From Thu Nov 29 07:46:32 2001
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 11:16:57 -0600 (CST)
From: Dave Silver <;
Subject: Nicaragua and the Vietnam Vets Against the War
Article: 131137
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Nicaragua and the Vietnam Vets Against the War

By Dave Silver, 28 November 2001

Brothers and Sisters at VVAW,

Just received latest issue of the Veteran. Your statement on 9-11 was good and to the point. However I must dispute Bendettes article (The Promised Land, Nicaragua) on Nicaragua in general and Daniel Ortega in particular. Ortega came to New York in the late 80s while there was a raging debate in the FSLN organ Barricada on Perestroika and the new thinking which became the ideological underpinning for the successful counter revolution supported by US imperialist destabilization since 1917.

I and others asked the Commandante to spell out the Sandinista position on this new thinking as well as how it might affect the praxis of the FSLN.

He chose to have all of the questions from the floor translated and at the end evaded any direct and specific response to what I regarded as the most serious challenge to his government. Instead Ortega reiterated the calls for pluralism and democratization, favorite code words of anti-communist neo-marxist, New Left and Social Democratic currents.

The co-optation of the successful National Liberation struggle became very clear when the Defense Minister in the Chamorro government, Humberto Ortega visited Washington requesting millions in aid reassuring the State Department and Pentagon that the US colonialists need not fear another Cuba since they have chosen the neo-liberal path to development. As Bendettes article notes that Daniel is now proposing a transition commission ostensibly to clean up corruption before the elections. Along with the Sandinistas he includes the Liberals and Conservatives, many of whom are not only reactionary, but are perfect puppets for the US Transnationals who are eager to enrich themselves while massive portions of the population are in poverty.

We have already seen the benefits of neo-liberalist policies that follow the dictates of the IMF and World Bank in South Africa, Russia and elsewhere. This follows the pattern of betrayal in El Salvador and the neo-liberal policies of Aristedes Familie Lavalas party. The FDR/FMLN representative Arnaldo Ramos wrote in the Introduction to a book of Photos of his country that with the changes in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, we (the FMLN) can build a political and economic model acceptable to Washington. When I confronted him at a conference on Latin America and asked whether he thought that any model acceptable to US imperialism could possibly benefit the people of that country his response spoke volumes. He shouted we are not Cuba.

No, Ortega and his comrades no longer speak truth to empire as Benedette alleges. Rather he speaks of total accommodation to the transnational ruling class which can only spell disaster for the people.

In struggle

Dave Silver (