Tag Archives: nicaragua

Cable, not Corbyn, is right on Venezuela

The most famous example is in the 1960’s: the Cuba of Fidel Castro turned dictatorial after he let the Soviet Union take over training domestic policing and his secret service (in exchange for buying up his sugar an most of Cuban cigars; see Tad Szulcs biography of Fidel).

But also in the 1980’s the regime of Robert Mugabe over Zimbabwe appeared to start out in 1980 as a better alternative to South African Apartheid, but there the instant imposition and eternal prolongation of the State of Emergency, the role of the North Korean (guaranteed Stalinist) military training mission, their Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade pupils and their Gukurahundi 1983-7 offensive  suppressing Nkomo’s democratic opposition, disillusioned many supporters very fast. When in 1987 the presidency got real executive powers and Nkomo’s party was absorbed in Mugabe’s regime, things turned sour “for keeps”, resulting in misrule, murderous peasant evictions, clobbering opposition leaders to a pulp, and hyperinflation.

The 1979 Sandinista revolt in Nicaragua under Daniel Ortega kept on the democratic, progressive path during the 1980’s, but after losing the 1990’s election Ortega forced social democratic party veterans like Ernesto Cardenal and novelist Sergio Ramírez out, becoming  more autocratic. Ortega and his clique in 1990 kept the nationalized enterprises as their property, and after returning to government in 2006, Ortega was illegally re-elected president in 2011. Ortega, having fought the Roman Catholic hierarchy up to 1990, co-operated with the orthodox wing of that church (archbishop Obando) after returning to government in 2006, banning abortion in all circumstances (his main campaign issue and that of the “liberals”. Human Rights Watch since reported that bleeding pregnant women don’t get treated for fear of breaking that ban, and the Health Ministry ignores complaints about pre- and postnatal care.

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Map error causes military invasion

No, this isn’t a plot from a political satire but it’s a bona fide news story:

An error on Google Maps has caused an international conflict in Central America.

A Nicaraguan military commander, relying on Google Maps, moved troops into an area near San Juan Lake along the border between his country and Costa Rica.* The troops are accused of setting up camp there, taking down a Costa Rican flag and raising the Nicaraguan flag, doing work to clean up a nearby river, and dumping the sediment in Costa Rican territory.

La Nacion — the largest newspaper in Costa Rica — says

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  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 12:38pm
    MPs would be absolutely mad to put no deal on a ballot, and the EU will not grant an extension for such a crazy purpose....
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 12:18pm
    Joseph Bourke, the only somewhat beneficial Brexit resolution is its cancellation, the sooner the better. Consequently, compensating public "investment" might have some payback only in...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jan - 12:02pm
    Arnold, point taken that public investment cannot of itself resolve the structural damage to the economy that Brexit would involve. But what we are talking...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 11:50am
    Peter Martin, the Berlin example supports my viewpoint. Bonn continues to do ok as part of the old "rheinischer Kapitalismus" area, while Berlin continues to...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jan - 11:36am
    PeterMartin, economic growth athough slowing over the longer term has a relatively consistent trend of a little over 2%. Investment spending and spending on public...
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 21st Jan - 11:25am
    @David Beckett You can blame Sir Winston Churchill for that. When the House of Commons was bombed in WW2, it was the Government that he...