Tuesday, January 10, 2017

President Obama and Daniel Ortega: Legitimizing and empowering a dictator

Obama legacy: Nicaragua slides back into dictatorship

Strong man Daniel Ortega and President Obama in 2009

In Nicaragua in the 2016 elections the opposition was effectively banned by the Ortega regime. The Sandinista leader "ran" for a third consecutive term with his wife as his vice presidential candidate. It is important to remember that back in 2009 President Obama and Secretary of State met Daniel Ortega and embraced him. In 2011 Ortega "reformed" the constitution under dubious circumstances to be able to run for a third term. In 2015 Nicaragua was behaving aggressively on Costa Rica's border violating the country's frontier. Luckily it was resolved in an international court.

Recycled Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 
Tonight, as President Obama gave his farewell address to the United States as he leaves the Presidency of the United States in ten days, Daniel Ortega began his third term in office with his own wife as vice president following sham elections in Nicaragua. Press freedoms are in decline in the Central American country.

Despite normal relations and this high level outreach early in the Obama Administration the Ortega regime pursued closer relations with Russia and China. In April 2016 Nicaragua purchased 50 Russian battle tanks at a cost of $80 million. Vladimir Putin signed a new security agreement with Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega in 2016. 

Fifty Russian tanks now in Nicaragua
This is another example of the Obama Administration's failure in Latin America. Despite normal diplomatic and trading relations with the United States the communist ideology of the Sandinista regime under Daniel Ortega has a greater impact on their behavior and alliances.



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