Colombia bashes Nicaragua over FARC dialogue offer; Ortega bashes back

In a letter from chancellor Jaime Bermúdez, the Colombian government formally rejected Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega's offer to mediate in a peace process with the FARC guerillas. The letter also objected to Ortega's reference to the FARC as "brothers," calling it "offensive to the Colombian nation to grant this kind of treatment to...a terrorist group that commits crimes against humanity." (ANMCLA, July 20)

At a Managua celebration of the 29th anniversary of the Sandinsta revolution, Ortega shot back at Bogotá, asserting, "We do not have to ask anyone's permission to struggle for peace." He called the Colombian government "oligarchical" and a client of the US, and dismissed as "ridiculous" and "absurd" Colombia's assertion of sovereignty over Caribbean waters claimed by Nicaragua. (La Prensa, Nicaragua, July 20)

See our last posts on Nicaragua, Colombia and the maritime dispute.

Ortega fetes East German "Purple Witch" in Managua

Man, how depressing. These guys have learned absolutely nothing since the '80s, have they? From Der Spiegel, July 21:

Widow of East German Leader Feted in Nicaragua
Margot Honecker, 81, widow of hardline East German ruler Erich Honecker, received an award this weekend for services to the Nicaraguan revolution. Known as the "purple witch" in Germany, Honecker basked in the praise heaped on her and her late husband.

Beaming and raising her fist in the air, Margot Honecker, the widow of former East German ruler Erich Honecker, was feted as heroine of the revolution on Saturday by Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who pinned an award to her chest for her work on a 1980s literacy campaign and for her late husband's support for his regime.

Honecker, 81, reviled in Germany as the "purple witch" because of the blue-rinsed hairstyle she used to have and her harsh style of leadership in the communist German Democratic Republic, clapped, sang, waved and looked healthy and fit during the ceremony in the Nicaraguan capital Managua, which was also attended by Venezuela's left-wing firebrand president Hugo Chavez.

She has lived in the Chilean capital of Santiago since 1992. Erich Honecker, who led the GDR from 1971 until 1989 and was accused of treason, corruption and abuse of power after the fall of the Berlin Wall, died in Chile in 1994.

He had been put on trial in Germany on manslaughter charges for ordering East German troops to shoot people trying to flee across the Berlin Wall, but he was released in 1993 because he was suffering from liver cancer, and he emigrated to Chile where he died.

Margot Honecker, a former East German education minister, accepted the "Ruben Diario" prize at a ceremony marking the 29th anniversary of his Sandinista Revolution. The ceremony was also attended by Aleida March, widow of Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

Rosario Murillo, Ortega's wife, said of Erich Honecker: "He showed such solidarity and was so special and loving to the free people of Nicaragua."

Media reports said that when Margot Honecker received the award, she turned to the crowd, raised her clenched fist and called out: "Long live the revolution, long live Nicaragua!"

The ceremony was widely reported in the German press. "She's still kissing left-wing rulers," wrote mass circulation Bild. "They celebrated the purple witch as if the horrific Communist Party regime and the killings at the Wall had never happened."

Sandinista Leadership

Yes, Ortega is pretty hiddeous. However, why waste your time critizing a leader of a country that can barely feed its people due principally to U. S. intervention. Have you been to Nicaragua within the last few years? The U.S. destroyed the place. The East German "communists" were pussycats compared U.S. interventionists in Central America.

Because it's depressing... little these guys have learned. And that includes Chávez, who shared the stage with this monster. Yeah, we all know about how US intervention destroyed Nicaragua, but these are supposed to be the good guys.


There are no good guys, only differing levels of bad. However, men like Ortega, Chavez and Correa will not solve the problems because they are the problem. They are snakes that feed on the illiterate, poor and helpless while claiming to champion them.

Now they face the thing the fear the most: A successful democracy growing in spite of their efforts to maintain the status quo, In spite of their tacit and