11 January 2007

Latin Americas move to the Left

Right wingers have always taken some sort of perverse pleasure in attacking good people on the left side of the political spectrum. From the dissapearings under Pinochet in Chile, to the violent repression during Francos rule in Spain, to the concentration camps in Germany under Hitler.

Daniel Ortega is a prime example of how people suffer persecution from conservatives. His rise to power followed a popular uprising against the brutal dictator, and American supported Samoza regime. He and the other revolutionaries quickly attempted to make life more fair for the poor, comprising a vast majority of the country, who had been systematically impoverished by Samoza and international corporations. His reward for trying to be a humanitarian...Ronald Reagan, a great speaker but incompetent leader, began to fuel illegal resources (money, weapons, and intel) to a newly formed rebel group, the Contras. The CIA smuggled drugs into the US to help fund them, and when the US Congress made financing them illegal, Reagan sold weapons to the Iranian government (who had just held US hostages a few years before) funneling the proceeds to the rebels in the Iran Contra affair. This heinous and immoral act was caught, but not punished (except for a public humiliation of Oliver North).

In any case, to make a long story short, this illegal activity coupled with an economic embargo and support for opposition groups eventually led to the tense days leading to the defeat of Ortega in democratic elections. Since 1990, he has continued to work for the benefit of the larger society, and partly as a result of the continued exploitation by international corporations and the resulting financial mess for the masses, Ortega was elected president of Nicaragua.

He joins other progressive leaders in most of Latin America, including Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Cuba. In fact, only Columbia, Mexico, Peru, and a handful of Central American nations have corrupt right wing leaders. The move of Latin America to the political left is very refreshing to see. The US has marched further and further into the arms of the irrational right since the 70s, the wrong direction for social justice and economic fairness. Congratulations Daniel Ortega, your victory brings hope to us all.