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Friday, June 06, 2008

Leftie Nicaraguan U.S. critic made UN assembly president -- update: Daniel Ortega missing

An Communist American-born Catholic priest is president of the next UN Assembly:

Nicaraguan U.S. critic made UN assembly president
A former Nicaraguan leftist foreign minister who has been a sharp critic of U.S. governments was elected on Wednesday as the next president of the U.N. General Assembly.

But within hours of his election, Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann said he wanted to turn a page on his past comments and work with the United States and other countries. Washington's U.N. envoy said he had similar assurances and would wait and see.

D'Escoto was elected by acclamation by the 192-member assembly after standing unopposed as candidate of Latin American and Caribbean countries, whose turn it is to hold the post. He will assume the year-long job in mid-September.

The assembly president has little power but chairs an annual gathering of world leaders in late September. He or she also presides over regular assembly debates, many on development issues, and oversees a long-running drive to expand membership of the powerful U.N. Security Council.

D'Escoto, 75, was foreign minister in the left-wing Sandinista administration that ruled Nicaragua from 1979-90, during which time it fought against an insurgency by U.S.-backed Contra rebels.
The "former" Sandinista is also a Catholic priest:
The son of a diplomat, D'Escoto was born in Los Angeles and ordained as a Roman Catholic priest. He espoused the left-wing liberation theology movement within the Catholic Church and backed the Sandinistas in the late 1970s, earning a reprimand from Pope John Paul II for involvement in politics.
Since the article does not mention that D'Escoto was not defrocked I assume he is still a priest. Like Fernando Lugo, the recently-elected president of Paraguay, he's another liberation theology-devotee who embraced Communist guerillas in the 1960s and 1970s.

Here in the USA we might elect a President closely aligned with black liberation theology. For more on that, please read Obama, Black Liberation Theology and Karl Marx parts one and two.

Listen to Faustas blog on internet talk radioWe'll be talking about liberation theology in today's podcast at 11AM Eastern. Please join us.

In other Nicaraguan news, Chávez oil fails to stem Nicaragua crisis
As the situation worsens, a growing chorus of critics are questioning the oil promises made to Nicaragua under the label of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA - Chávez's leftist trade alliance among Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

"ALBA is a mystery enveloped in a cloud of fog, wrapped in an enormous enigma," Mr. Aguirre says.

Though the lawmaker says that Venezuelan aid could "theoretically" be a great help to an impoverished country such as Nicaragua, the secrecy with which ALBA has been handled by Ortega has only fueled criticism and conjecture.

European donor countries – as well as the International Monetary Fund, opposition lawmakers, civil society, and the national media – have all asked for an explanation of Venezuelan aid under ALBA. But so far Ortega has remained tight-lipped, aside from admitting that Venezuelan aid to Nicaragua already totals $520 million.
D'Escoto's patron Daniel Ortega doens't want people to know where that half a billion dollars is going to:
Economists, too, are unable to explain ALBA, or account for the $520 million that Venezuela has supposedly given to Nicaragua – money that Ortega manages in a separate discretional fund with no third-party oversight.

Ortega's explanation of ALBA aid – including $35.3 million for unidentified "social programs" and $60.6 million for "other programs" – has done little to satisfy the opposition's call for transparency and accountability.
We'll keep an eye on this story; Nicaragua's regime is the most vulnerable of all the regimes Hugo's propped up so far.

Maggie reminds me that Obama's willing to send the UN trillions of dollars.

UPDATE
Apparently no one knows where Daniel Ortega's gone to after the Rome conference... Must have been some partee! The Nicaraguan press says he's governing by remote control (link in Spanish via Kate).

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6 Comments:

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At 11:58 AM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

D'Escoto idetififed himself as a priest in the press conference. The only little bit of information that illuminated the issue for me was that he was still a Maryknoll priest.

I know there really are still communists and Communists in the world but sometimes its like reading about some Japanese soldier being found hiding in a cave who never heard that the war was over and that he could go home without violating his orders.

But being made president of the UN General Assembly, whoo hoo! That proves there is a God and He has a wicked sense of humor!

 
At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Gringo said...

Fausta:
QUIEN ES QUIEN EN NICARAGUA by Manuel Jiron has some juicy tidbits on Escoto, if my memory serves me correctly. Check it out at the Princeton Library. Such as: the origins of his surname. His father’s position in the Somocista court. To whom Mr. Escoto gave his first mass. I wish that some enterprising journalist should ask his opinion of the joint proclamation between Nicaragua and the USSR, since Escoto was foreign minister at the time.
“The USSR and Nicaragua declare their resolute condemnation of the campaign unleashed by the reactionary and imperialist forces with respect to the events in Afghanistan,”
Circa March 23 1980 Barricada, and Central American Crisis Reader. That Escoto did not come along to Moscow to sign that joint proclamation shows that he was just a talking head. Someone to parade in front of the Gringos.

As you might know by now, I do not have a high opinion of Escoto. Having Read Jiron’s book, I do not write “D’Escoto.”

 
At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Gringo said...

Fausta: bad link on "governed by remote control."

 
At 11:25 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Gringo: Here is the link for the "remote control" http://www.laprensa.com.ni/archivo/2008/junio/02/noticias/nacionales/263221.shtml

 
At 5:09 PM, Anonymous Alfredo Rivas said...

Good article Fausta. I don't think that D'Escoto was defrocked. However,when Pope John Paul II visited Nicaragua in 1983, he openly scolded Cardenal (another liberation theologist), when he knelt before the Pope on the Managua airport runway, for resisting his order to resign from the government.

The same would have applied to D'Escoto, when he was Foreign Minister, and now. It is an unwritten norm that the President of the GA has the rank of Foreign Minister.

The Pope admonished Cardenal: Usted tiene que arreglar sus asuntos con la Iglesia ("You must make good your dealings with the Church").

I have other related articles in my blog: www.nicaraguanreport.com

 

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