April 7, 2006 [LINK]

Sandinistas on the comeback trail

Remember the Cold War? Remember the Iran-Contra scandal and protests against the Reagan administration's policies in Central America? Well, I do. It would seem, however, that a large number of people in Nicaragua have forgotten the disasters inflicted upon them by the Sandinista government, if the leader of that party, Daniel Ortega, continues his recent climb in the polls. As George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." On the other hand, perhaps Ortega himself has learned something from his past mistakes: He declared that he "welcomes U.S. investment and tourism." Dissident Sandinista Herty Lewites will run against Ortega in the November elections. The conservative candidate is Eduardo Montealegre. See CNN.com. It so happened that the Sandinistas broke into separate factions just as I was visiting Nicaragua a little over a year ago (Feb. 27, 2005). Ortega has been using the residual power wielded by the Sandinistas in the courts, bureaucracy, and military forces to subvert democratic institutions. Does Hugo Chavez have anything to do with this?

Wedding vows exchanged

As he had promised, former President-for-life Alberto Fujimori (who is still incarcerated in Chile) married his wealthy girlfriend Satomi Kataoka just before the Peruvian elections on Sunday. Apparently, the only "ceremony" was when she filed the necessary papers in Japan before flying to Peru. In a campaign rally for her new husband's party in San Juan de Lurigancho (site of an infamous prison), she spoke in Japanese. It makes you wonder what kind of first lady she would have been if Fujimori had succeeded in running for president again. Santiago Fujimori, the former president's brother and a vice presidential candidate, translated her words into Spanish. See CNN.com.