RE: Breathe by Becky Hemsley
Roger A. Chase
Thank you. This is wonderful.
Ondria J. Wasern
WONDRFUL POEM FRANK!
My goodness!, could be a poem about me! I love it!
RE: The Donald Also Rises? - The Far Right Continues to Build Its International by John Feffer
Dear Mr. Feffer,
There is much brilliance in your article in the Southern Cross Review about internationalist organizing by far-right movements around the world. I was very pleased with your article. (I am not an anthroposophist and heard about the article from a family member.)
However, my enjoyment in reading it was marred by finding that you group Daniel Ortega, recently re-elected as President of Nicaragua by 76% of the vote over several rival candidates—with Duterte, characterizing them both as "vulgar and vicious"!
The reporters who told you unpleasant "facts" about Nicaragua's recent and current leadership have swallowed whole the propaganda spewed by a small number of right wing oligarches and their minions. They have never gone to Nicaragua and interviewed all sides; they have not checked their sources to see which ones are U.S.-funded and which are not.
See the 55-page online report by the Nicaragua Network, "Dismissing the Truth: Why Amnesty International is Wrong About Nicaragua"—free download at
A subsequent report, "The Revolution Won't Be Stopped," is available at
Sadly, U.S. policy towards Nicaragua has been implacably negative, from the overthrow of Somoza and the contra war against Nicaragua, to today's constant propaganda infecting even the left in the U.S. It's unfathomable that such a small, poor country could ever constitute a danger to us! Yet U.S. official hostility continues apace. Because Nicaraguans prevented a U.S.-sponsored coup in 2018, and got rid of Somoza, an actual dictator, in 1979, and because they stated they are "socialist"—actually more like European social democrats, operating in the context of a market—our country declares they are an enemy.
I hope you will look into this foolishness, which hurts Nicaraguans through sanctions and continued enmity.
I was able to win some church sponsorship to visit Nicaragua with Oxfam in 1985 to explore how the '79 Revolution had improved nutrition and farmworkers' rights in Nicaragua. Since that two-week tour, I've kept up with Nicaragua's news and development from here. My son Tom Louie spent a couple of months in Nicaragua not long after my trip. His fluency in Spanish helped him to explore the country more freely than I had.
John Feffer replies:
Dear Mary Dugan:
Thank you for your recent letter to the Southern Cross Review about my article about Donald Trump, which was forwarded to me by the editor.
I am happy to hear about your work in the 1980s on behalf of Nicaragua. I, too, was thrilled when the Sandinistas ousted Somoza and I was very supportive of the Sandinista social programs in the 1980s.
And that is precisely why I feel it is so important to call out Daniel Ortega right now and voice my support for all the Sandinistas that he has thrown in jail or forced into exile. These include his former Vice President Sergio Ramirez who fled to Spain after the government tried to arrest him. Those who were not so lucky and are now in prison include former Sandinistas Hugo Torres, who freed Ortega from prison back in 1974, and Dora Tellez, who as health minister set up the health programs that you and I so admired in the 1980s.
Ortega broke with his former colleagues to make alliances with right-wing politicians, powerful business interests, and the Catholic Church. At this point, he governs from the far right, not the left. I would recommend that you read this article in NACLA, which has long been a reliable left-wing publication covering developments in Latin America.
If you care about Nicaragua and preserving the real legacy of the Sandinistas, I would urge you to take a fresh look at what Daniel Ortega is doing in Nicaragua.
"Vulgar and vicious" is actually an understatement when looking at how he has unraveled the Sandinista programs in order to serve his own thirst for power.
all the best,
Director, Foreign Policy In Focus
Institute for Policy Studies
Latest book: Right Across the World
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