Wed July 4 2018 3:23pmNicaragua
It started out in April as a peaceful protest of Daniel Ortega's proposal to cut social security benefits, and of his tyrannical repression of dissent. So say the news reports. But from the beginning it has involved looting, burning, and extracting 'donations' from motorists who want to pass through. And when Ortega quickly renounced his social security proposals, the protests only intensified. For a couple months now these 'peaceful' demonstrations have been occupying marketplaces and interfering with transportation (including transportation to and from the hospital). Many of the youth manning the roadblocks are recognized as local thieves and loafers, no job, no schooling, still living with mama, occupied with little more than their noisy motorcycles (which Mama bought for them).
Or, perhaps - like 50 years ago in the U.S. - the media and academics and liberal clerics are using the protests to mount a negative P.R. campaign against a fellow they can't beat at the ballot box. If that's the strategy, it seems to be working. Most Nicaraguans, some of my personal friends included, were quite content with Daniel, but suddenly have decided that he's a tyrant and has to go. After easily winning elections in 2006, 2011, and 2016, Ortega would likely lose a special election held right now.
My personal guess is that this is mostly the Entitlement mentality coming back to bite the hand that has fed it. If that's true, it's Ortega's own fault. Daniel has given the people most of the handouts they asked for, and a few that they didn't ask for. The loafers have come of age during Daniel's administration, and have become like baby robins chirping ever more loudly for more and more entitlements from Sugar Daddy, and, when he can't deliver, off with his head! Sound familiar?
All the above is, of course, the guesswork of a clueless foreigner. Most of my neighbors are taking the inconvenience with a shrug, and none of us appear to be in any danger. My horse in this race, if I have one, might be related to my recent 'Religious/Rant' posts and the possible role the aforementioned clerics may be playing here to try to engineer the ouster of a leader who, for all his faults, has been quite strong against the forces of same-sex 'marriage' and abortion on demand. But that's also pure guesswork on my part. If my insights turn out to be even more clueless than suspected, I may just delete this blog post and return to my more familiar ranting.