Political Stability

What concerns do you have regarding the political climate in Nic? Do you have any concerns regarding property rights and potential property redistribution by a socialist-type political element? Is it true that some major US companies will leave Nic if certain political elements gain control? Does the ex-pat maintain a double minded world-view - whereby, on the one hand, he hopes to maintain the status quo vis a vis the Conservative President Bolanos who runs the country in accordance with US desires and interests (like destroying the old missiles) but which also protects (US like) individual property rights; and on the other hand, the ex-pat also hopes for a more independent Nicaragua that is capable of sustaining itself and caring for it's people and environment on it's own terms? Is it not a little frightening to own property in a country where there is a distinct possibility that with the next election, a group can come in and take your land away? Why would any major multinational companies, say they would pull out if a particular political party gains control? Does a genuine threat to their livelihood in Nic exist? And does not this same contingency threaten the little man's property rights as well? I am sure I oversimplify here. Please share your thoughts on this.

thanks, dw

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there were some good posts....

on this thread. your question has come to pass. we shall see.

If you want...

See my post at http://www.nicaliving.com/node/view/657 concerning how I feel.

Same S---, just different smell.

6+ years ago the populist former leftist Guerilla leader who had spent yeas in exile in Mexico, Alfonso Portillo, was elected in a landslide in Guatemala as a candidate running on the FRG Frente Republicana Guatemalteca platform allied with the rightist evangelico former President Rios Montt..turned out to be one of the most corrupt governments in Guatemala's fairly sordid political history..recently in Nicaragua, during the municipal election campaign, I was sitting at a table for over an hour with Former Sandanista Fighters, Ex Contras, Campesinos and Obreros and I found out in one hour what is going on and what is going to happen fairly soon in Nicaraguan politics..more of the same no matter who wins..human nature..power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely..I have known personally 3 Latin American Presidents and their families, things change when you're in there..up there. The "new" young Sandinistas (FSLN) I know are young and idealistic, all I hope is that Humberto Ortega, Daniel's hard a-- hard line Brother does not run the show, Daniel always was a Boy Scout sort of in the pre 1990 cold war "hardball" world. The "Piñata" was a discrace. Anyhow, it is getting more difficult even in Latin America to govern from the far right or the far left both of which I find distasteful and very similar in many respects, go into the "Mercado Oriente" in Managua someday and ask the people there what they think, all the way back to Somoza's days..you will get some suprising answers! I don't have any answers..the Nicaraguan people do. I would not worry about your land being confiscated, the FSLN like the former Communists in Poland (where proudly I view the resistance of "Solidarity" in 1982-83) they become the Capitalists since they have the connections or "cuello" and the support of that wonderful "secular progressive" wing in North America, look for lots of concerts and festivals, lots of speeches, a lot getting done in the first year or two for show, then back to the same old s--- corruption, nepotism and greed. Maybe "Super Gringo" can fly down here and teach them all the good old "Protestant Ethic" Eh?

Madera's Inn Hotel and Tours, Masaya, Nicaragua & "The Polyglots" Your Vertical Portal to Travel, Trade and Language Study throughout all of Latin America... www.thepolyglots.com donaldlee@thepolyglots.com

bit worried about perceptions

greetings dw:

I live in the US and own property by the beach in Nicaragua, so I definitely have an interest in this issue. My thoughts are that the main problem could be that of perceptions by the U.S. press fostered by more fear-mongering on the part of the U.S. gov't.

If the FSLN wins, IMHO, there will be much hand-wringing by conservative think-tanks (read propaganda-generating machines) and some damage to the Nicaraguan economy could be inflicted by the Bush admin's attitude towards all things not directly under their thumb.

My understanding of the property rights is that when the deal went down that forgave the Nicaraguan gov't of 85% of their foreign debt, the deal was that they had to a) abide by IMF guidelines and b) invest an equivalent amount of $ into the country's infrastructure, health care, education, etc.

So, if this is correct, then I think it highly unlikely that there would be any messing about with titles and any major land redistribution. The IMF would bust Nicaragua back into full debtor status, or at least that is the stick they are using.

That does not prevent a loss of confidence from the world comm'ty about Nicaragua though. Not sure if Ortega would actually win a Presidential election or not, but if he does I would think the first thing he would say is a statement that all investments are solid and that Nicaragua is still open for business.

If someone is looking to make a quick buck on churning real estate, their plans may be in jeopardy. That may be a good thing though. I would prefer U.S. investment and people moving to Nicaragua be motivated by searching for a better way of life, the opportunity to make a difference for people who have so many needs, yet try so hard to better themselves, etc.

Bottom line: I wouldn't worry about confiscation, just a slowdown in foreign investment.

rgds,

-web

Comared to ... ?

I am more comfortable with government here (and in CR) than in the US. This probably sounds strange but there is less of it, it is less powerful and the population are much more politically aware/unwilling to let the government go "too far".

Most political instability in Latin America comes from the outside and that "outside" is almost always the US government. For example, the CIA overthrowing the Arbenz government in Guatemala because United Fruit "wanted them to" is a good example.

I don't know what the landscape of multinationals are here but at least in this part of the country the only big corporate business is cigar manufacturing and that is by multiple corporations. Multinationals are much likely to be somewhere or not be somewhere based on labor laws (actually, lack thereof) and bottom-line costs.

As for property rights, this issue got a lot of fairly misleading press in the US during the 80s. We could debate "adequate compensation" and such but property that was confiscated belonged to people who were not in Nicaragua. That last phrase, as well, can produce a book but I think you lose a lot more with building restrictions, protective covenants and such in the US then the likelyhood of having property taken away from you in Nicaragua.

Poitical change? and land

Hi, After having almost completed my schedule for visiting Nica. I stumbled across an article stating that the Sandinistas are poised to be returned to power and this sent a chill down my spine. As I wish to purchase property in Nica. the thought of losing my investment to a government body by virture of them saying "this is ours", gracias, makes me nervous. Your posting does explain some of your thoughts and addresses some of my concerns. I think that in one of our other communications, you stated that you have been in Nica. for 19 years (correct me if I'm wrong) and as such, you would have been there in the "old days" of dictatorship. What can you impart as far as having lived under such a regime. I know that, as a Canadian, there have been few problems (at least that were made public) with our companies doing business with Castro in Cuba. However, as a "little guy" there may be a different scenario. I know this is a difficult question to answer but "what comfort can you give to us who wish to invest in Nicaragua". Regards, Jack

Nicaragua and Cuba

Nicaraguans are very similar to Cubans..loud, gregarious, party people and lovers of baseball, the climate is about the same and the temperament is about even. Both peoples "poets, dreamers and politicans" many Cubans remain in Nicaragua married to Nicas, I know several. I speak a bit Russian with some of my older FSLN friends who were trained there, and in Barrio Bello Horizonte in Managua lives a beautiful blonde Russian woman stranded here after the old Soviet union fell...see, I am a cosmopolitan interested in everybody and everything......No problems at all... except if you speak no Spanish it will be tough going....I was first in Nicaragua in 1970. My Mom and Uncle came to El Salvador from Poland via Vienna in early 1939 with Salvadorian Passports along with hundreds of others, my Mom went to the US in 1940 and met my Father, a "Down East" Yankee from Maine in Boston in 1941 and I was born after WW2 in Maine a "baby boomer". I was educated in a private day school in the southern US from 1952-62, my mom had to work nights to help pay the tuition. In 1962-63 I attended "Protestant School" in Montréal where I was Bar Mitzvahed, staying with relatives there. In 1963 returned south and graduated from public High School in 1964. Attended University the next year in Boston but dropped out because of a personal problem and got drafted into the US army, etc. etc. Wound up in Central America Oct. of 1969 and stayed until Sept. of 1971 when I returned to the US to work, mainly in New York City and Boston area. Very few people on this site remember the "tiempo dorado" before the "civil conflicts" that's ok..I do. My Uncle told me that Central American Politics is BS with crud piled on top of it and changes every week, so do not get involved in it..just listen and learn. I returned in December of 1985, "re-invented" myself, stayed on. At present I am fairly integrated into society, staying pretty much off of the "gringo trail"..I speak, read and understand languages other than English and Spanish and have traveled extensively in Latin America as well as Europe (in 1983 I was married in Warsaw, Poland)My Mom and Uncle basically told me a "nazi" was someone without a sense of humor (usually people obsessed with politics or religion who take themselves too seriously)in Antigua, Guatemala in the early 1990s I published privately some cartoons satirizing the "gringos and euro-travellers" as well as some of the more fecitious "ex pats" i.e. "Danny Do-Gooder and his Girlfriend Lolly Liberal get Lost in the Bus Terminal in Escuintla" "Benny Backpacker goes to Panajachel" "Brigadista Bob gets robbed in Managua" etc. The ex pats were different back then, a sense of unity and a sense of humor..in one friend's bar in Guatemala, if travellers came in "talking bs" or asking us if we were "agents" or anything weird..they were told "drinks on the house, now please leave and don't come back"..ok..we had a lotta tough times and a lotta good times..I do not stay up all night worrying about Bush or Bolaños or Ortega or what happened in guatemala in 1954..I am a futurist and life goes on..we have a project in the works, land is ready, which is owned by a native Nicaraguan friend and we are ready to start work in at least a few weeks..will not be easy..but will be rewarding..if interested just e mail donaldlee@thepolyglots.com or pm me with your e mail so I can send more particulars. I have been in every Canadian Province but Newfoundland (so have not missed much!)I have Nicaraguan friends of all political views and religious beleifs or lack of them as well as my North American and European friends here (Nicaragua & Central America more multi-cultural than you may think)The only problem I had with the old FSLN was that they and some allies desecrated the tiny Jewish Synagouge in Managua 1981 and turned it into a funeral parlor..I am no "Zionist" and I am not "religious" but this crap makes me sick to my stomach..As the great Martin Luther King said "judge people by the content of their character........" People who carry resentments carry a heavy load on their shoulders..I pity them..freedom comes from within not without..and sadly, people get killed (from all sides by all sides) over "resentments". I get em and deal with em every day, I'm letting some out now...tommorow is a new day..life goes on. Saludos.

Madera's Inn Hotel and Tours, Masaya, Nicaragua & "The Polyglots" Your Vertical Portal to Travel, Trade and Language Study throughout all of Latin America... www.thepolyglots.com donaldlee@thepolyglots.com