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Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo

Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo

Each week, LA Progressive’s editors pick what they regard as a particularly insightful comment from one of our readers, both to draw attention to one particular reader’s thoughts and to encourage more readers to weigh in with their opinions. This week’s pithy "Feedback Friday" response comes from Rosemary Jenkins, who commented on the article by John Peeler, "Nicaraguans Try Talking: Venezuela, Not So Much.

I was in Nicaragua many years ago when the Sandinistas were in charge under the leadership of Daniel Ortega. I was able to meet with many of the leaders. I was very impressed by what the government was able to do prior to the Contra War: free education including college (and 88% literacy rate). Free college meant a commitment by graduates to work in the community for four years to better the standard of living which was much improved compared to what it had been under Somoza. There were many other benefits which I shall not detail at this time.

I have always been saddened by how much we support banana republics and oppose those nations whose policies really are supported by and benefitting the rank-and-file citizen.

With the impact of the Contra War and the Contra backing by the U. S., that standard of living began to decline. The U. S. boycott made it impossible for parts to be replaced for cars, trucks, farm machinery, and so forth. One could see such machines rusting in the countryside and in the cities. As a result, the U. S. could claim that the socialism/communism under the Sandinistas just didn’t work, making U. S. claims a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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I have always been saddened by how much we support banana republics and oppose those nations whose policies really are supported by and benefitting the rank-and-file citizen.