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Nicaragua

Two paths in the face of the capitalism’s global fracture

Some of the presidents of the ALBA bloc.

By Luis Bilbao, translated from the December 2008-January 2009 issue of America XXI by Federico Fuentes, for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal. Luis Bilbao will be a featured international speaker at the World at a Crossroads conference, in Sydney, April 10-13, 2009.

In defence of Nicaragua's sovereignty, in opposition to imperialist destabilisation

December 21, 2008 -- This is an appeal in defence of Nicaraguan sovereignty, in opposition to an imperialist destablisation campaign to undermine, and possibly topple, the Sandinista government. The pretext, phoney as usual, is the claim that the municipal elections in November were rigged.

But the real aim of this phoney campaign is to blackmail and intimidate the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) government to back down -- and override the will of the majority as expressed in the election and as recognised by the Supreme Electoral Council that includes both FSLN and opposition party supporters. The heavy armament of the campaign is the blocking and withdrawal of important international aid, especially on the part of the USA and some European countries.

The letter below will be presented at the official celebration of the anniversary of the inauguration of the current president on Janaury 10, 2009.

To give your support to this letter, send an email to carta@tortillaconsal.com

Class war and the Anglican schism

By Barry Healy

July 29, 2008 -- Dramatic events within the worldwide Anglican Communion (the international association of national Anglican churches) have revealed a “cold split” with the potential for a complete collapse of the Episcopal formation. Superficially, the debates have centred on the right of women and homosexuals to be priests and bishops, and on gay marriage. However, while theological arguments dating back centuries are being mouthed, behind them are class-war elements of more recent vintage, including some connected with the era of US President Ronald Reagan’s backing of Central American death squads in the 1980s.

African bishops have led the charge against modernity, but they are funded and organised by right-wing US think tanks and the Sydney Anglicans’ arch-reactionary Archbishop Peter Jensen. Another player is the Vatican, which has been reported as throwing its resources behind Anglican Primate Rowen Williams.

Latin America's struggle for integration and independence

By Federico Fuentes

Caracas, July 26, 2008 -- Commenting on how much the two had in common — same age, three children, similar music tastes — Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said to Mexican President Felipe Calderon on April 11 that “perhaps we represent the new generation of leaders in Latin America”. He added, however, that one difference still remained: Calderon had still not become a socialist. “Being right wing is out of fashion in Latin America … Join us, you are always welcome.”

The election of Fernando Lugo as Paraguayan president seems to confirm the idea of a new fashion for presidents. The former priest joins the ranks of current Latin American presidents that includes two women (Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Argentina and Michelle Bachelet in Chile), an indigenous person (Evo Morales in Bolivia), a former militant trade unionist (Lula da Silva in Brazil), a radically minded economist (Rafael Correa in Ecuador), a doctor (Tabare Vasquez in Uruguay), a former guerrilla fighter (Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua) and a former rebel soldier (Hugo Chavez in Venezuela).

July 19, 1979: Nicaragua's Sandinista revolution remembered -- Video by John Pilger

 

On July 19, 1979, the Nicaraguan people led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew the brutal US-backed dictator Somoza. In this film, made by John Pilger in the 1980s, the background to the revolt and the gains won -- and the United States' virulent opposition -- are graphically explained.

Who’s afraid of Liberation Theology?

By Barry Healy

[This is the text of a talk presented at the Marxism Summer School conducted by the Australian Democratic Socialist Perspective in January 2005. The pope referred to is the then-reigning Pope John-Paul II. The current Pope Benedict XVI is mentioned, being Cardinal Ratzinger at the time this talk was presented. See the appendices for more on Ratzinger and his background.]

I have an acquaintance who is a staunch supporter of the Liberal Party and a fundamentalist Christian, she occasionally gives me a lift to the railway station in the morning, which I appreciate. I didn’t know her religious bent until one morning she started regaling me with her opinion of Marxism, which was entirely based on the one sentence written by Marx that she knew: “Religion is the opium of the people.”

I don’t think she could even give a coherent explanation of the sentence, let alone an understanding of its context. She just knew that it was godless communism and that was enough for her.

Characteristics of the experiences underway in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia

By Eric Toussaint

June 27, 2008 -- In Latin America, if we exclude Cuba, we can point to three general categories of governments. First, the governments of the right, the allies of Washington, that play an active role in the region and occupy a strategic position: these are the governments of Álvaro Uribe in Colombia, Alan García in Peru and Felipe Calderón in México.

Second, we find supposed “left” governments that implement a neoliberal policy and support the national or regional bourgeoisies in their projects: Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Nicaragua and the government of Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, from Argentina’s Peronists. They are governments that implement a neoliberal policy that favour grand capital, covered up with some social assistance measures. In effect, they make it a bit easier to swallow the neoliberal pill by applying social programs. For example, in Brazil poor families receive a bit of help from the government, which assures them popular support in the poorest region of the country.

Nicaragua: Anti-FSLN opposition seeks unity to topple Ortega government

By Felipe Stuart Cournoyer

Managua -- On June 11, 2008, the axe of Nicaragua’s Supreme Electoral Council (CSE) came down on the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS[i]) and the old historic Conservative Party of Nicaragua (PCN), now a tiny shell of its former self. The CSE unanimously decided to deregister both parties on the grounds that they had failed to fulfill the requirements of the national electoral law.

Nicaragua: What alternative do President Daniel Ortega's opponents propose?

By Domingo Quilez, introduction and translation by Felipe Stuart Cournoyer

June 6, 2008 -- In February, the rift between the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS)[1] and the Movement for the Recovery of Sandinismo (MpRS or the Rescate Group)[2] began to widen and become more public. Although still in an electoral alliance, the Rescate Group (whose main leaders are Comandantes Henry Ruiz and Mónica Baltodano) has made clear its disagreement with the MRS policy of trying the embrace the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance Party (ALN) and Eduardo Montealegre in some kind of electoral alliance or ``movement against the dictatorship'' (meaning the presidency of the FSLN's Daniel Ortega). Montealegre's decision to run as Managua mayoralty candidate for Arnoldo Alemán's Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC) has put the skids under any electoral MRS alliance with him and the ALN that he formerly led. The ALN is now tangoing with the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

The MpRS is endorsing the MRS candidates in the November municipal elections, but it is apparent that differences continue to surface between these allies.

The Latin American Left in the '90s: Interview with Daniel Ortega

LINKS: The world has radically changed and in many countries we've seen profound crisis and obstacles for the left and a decline In Its political activity. In this context, LINKS aims to encourage genuine discussion and debate around the Ideas of socialist renewal. We asked for this Interview because we have an enormous Interest In the developments In Nicaragua and the role of the FSLN. We will start by asking your opinion of the Sao Paulo Forum

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