On November 7, Nicaragua will return to the polls. It would be insufficient to explain the appointment with …
the polls as if it were only an election, because it is not. Sure, it certifies the degree of political consonance with Sandinismo, in power for 14 years, but it is not just a celebration of the fundamental rite of democracy, the recurring appointment with the popular verification of the government and parties. No, it is not an election like any other. This coming November 7 in Nicaragua is a date that certifies much more than a balance sheet, it is a vote that acquires a contextual and prospective value: it is, without any emphasis, a date with history.
Giovan Battista Vico was right, history is made of courses and recourses. Even on this side of the tropics, history keeps repeating itself, cyclically proposing the irreconcilability between independence and annexationism, underlining the insurmountable distance between opposite recipes and projects: between the war on poverty or the war on the poor, between the reduction or the widening of the social gap, between the universalization of rights for all or the affirmation of the privileges of a few, between citizens or consumers, between horizontal development or enrichment reserved for the elite.
This division, clear and visible at all times, has been the beating heart of Nicaraguan politics. More than before, the years since the last elections have been characterized by the existence of two opposing, not just different, political options in the country. On the one hand, the Sandinista option, a product of the war of liberation from the Somoza dictatorship and the revolutionary process of the 1980s, later taken up with greater force in its second phase of implementation, which began in 2007. It is a socio-political model anchored in the premise of independence and national sovereignty, and which sees in the multiparty system, mixed economy and socialist model of wealth distribution, the ideological framework on which to base itself. And it sees solidarity as a tool to level out inequality and not as an impromptu charitable act.
On the other hand, there is liberalism, which has in turbo-capitalism its socio-cultural link, which holds together the latifundium, the ecclesiastical hierarchies and the golpists. It is a doctrine inextricably linked to a class conception of the social and political organization of the state and society, to the vision of a country with a manifest colonial destiny. Convinced that any form of public dignity is a threat to the establishment, they religiously believe in a model that sees its recipe for survival in the structure of economic and political dependence and in military and cultural submission to the giant of the North. Basically an endogenous version of the Monroe Doctrine.
Misleading and unfounded controversy has accompanied the Nicaraguan justice investigation into a criminal organization laundering money and organizing a new coup attempt in response to the inevitable FSLN victory. The remaining landowners and unlikely impromptu leaders, who have been Sandinistas for ten years and anti-Sandinistas for the rest of their lives, have added shame to their personal and political defeat. They were abandoned by the businessmen who, after the armed conflict, realized their political insubstantiality and were rejected by all the electoral alliances, who understood their divisive nature and therefore never proposed unity or collaboration, rejecting their ambitions .
Thus the terrorists have conveniently chosen to withdraw from the electoral competition. The meager two percent attributed to them would have been difficult to reconcile with the history of the “people’s insurgents.” And, moreover, asking the international community not to recognize the electoral result by presenting only two percent of the consensus, would have turned the narrative of the alleged fraud into a moment of general hilarity. So terrorists will not be among the candidates and there will be no candidates among the terrorists. A good premise for a democratic vote.
For the first time, it’s back to the polls since the attempted coup in April 2018, when Nicaragua was rocked by fierce and unconscionable violence that kept the country in terror for three months. They were months of horror, with private enterprise attempting to devour the country and the church hierarchy playing second fiddle to the criminals, guiding, protecting and aiding them while pretending to mediate in the conflict. The toll was tragic: 1800 million dollars of damage to the economy, more than sixty dead among the ranks of the FSLN murdered in ambushes, more than 20 policemen killed, torture and sexual violence, assaults on the houses where the Sandinistas lived; ambulances, health centers, private homes and institutional headquarters set on fire in an explosion of drugged Luddism.