November 18, 2010

Ah, those leftist dictators

Back in 1979, a guy named Daniel Ortega led a revolution over a nasty dictator in Nicaragua. He was successful in large measure because he and his cohorts -- the FSLN or Sandinistas -- weren't entirely truthful about their revolutionary intentions. They were, in fact, Marxist-Leninists. So it was such that new American president, Ronald Reagan, began a counter-revolution led by the "Contras," mostly disaffected Sandinistas fed up with Ortega and co. The ensuing civil war was largely successful in that Ortega eventually agreed to free elections, and to his huge credit he actually went along with the results -- his defeat in 1990.

Well, he's been back since. In 2007 he was elected president of the country again. And no good leftist bigwig can stay true to his word for long, it seems. Lately, many of my friends from Costa Rica have been really upset. Why? Ortega has swiped a Costa Rican island for Nicaragua:

Unfortunately throughout both countries’ histories, it has become a norm that the Nicaraguan political class picks conflicts with Costa Rica in order to distract attention from domestic problems and rally nationalist support at home. Ricardo Jiménez, a Costa Rican president in the early 20th century, once said that Costa Rica had three seasons during the year: the rainy season, the dry season, and the season of conflicts with Nicaragua.

This time around hasn’t been different. Approximately 20 days ago, a dredging project of the San Juan River, whose right bank serves as the border between both countries, led to an incursion of the Nicaraguan army into Costa Rican territory. The conflict area is an uninhabited island (approximately 60 square miles) at the mouth of the San Juan River. Aerial pictures show the destruction of tropical forest in the island—which is part of a protected area in Costa Rica—in what seems like an effort to detour the San Juan River at the expense of Costa Rican territory.

Just like his buddy Hugo Chávez of Venezuela (and too many other nutjob lefty dictators), Ortega is using this home-spun aggression as a rallying cry against, remarkably, “Costa Rica’s expansionist agenda” -- even though Costa Rica hasn't had an army since 1949. And, just like idiot Chávez, Ortega has attempted to prolong his power despite constitutional restrictions:

Since the Nicaraguan constitution bars him from running for a third term (he was president in 1985-1990), Ortega tried unsuccessfully to have the constitution amended by the National Assembly, where his Sandinista party lacks a majority to do so. However, through judicial shenanigans facilitated by a Supreme Court and an Electoral Tribunal packed with Sandinista allies, Ortega is likely to run again next year.

Costa Rica's only recourse is to protest at various international organizations. And where's the United States, for cripe's sake? The Messiah was all up in arms about Manuel Zelaya's ouster as president of Honduras back in 2009 because of similar constitutional shenanigans in his country -- and despite Honduras' legislature and Supreme Court supporting his removal from office. So why isn't he at his teleprompter telling Danny O. to get the f*** out of the Switzerland of the Americas, a pacifist nation with no armed forces??

He's taking a neutral stand in it all. NEUTRAL!!!

State is taking a carefully worded, almost neutral stand in the dispute between Costa Rica -- our ally, and the world's most pacifist country -- and Nicaragua, a key player in Hugo Chavez's group of Latin strongmen.

Last month, Nicaragua sent troops into a jungle area at the mouth of the San Juan River, which has long been determined by mediators to be on Costa Rica's side of the border. The excuse for the invasion: Google Maps recently showed the area as part of Nicaragua.

State Department spokeswoman Viriginia Staab told me yesterday that "we encourage both sides immediately to distance any armed military and civilian security forces from the disputed area and avoid provocative rhetoric and actions."

Costa Rica's deputy UN ambassador, Saul Weisleder, told me Washington's low-key support of his country is meant to avoid riling the region's anti-Yanqui-imperialist hotheads while other countries do the heavy lifting. But, really -- "Both sides"? "Armed forces"? "Provocation"? Again, Costa Rica has no military -- it merely sent some policemen in to stare at the troops occupying its soil.

Indeed, State should be doing more, if only because Google was relying on State Department data when it mislabeled the land in question. (Link.)

If Obama is SO apologetic for America's past actions in the hemisphere that he cannot even defend a peaceful, army-less country, then he is a much bigger dolt than I ever thought possible.

Posted by Hube at November 18, 2010 06:49 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Really...I much bigger dolt than you imagined? You underestimate his doltishness!

Posted by: cardinals fan at November 18, 2010 08:27 PM

Ya think Kim Jong-Il was paying attention?

Posted by: soccer dad at November 24, 2010 10:44 AM

Indeed, SD!!

Posted by: Hube at November 24, 2010 10:47 AM

First time as tragedy: USSR v Finland; second time as farce: Nicaragua v Costa Rica.

Poor Costa Rica couldn't even play Finland in the movies.

Anyone up for getting an armed party to clear the island? Shouldn't take more than 20 or 30 Americans.

Posted by: tehag at November 24, 2010 05:44 PM

Count me in!

Posted by: Hube at November 25, 2010 08:25 AM

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