FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The 2016 Presidential Elections: a Report From Nicaragua

On November 6, Nicaragua held its national elections, two days before the US electoral theater of the absurd. I was asked to be an official election observer for the Nicaragua elections, one of 63 total from 44 countries. My first exposure to Nicaragua occurred in early 1986, thirty years ago, during the Reagan Contra terrorist war (1981-1990) ravaging the entire society with murders, rapes, arsons, and assassinations, attempting to overthrow the Sandinista (FSLN) -led revolution.

It was a welcome relief to be outside the US during our elections. Despite a constant barrage from the US State Dept of the corruption in Nicaragua (pot calling the kettle black), the unsafe conditions in and danger to tourists (more hypocritical rhetoric, since Nicaragua is far safer than all the other countries in Central America, and safer than the US), and more than a million dollars of funding from the US’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to fund dissent against the Nicaraguan government (more imperial meddling), the FSLN (Sandinista Liberation Front Party) won 70 of the 92 seats (76%) in the National Assembly, and its Presidential candidate, the much maligned revolutionary fighter Daniel Ortega, won with 72.5% of the vote of 3.8 million registered Nicaraguans.

The polling stations were generally located in schools or community centers, were well organized with trained volunteer staff, extremely safe and nonviolent, and voting was by very colorful/pictorial paper ballots. There was no intimidation, and it was very orderly. As observers, we could watch wherever we wanted to, inside and outside the polling stations.

The Ortega-Murillo government has been systematically demonized by the US for years. Though there are genuine issues relating to political policies and personal behavior of some members of the Nicaraguan government, they pale in comparison to the grotesque behavior of US politicians, and the country is not bombing, intervening, or torturing people around the world. Its programs elevating the status of the poor, expanding land reform, improving education and health care for more people, building transportation and communication infrastructure, and committing itself to assuring a high percentage of the nation’s energy from renewables (wind, solar, hydro, geothermal), and its control of drug trafficking while experiencing relatively low crime levels, makes it a nation that is exemplary compared to most others.

More articles by:

S. Brian Willson, as a 1st lieutenant, served as commander of a US Air Force combat security police unit in Viet Nam’s Mekong Delta in 1969. He is a trained lawyer who has been an anti-war, peace and justice activist for more than forty years. His psychohistorical memoir, “Blood On The Tracks: The Life and Times of S. Brian Willson” was published in 2011 by PM Press. A long time member of Veterans For Peace, he currently resides in Portland, Oregon

August 21, 2018
Anthony DiMaggio
Fascist Nation: The “Alt-Right” Menace Persists, Despite Setbacks
Chris Floyd
Dial “N” for Mayhem: Wording Our Way to a New Level of Hell
Creston Davis
The Education Impasse in the USA
Jonathan Cook
In Detaining Peter Beinart, Israel Has Declared it No Longer Represents Millions of Jews Overseas
Kshama Sawant
UPS Teamsters, We Have Your Back in this Fight
Kenneth Culton
Trump Supporters: the Joyous Cult Bound by Shared Story and Ritual
Andy Thayer
Why the Chicago ‘68 Convention Matters Today
Simone Chun
Sea of Tears: The Tragedy of Families Split by the Korean War
William Blum
The Russians Did It (cont.)
Manuel E. Yepe
How Capitalism Erodes Mental Health
Doug Noble
Thomas Mountain
Djibouti Faces Dark Days to Come; Eritrean Ports, Pipeline Threaten Ethiopian Trade Lifeline
Binoy Kampmark
Finding Fault and Faulty Infrastructure: Genoa’s Morandi Bridge Disaster
Kary Love
“Suffer Not the Little Children….”
Thomas Knapp
Omarosa Manigault Newman, Public Servant
August 20, 2018
Carl Boggs
The Road to Disaster?
James Munson
“Not With a Bomb, But a Whimper” … Then More Bombs.
Jonathan Cook
Corbyn’s Labour Party is Being Made to Fail –By Design
Robert Fisk
A US Trade War With Turkey Over a Pastor? Don’t Believe It
Howard Lisnoff
The Mass Media’s Outrage at Trump: Why the Surprise?
Faisal Khan
A British Muslim’s Perspective on the Burkha Debate
Andrew Kahn
Inhumanity Above the Clouds
Dan Glazebrook
Trump’s New Financial War on the Global South
George Wuerthner
Why the Gallatin Range Deserves Protection
Ted Rall
Is Trump a Brand-New Weird Existential Threat? No.
Sheldon Richman
For the Love of Reason
Susie Day
Why Pundits Scare Me
Dean Baker
Does France’s Economy Need to Be Renewed?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Mighty Voice for Peace Has Gone Silent: Uri Avnery, 1923-2018
Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail