Sandinistas’ resurgence to power
The article of Kristen B. Shelby, entitled: ‘Sandinista Government Takes Power in Nicaragua’, which was featured in the Upside Down World online magazine on January 16th 2007, revealed the resurgence to power of the “Sandinistas” (revolutionary coalition founded in 1962 and named after the slain rebel-leader-founder Cesar Augusto Sandino) as a result of an election held on January 10th 2007 that elected Daniel Ortega as President. It can be recalled that Ortega once held the same capacity from 1985 to 1990.
According to Shelby’s article, Daniel Ortega was one of the revolutionary leaders of the Fedearcion Sandinista Liberacion National (FSLN) that toppled the Somoza dictatorship in a people’s uprising from 1978 to 1979. Shelby’s article claimed that it was the Nicaraguan electorates’ political consciousness in restoring national democracy in which the Nicaragua’s democratic restoration was “snatched” and drew political setbacks in the 1990’s US-financed election. This change of political leadership installed to Presidency Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, who belongs to the “rightist” political coalition that was supported by the US government during the domestic strife led by the “Contra” (opposition to Sandinista).
It is clear from Shelby’s findings that the political setback in Nicaragua could be withdrawn upon Daniel Ortega’s resurgence to power that offered political reconciliation to several opposition groups, specifically the remnants of the Contra rightist leadership. Based on Shelby’s article, President Ortega addressed the national reconciliation process by permitting the inclusion of Nicaragua to the world with the assurance of sustaining development and unrestricted exercise of national sovereignty in the face of “hegemonic pretensions”. It may be perceived from the article that the political leadership has led to a renewed hope in sustaining national democratic processes. However, Ortega’s governmental leadership’s attempt to ally with Iran could instigate the US government to support the Contra and defeat all of the national reconciliatory efforts and subsequently lead to domestic hostility.
The article, ‘A Primer Plan on Mexico,’ which was written by Laura Carlsen and was published in the electronic Narco News Bulletin last May 5, 2008 reported on the US government plan to militarize Mexico by providing the Mexican government with $1.4 million dollar budget to implement the “Merida Initiative” as a response to the looming effect of drug trafficking and transnational crimes that lead throughout Central America to the United States. Based on Carlsen’s report, the Merida Initiative, as a prime plan of the US government to aide the security measures in preventing drug trafficking, would not resolve the problems in the proliferation of drug-related crimes and other crimes in Mexico and in Central America. Moreover based on the article, while the Merida Initiative is yet another move of the US government to ensure homeland security, it could only lead to vulnerabilities of military corruption.
It may be analyzed that the comprehensive US foreign policy [that outlines the anti-terrorism campaigns] has much bearing with the Merida Initiative and the personal philosophical beliefs of President George Bush in “secured democratization” which means complimenting a military sanction in order to “preserve and secure” a democracy and its processes. The US foreign policy on anti-terrorism comprehensively defines the acts and qualifications of “terroristic acts”, in which drug-trafficking falls under.
The US “primer plan” to militarize Mexico through the Merida Initiative apparently inscribes the role of US troops which could be deployed and integrated together with the Mexican drug enforcers and the military organization. The façade of militarization could lead to more human casualties, in which the common workers in drug plantation and manufacturing factories are potential targets, while the operators of drug cartels connive with the local enforcers.
The Guatemalan mining
Dawn Paley, in her news article entitled, ‘Heads They Win, Tails You Lose’, which was published in the ZNet Web Site on May 12, 2008, reported about the Canadian firm Skye Resources’ mining operation in Northeast Guatemalan region of Izabal. As highlighted in Paley’s report, the Guatemalan government is on bended knees with Skye Resources to generate 6,000 jobs and collect revenue that amounts to approximately $54 million US dollars by the year 2009. However, according to Paley, Sky Resources has ceased its operation after three months due capital shortage. Consequently, the International Nickel Company (INCO) of Canada took over the operations.
Based on Paley’s report, the government collaboration with INCO has resulted in the unlawful reclamation of government land from hundreds of small land owners, specifically the farmers, for the purposes of mining operation. It also shows on the report that the massive economic disturbance was committed by the Guatemalan government in its obsession to generate mining revenues without legal and economic consideration to the effect to small land owners. The illicit collaboration of the Guatemalan government and members of Congress that upheld INCO’s mining operation would lead to extreme poverty and defeat the purpose of generating jobs in the Izabal region.
It may be reflected that the moves of the Guatemalan government to alleviate national poverty sacrifices several segments of society and substantial family units in order to pursue its foreign investments. This incident in Guatemala persists in most undeveloped and poor countries wherein corruptions and anomalies in foreign investment partnerships are rampant. In addition to the flaws in actual mining operation, it injudiciously excavates the baseline economic resource [aside from economic disturbance of inhabitants] towards the denudation of ecological landscape.
It may be concluded from news article that the continuing suffering of people in various communities is a reflection of the performance and role of governments and interaction in a society. The restored democracy from people’s uprising in Nicaragua could have paved the way towards economic restructuring and empowering national unity. However, the political directions narrate a cycle of turmoil upon a foreign initiative to align with an Islamist fundamentalist country, like Iran, that is well-known to have a hostile government. Although foreign diplomacy is in effect part of fostering international goodwill, it may cause “political jealousy” among other countries that abhor Islamist fundamentalism, most especially the United States.
Moreover, democratization may be opposed to militarization. However, a new genre of democratization is embedded in a cling to power. This may be exemplified by the consistent deployment of US troops in Iraq for the “sake” of securing democracy. Like the situation in Mexico, while the Merida Initiative underlines the US’ homeland seclusion and secures the borders from transnational crime, it may affect the lives of the Mexican people.
It is known to many that economic cooperation manifests a strong partnership between two governments that seek to radiate socio-economic development in a country with potential investments. However, economic cooperation in some degrees may deny critical consideration in utilizing the economy. The mining operation in Guatemala has become a “political obsession” of the government to gather the unimaginable proportion of revenues.
In effect, the disruption of economic base may not only suspend the normal livelihood activities but also cause the potential burden of ecological imbalance as a result of the mining operation.
Thus, from the point of view of analyzing the news article discussed, it can be concluded that the people and the government are two societal elements in a continuing historical change of political geography.
Carlsen, Laura. ‘A Primer Plan in Mexico’. 05 May 2008. Narco News Bulletin. 12 May
Paley, Dawn. ‘Heads They Win, Tails You Lose’. 12 May 2008. ZNet News. 12 May
Shelby, Kristen B. ‘Sandinista Government Takes Power in Nicaragua’. 16 January 2007.
Upside Down World. 12 May 2008 <http://upsidedownworld.org/main/content/view/588/62/>.