Reports from the ground in Managua indicate an ongoing uprising against the Leftist government of Daniel Ortega. Clashes between protesters and the government security forces as well as regime-sponsored Sandinista street thugs have left at least 10 dead and hundreds injured, according to Rueters.
Protests began in response to Ortega’s proposed tax increases on an already highly strained economy rife with poverty. According to interviews conducted by on the ground reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the increases appear to be the final straw. From various social media sources emanating from Managua, the primary profile of the protesters are students from the University Nacional, or UN for short, located in Managua. Most significant is the appearance of support and resurgence of traditionally Right Wing groups, such as la contrarrevolución, more commonly known as Contras .
If true, this indicates a social shift in the perspective of the nation’s youth, which traditionally slant towards Leftist causes. The legacy of Ortega’s failures and the brutal crackdown on dissent at the hands of his Marxist-leaning regime no doubt adds fuel to the reality of communist structural inequality and class immobility. Ortega, an outspoken opponent of US interests in the 1980s, served as junta leader and national president from 1979 to 1990 and continues to be the political face of the communist Sandinista movement. That movement, which waged a viscous civil war against US supported anti-communist Contra freedom fighters, curtailed most civil rights of citizens including enabling indefinite detainment without due process, ending moratoriums on torture and summarized executions as well as freedoms of assembly and the press all within one year of being elected on the promise of abolishing such infringements. Post-civil war, the Sandinistas lost political power and were replaced by business-friendly interests which led to stronger economic policy for the nation’s poor, which were unfortunately short lived. Returning to power in 2007, Ortega has instituted a number of Leftist authoritarian reforms which have greatly eroded the personal liberties and economic freedom of the nation’s inhabitants and in particular, those politically opposed.
The ongoing unrest seems to be increasing and will likely lead the nation into further conflict in the coming weeks. A resurgence of the Contras is a strong sign that the nation’s educated youth are highly disenchanted with the current state of affairs brought on by the failure of authoritarian institutionalized Leftism. The Liberty Movement is once more taking hold in Managua, and Godspeed to them. American Partisan will continue to monitor the events and provide updates as they occur.