Political analyst Manuel Orozco, director of Inter-American Dialogue, analyzes for DW the strategy of the Nicaraguan president to maintain political power at all costs.
in less than two weeks, Daniel Ortega Banished Nicaragua The European Union (EU) ambassador has cut ties with the Netherlands and denied entry to the new US ambassador.
He insulted Deputy Secretary of State Brian Nichols and lashed out at the president Gabriel Borich The Sandinista government for calling on the United Nations to release more than 200 political prisoners and creating new rifts in tensions with the Catholic Church, calling it a “perfect dictatorship.”
Unreasonable for some, messianic for others, Ortega has imposed silence after pacifying a 2018 social uprising with blood and lead that left more than 300 dead, thousands wounded and displaced at least 100,000 before ruling a country aged 77. increase. In Nicaragua, the fear of being imprisoned for speaking out dominates the daily lives of thousands today.
Why were Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, interested in confronting the United States and European nations? No? Deutsche Welle Talked About It With Political Analysts Manuel Orozco Washington-based director of the Inter-American Dialogue (DA), a forum of professionals dedicated to the analysis of international relations.
DW: What is Ortega betting on? Why this strategy of self-isolation and radicalization?
Manuel Orozco: Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo are committed to maintaining political power in Nicaragua indefinitely.
But with this authoritarian perspective comes a totalizing perspective similar to Cold War dictatorships. This shows more signs of the Talibanization of the country as it stifles and eliminates pluralism and bans freedom of expression. association and movement.
International isolation is consistent with this totalizing ideology as it allows us to detach any kind of terms, commitments or obligations with the world, be it international commitments on human rights or trade. increase.
Ortega thus avoids maintaining communication with the world, isolating Nicaragua from international condemnation.
Expulsion of Nicaragua’s head of EU delegation is unacceptable. An example of the democratic isolation that Ortega seeks.
We must apply the principle of reciprocity and continue to create ways to stand by the people of Nicaragua.https://t.co/PUWMKHgLV4
– Soraya Rodriguez (@sorayarr_) October 2, 2022
What role does Nicaragua’s alliance with Russia, Iran, and China play? Will Ortega stick to the support he believes he will receive from those governments until he eliminates the West?
Alliances are a practical, utilitarian way to maintain political control with other states that cause commotion in the United States. Russia is a country whose international actions follow Cold War plans because Putin relentlessly does not release Russian nationalism as the raison d’etre of expansionism.
China is a trade threat to the United States, but an irritant to Latin America and the Caribbean. Iran is an ideological environment that fosters anti-American extremism in the global age.
Taken together, these three allies are symbols of anti-imperialism. In the case of Russia, they do not represent a true alliance, except that Nicaragua’s military ties with Russia partially shift the balance of power.
These alliances are opportunistic, but the choice of these countries reflects Daniel Ortega’s hostile views, his resentment of modern life models in the global age, and the lack of representation, association, creed, or mobilization. Consistent with the philosophy of life without freedom.
Many have wondered why the international community seems paralyzed in the face of the Nicaraguan tragedy. Why can’t anyone stop Daniel Ortega?
Nicaragua is another example of the challenges posed by this complex era of cooperation, in the midst of a polarizing global dynamic.
Nicaragua today is represented by a ruling elite that has criminalized democracy, engaged in economic populism and the use of force. And as a result, international actors have been devastated by the scale of the regime-inflicted repression, and a proportionate response will require much mobilization and global coordination, which is difficult.
📍 “Today we want the Catholic Church #Nicaragua…Bishop Alvarez represents those who submit to the will of the dictator.”
– Public files (@ExpePublico) September 15, 2022
There is a generational dimension to this among those who manage foreign policy, which is that many do not come from the Cold War spectrum. At the time, the moral defenses of the Western way of life, the military defenses, and economics were the three tools at hand.As globalization increases, economics and multilateralism are among the most important sources of political pressure. are becoming one.
The moral defense of the life model has been questioned by many, and this generation faces difficulties in defending democracy as a way of life. Uncooperative states, such as dictatorships, make it more difficult for international pressure to work from within.
The era of soft power requires strong leadership with a moral character that firmly advocates the democratic way of life and the ability to use economic and multilateral pressure to correct the behavior of rogue states. Democracies are “waking up” to this reality and are reacting little by little.
For them, stopping cooperation with a country becomes a contradictory issue, and Nicaragua is a case in point, as shown by the ambiguity as to why Ortega is not being penalized using the Regional Trade Mechanism.
At a time when Europe and America have their sights set on major conflicts such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a nuclear threat from North Korea, what does international pressure on Nicaragua depend on?
International pressure will depend on the accuracy and purpose of the approach adopted. It’s hard to address precisely because the goal is cooperation, not regime change, and you need to know for sure what factors undermine the circle of power and intervene in the tools that do it.
Excluding Nicaragua from CAFTA (US-Central America Trade Agreement) is not necessarily the solution.
There are sanctions, but they are institutional on other levels. International loans, yes. Also the pressure of internal discord. The same goes for fighting disinformation and censorship.
But all this is a paradox, because there is no organized opposition in Nicaragua, there is no opponent in the international community.