All eyes are on Venezuela — to the extent they’re on Latin America at all. But spare a glance for Nicaragua. The Nicaraguans are going through hell right now as the dictator, Daniel Ortega, has cracked down hard. He has made a special villain out of Felix Maradiaga — Jay’s guest on this “Q&A.” The regime has good reason to fear and hate Maradiaga: He is a bold and thoughtful advocate of democracy. In this podcast, he takes us through the Nicaraguan situation, past, present, and even future. A most illuminating interview. A bracing one, too.

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There are 2 comments.

  1. Coolidge

    I keep hearing that Ortega is ruining Nicaragua. It’s too bad we can learn lessons from past socialist failures.

    • #1
    • February 28, 2019 at 2:28 pm
    • Like
  2. Member

    This is an excellent interview. I have one quibble. He admits it was marxist in the 70’s and 80’s but says not so much now. I know of nothing that would make me think Ortega is not a marxist; just because he acts like a typical Latino dictator? so did Chavez and Maduro and Castro, as well as Allende. Now the Soviets no longer exist and Putin can’t cast so wide a net, Venezuela is broke and crumbling. Maybe China will use it. I haven’t a clue. Cuba depends on what it extracts from drugs and from Venezuelan oil which is declining rapidly. Ortega is a Nicaraguan marxist thrown out of office for being one. He was attacked by the US supported contras in Nicaragua and when the US invaded Panama, Ortega figured he was next in line. He was almost certainly wrong, but he didn’t understand us any more than we understand them. He moved aside, he didn’t leave. He took control of the Nicaraguan armed forces and used it to kill the Contra leadership and stay on top of matters. We lost interest and stopped paying attention and he came back. I’m glad this discussion has taken place here. He needs to go. 

     I think this young man is right that Nicaragua will need international supervision of some kind. They are poorer now than ever and they’ve always been poor. Should we role it into our Venezuela Cuban policy, let Colombia lead in Venezuela, I don’t know who can lead in Nicaragua maybe Nicaraguans with the US playing a strongly supporting role, but Honduras and Salvador are also basket cases, consumed by drugs and crime with the Cubans and Venezuelan’s playing roles there. The whole place is in play. I think we have to start paying attention now that we have a leader that is capable of understanding basics. Maybe we just let the Colombians deal with Venezuela with our air support at the ready, which they’ll need at least to chase Maduro to Cuba. Without Venezuelan oil what will the Cuban’s do? We can wait a while to find out or role it into one policy. I don’t know.

    • #2
    • February 28, 2019 at 3:19 pm
    • 1 like