I was reminded of the 2006 presidential election in Nicaragua that I witnessed while working in Managua on environmental projects for a large oil company. Indeed a Nicaraguan voter at that time could lose their job if they expressed or held allegiance to the wrong party. And many did.

Deception was key–a voter might publicly pledge allegiance to Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista Party (socialists) but in private despise him and vote for the other party. For a country of 6 million people the labyrinthine complexity of party and sub-party affiliations and associated colors (red, green, yellow, rainbow), flags, and territorial graffiti was impossible for any gringo to comprehend. Many flavors of candidates to choose from on but in reality only one possible outcome.

After the election was over the winning Sandinistas fired off enormous and deafening Chinese firecrackers (muy macho M-80s) for days on end and at all times of night. Raucous celebrations were held by Daniel supporters. The losers mostly cried and spent sleepless nights at home mourning the election loss and newfound unemployment. Well since that eventful 2006 election Daniel Ortega and his wife of many bracelets and bangles (La Chamuca, "the She-Devil or Witch" as called by the now powerless opposition) have taken control of and own most of the media stations, along with multiple businesses, much cattle, and of course all branches of the government. Irksome term limits have been dispensed with in homage to Hugo Chavez.

Ah, the power, the corruption…but somehow things move along in the Land of the determined Pinoleros. A friendly country to visit and one producing the finest rum, cigars and coffee. Nicaragua always carries in its heart the azurine dreams of its poet Ruben Dario and the charming waltz music of composer Jose de la Cruz Mena.

1) By coincidence, mas o minos –the current situation in Nicaragua:

"Ortega's grip on Nicaraguan politics opens the door to greater levels of corruption, as it weakens the independence of state institutions and puts a vast amount of power in the hands of a few elites. The president has been criticized for his control over congress, the police, the military and the courts. His family members and allies reportedly control fuel companies, television stations and public works, and his wife is now set to become the vice president."

2) The number of extinct Nicaraguan political parties is quite impressive.

anonymous writes: 

Your story is a good replica of the situation in Turkey. If you post it to anywhere and change Nicaragua with Turkey, hardly anybody will notice it.





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2 Comments so far

  1. Astro the dog on November 8, 2016 3:26 pm

    impossible for any gringo to comprehend…..speak for yourself as this was common practice in my uncles time as they were coal miners in eastern Penn.

    The Trump election here, will get over maybe well over the 50% of the Mexican population.

    Your read suggest such in happening, they live as we did and still do with corruption all around us.

    ‘no where to hide’ as they say..

  2. Yucheng Pan on November 9, 2016 4:13 pm

    I got the first part right, but… (new posting) by Yucheng Pan

    I followed IBD/TIPP poll, the most accurate in the previous three presidential elections, and correctly predicted a Trump win (the IBD poll put Trump 1.6% ahead on Nov. 7). As the market always dropped when Trump showed signs of winning, I prepared for a big drop by selling everything even including 401K and bought some puts. I congratulated myself when futures touched -5% limit down midnight but were rather dismayed when Russell shot up 3% now at 3 pm. The market mistress!


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