponent of a new Nicaragua, goes beyond the limits of representative democracy, and the Sandinistas believe that participative democracy can be a better option. Signs of the participative democracy are the Consejos del Poder Ciudadano (Councils of Citizen Power). But the CPCs that politically activate marginalized citizens enrage groups of conquistador ancestry.

Thefore, the situation is more complex than it looks at first glance; any reasonable criticism must be aware of that.

(The author of this letter is neither a member of the FSLN nor belongs to the current Sandinista government, but he knows what happens in his country.)

Gustavo A. Gutierrez

Ames, IO

Nov 6 2008 - 4:36pm