Tuesday, June 15, 2004

D'Escoto, Reagan & the "demoralizing ethical hara-kiri" of the FSLN

It is quite telling that declarations by former foreign minister Miguel D'Escoto, eulogizing Reagan as "the butcher of my people," are circulating so widely and indiscriminately in the progressive media and via email. What does this tell us? That the U.S. progressive community has ignored Central America for so long that they fail to realize how people like D'Escoto are deeply discredited among the Latin American left. Read this interview with him a few years ago, done by Carlos Fernando Chamorro for his very good weekly Confidencial, and you can see how indeed he's an unrepentant member of the inner circle of that infamous Nicaraguan caudillo, Daniel Ortega,

For years now, it has been said that no one of any integrity is left among the Sandinista leadership. That's not just my opinion: if you look closely, you'll see that the Nicaragua Network is no longer a shill for the FSLN; and in the current issue of NACLA, Alejandro Bendaña documents the decline of the FSLN, citing here the opinion of various standard-bearers of the Latin American left:

According to Chilean journalist Marta Harnecker, “The conduct of many Sandinista leaders provided fodder for negative press campaigns by the opposition, and leading [sic] to an increased separation between Sandinista leaders and their support base.” Jesuit priest and one-time economic advisor to the Sandinista government Xavier Gorostiaga recalls how “the ‘bourgeoisification’ of the Sandinista leadership increased their isolation from people’s real needs.” What caused its division and disintegration, writes Gorostiaga, “was the personal ambition of the leadership who sought the success of their own projects rather than the consolidation of an alternative model.” The tremendous moral and human effort by a small republic in the Empire’s backyard was eventually undermined and corrupted by a “demoralizing ethical hara-kiri,” he adds. Eduardo Galeano laments that the Sandinistas lost the 1990 presidential elections “on account of a devastating and draining war. And afterwards, as usually happens, some of the leaders sinned against hope, incredibly turning against their own sayings and their own work.”
There is much to mourn about the Reagan administration policy toward Central America. It's just too bad that the attention span of U.S. progressives is such that they misguidedly promote the views of people they assume to be ideological soulmates, but who in fact have deeply tarnished pasts.

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