Nicaraguan socialist dictator Daniel Ortega looks set for his Ceausescu moment, thanks to Trump
Daniel Ortega, the rabid, "freely elected" dictator of Nicaragua, and a guy who's been at it for so long that even the great Ronald Reagan knew about him and loathed him, has been having some problems in the Cuba-style hellhole he created in the name of "social justice."
The socialist thug has been siccing his goons to shoot protesters dead in the streets after a few of the youthful ones got the ball rolling with protests against his long, corrupt rule. Get a load of how bad it was, according to the BBC:
Some students said they had been beaten and tortured by police while in custody. The claims could not be independently verified.
Images on social media showed some, visibly distressed and with their heads shaved, as they were released.
At least 25 people are reported to have died in days of violent protests.
The unrest started last Wednesday when hundreds of people, mainly pensioners, took to the streets of the capital, Managua, to protest against changes to the country's social security system.
Protesters and some journalists covering the demonstration were set upon by men wearing motorcycle helmets who beat them with metal pipes and electric cables.
Obviously, this is a regime with big problems holding on. It can't let protests burn themselves out, as is typically done in Latin America, because it sees them as a mortal threat. So the regime slaughters a few dozen to discourage the others.
The likely most discussed reason will be that it has lost its patron, Venezuela, as a supplier of cheap oil and corrupt opportunities for the elites to line their pockets. Less likely to be discussed is that socialism is an inherently unsustainable system premised on free stuff and some animals being more equal than others, sucking the life out of the legitimate economy.
Like all socialist regimes, Nicaragua never had a viable economic model. It was always dependent on some sugar daddy, whether in Moscow or in oil-rich Caracas, to pay its bills. Venezuela's socialist oil supply eventually ran out.
With the oil and the money attached to it gone, the protests have started and are certain to get bolder as the social-justice nightmare fails to adapt a sustainable economic model. Lately, Venezuela has seen the same thing, less from its starving people than from scorn among its neighbors. Just as Reagan branded Ortega the skunk at the garden party of democracy, so Peruvians have branded Venezuela's dictator, Nicolás Maduro, the pig at the garden party of democracy.
The free stuff is gone, but the socialist government control remains.
There's actually another factor likely at work in Nicaragua's case, and this can be credited to the bold actions of President Trump.
Trump recently refused to renew the temporary protected status of Nicaragua's refugees and illegal aliens here in the U.S. Nicaragua was never a huge exporter of immigrants, probably because they were just too poor to pay smugglers, but the country did register on the list of countries that ships illegals.
Following Nicaragua's refusal to support the U.S. in some condemnatory move in the United Nations (unlike smarter Honduras and Guatemala), Trump ordered Nicaragua's (and El Salvador's) temporary refugees to be shipped back, while Guatemala's and Honduras's got to remain.
In the past, gamy third-world regimes have used emigration as a safety valve for keeping protests and discontent against them to a minimum. After all, when one has the opportunity to move to the States, why stay home and protest the regime? As an added bonus, these regimes have benefited handsomely from the remittances sent by their exported potential malcontents, which is why they have all been so loud about defending illegal immigration to the states.
The Trump move shut down that safety valve for Nicaragua. And it didn't take long for the streets to explode in anger. Now the violent goon-style suppression has started, and there is no let-up in sight.
Daniel Ortega is just old enough to know what happened with the regime of Romania's monster dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, at the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, when public anger was unmatched by sufficient repression. He also knows that Assad of Syria has survived by being a slaughterer of his own locals. He knows that the force he uses has to be overwhelming to survive now because the match has now been lit. In the internet age and as Latin America swings rightward, his use of force may not work as well as he thinks.
Couldn't happen to a nicer socialist dictator in a brutal leftist thug regime.
Image credit: Ion Chibzii via Flickr, Creative Commons SA 2.0.