|One for all, and all for the revolution: the leaders of Nicaraguay, Venezuela, someone, and Iran.|
The event was hosted by Ortega, a one-time Marxist revolutionary who is starting his second consecutive term, even tho Nicaragua's Constitution includes a one-term term limit. But Nicaragua's supremely-malleable Supreme Court ruled that the limit violated Ortega's 'human rights,' so he ran and won a second term amidst numerous accusations of electoral fraud.
Ortega's reelection "was made against Nicaragua's political Constitution which expressly prohibits the reelection," wrote Nicaraguan novelist Sergio Ramirez, who once fought in the Nicaraguan Sandinistas' communist revolution led by Ortega.
|Ortega campaign poster: |
Cristian, socialist and with solidarity.
Perhaps in attendance but for a medical problem was those nations' ideological ally Argentine Pres. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, herself recently reelected after succeeding her husband, now deceased, making almost a decade of Kirchner rule. Cristina Kirchner just passed a law imposing government control on the paper industry, an obvious strategem to muzzle the opposition El Clarin media group.
Also in attendance was Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadineyad, whose government violently repressed protests after his dubious reelection 'victory' and is, according to many western governments, developing nuclear weapons. From Nicaragua, Ahmadineyad visited ally Cuba, the hemisphere's only outright dictatorship, ruled by the Castro brothers since 1959. The contradictions between Islamic theocracy and Marxist atheism don't appear to bother either of them.
While these governments may share a revolutionary rhetoric, their policies have little in common. Kirchner recently angered the Catholic Church by pushing thru a law legalizing gay marriage, altho abortion is still almost always prohibited there. In contrast, Ortega, despite his Marxist past, got elected in 2007 by buying the support of the Catholic Church by agreeing to prohibit abortion in all cases. That's a strange sort of leftist revolution.
Venezuela, supposed leader of the Latin 'revolutions' - but where 'revolution' appears to mean government control and free handouts - has advanced in neither abortion nor gay rights. Iran, of course, is a repressive theocracy, in which free speech and women's rights are restricted, torture is used by the government and trials are a mockery, according to Human Rights Watch. But that hasn't stopped these supposedly progressive, socialist Latin nations from allying themselves with the Islamic Republic. Nor have they shied away from dictatorships like those of Syria, Libya and Belarus, or the increasingly authoritarian Russia.
This group of leaders has little in common, except for an empty revolutionary rhetoric, a love of power and antipathy toward the United States.
It used to be that tyrants siezed power with bloody military coups. But that produced bad P.R. These autocrats have found an easier way.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours