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Central American University - UCA  
  Number 287 | Junio 2005
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Nicaragua

NICARAGUA BRIEFS

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CIVIL COORDINATOR GIVEN A RUN FOR ITS MONEY
The Civil Coordinator, an umbrella group of some 450 social organizations and NGOs formed originally to influence aid priorities and reconstruction policy following Hurricane Mitch, elected two new national liaisons on June 3: Georgina Muñoz, who heads the Nicaraguan Community Commerce Network (RENIC) and Violeta Delgado, at the helm of the Network of Women Against Violence for nine years. The FSLN structures tried hard to sway the election outcome, but without apparent success as both women declared that they would keep strengthening the Coordinator’s autonomy from political parties.

In May, some forty Sandinista community, union and social organizations, many of them members of the Civil Coordinator, formed their own umbrella organization, which they are calling the Social Coordinator. One of the promoters of this seemingly parallel superstructure is sociologist Orlando Núñez, who in recent months has begun actively justifying and defending the FSLN’s pact with the PLC.

MRS VOTES TO STAY IN THE NATIONAL CONVERGENCE
During its Congress on May 22, in which the Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS) celebrated a decade of existence after splitting from the FSLN, an intense debate resulted in a decision to remain in the National Convergence, a grouping of small parties, party fragments and personalities that has been allied with the MRS’ old party since 2000. In last year’s municipal elections, the MRS won 12 posts for mayor, deputy mayor or Municipal Council member as part of that alliance, and it now hopes that the FSLN will grant Convergence members a significant number of legislative candidacies in the upcoming presidential elections. So far, the MRS has not come out publicly in favor of any FSLN presidential aspirant.

Announcing the decision to remain within the Convergence, MRS president Dora María Téllez explained that her party “is not committed to anything the FSLN does unilaterally,” adding that the decisions the FSLN is making with the PLC in the Tripartite Dialogue “are not even being discussed in the Convergence. We have wanted to incorporate more sectors [into the talks], but the PLC and the FSLN don’t want anybody who’s not of their political stripes.” Telléz believes that Nicaragua’s political system has “collapsed” and dubbed the cyclical crises expressing that collapse a “microwave crisis” in that “it’s always there, constantly being reheated. When it cools down, we just pop it back in the oven for another five minutes.”

PRESIDENT BOLAÑOS HONORS TWO FAMOUS ANTI-SANDINISTAS
President Bolaños traveled to the United States during the second week of May, together with the other Central American Presidents and the President of the Dominican Republic, to join President Bush in pushing for approval of the regional free trade agreement with the United States known as CAFTA. During the four-day visit, the delegation fanned out into 10 cities to lobby for passage of the agreement, originally negotiated by all the Central American Presidents and later signed by the Dominican Republic. The treaty, shelved by the US Congress until after last November’s presidential elections, is now encountering serious difficulties in the United States, especially following its rejection by the powerful and highly subsidized US sugar-producing sector.
While in Washington, Bolaños presented the Great Cross of Nicaragua’s Order of Rubén Darío to two strenuous anti-Sandinista defenders of the “contra” war two decades ago: Republican Senator Richard Lugar and ideologue Jeanne Kirkpatrick, US ambassador to the UN during President Reagan’s term. That war, doggedly financed and directed from Washington despite opposition from a majority of US citizens and several multinational peace initiatives in which the Sandinista government participated actively, cost over 50,000 Nicaraguans and plunged the country’s economy back into the stone age. One can only wonder what Nicaragua’s famous 19th-century poet—who in his “Ode to Roosevelt” described the United States as “the future invader of our native Indian America”—would feel about these decorations in his name.

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