Something is cooking in the Kitchen in “EL CARMEN ”

Roberto Samcam is one of the founding members of the Sandinista Army after the triumph on 1979. Now retired, he is  a widely read blogger on events in Nicaragua, and was forced to flee the country with his family in August 2018 when he was accused of arming protestors, and  paramilitaries assaulted and looted his home (see photo below). This blog written on  Nov 16th foreshadows the US Treasury´s announcement on Nov 17th  of sanctions against Ortega´s wife and his personal secretary, in that he saw the eventual sanctions as one of several elements that would make Ortega´s permanence in power unviable, and result in the type of planning described below.

Something is cooking in the Kitchen in “EL CARMEN[1]

Published on the Facebook page of Roberto Danilo Samcam Ruiz, Nov 16, 2018

“So then, if you want peace, prepare for war. If you want to obtain victory, train your soldiers diligently. If you aspire to success, then fight with strategy and do not leave it to chance. No one dares to provoke or offend someone they see as superior in combat.”
From “De re militari”

Contrary to what many think, I am of the opinion that Daniel Ortega is feverishly preparing the conditions to carry forward his own negotiation. It is not a secret that this person throughout history has been characterized by negotiating at the edge of the cliff, never in a disadvantageous position, and in most cases, with the adversary as a hostage. I dare to state that only on one occasion did these circumstances not occur: I am referring to the negotiations of the Sapoá accords. A virtual stalemate between the fighting forces, the Popular Sandinista Army and the Contras, the decision of the former USSR and the United States to no longer continue supporting those forces, the economic prostration of the country, the weariness of the population over the war that was now beginning to crack popular support for the Revolution, and the depletion of the reservoir of recruits for Patriotic or Obligatory Military Service, however you want to call it, were the adverse conditions that forced Ortega to seek through the negotiating table what he was not able to obtain in the battlefield.

This time there are a series of adverse national and international circumstances that make the permanence of Ortega in power unviable, regardless of the boasting that he, as well as his minions, proffer every day. On another occasion I talked about the three pincers that Ortega cannot escape: economics, international pressure and national pressure. There is a situation of precariousness in the Nicaraguan economy that can be easily detected, and keeps the Ortega regime in a very vulnerable position in light of his immediate future, that precariousness is reflected in the following data: exodus of $1.373 billion dollars from the Financial System since the month of April; impairment of the stability and growth of International Reserves; loss of national and foreign investor confidence; unstoppable drop in formal employment, result of the closing of small and medium enterprises, which is having a greater impact on the already tenuous financial situation of INSS; big decrease in financing from the commercial banks for the planting seasons, motivated by political insecurity; delay in customs, as a form of punishment to the agro-commercial sector, for machinery, equipment, farm repair parts and inputs, and what is most dangerous, a highly volatile environment for the national financial sector, which is exacerbated to the extent that their interests are closer to those of the regime and more distant from popular interests.

On the international level, the commandante is more clear on this than we are, that Venezuela is not the USSR of the 1980s, that Cuba will be able to advise on intelligence issues and military aspects, but never on economic issues, given their proven “expertise” in ruining economies, and that the measures that eventually will be approved in the United State will strike a mortal blow to his aspirations of continuing at the head of the government. Even though it is true that the international community has been slow in the application of stronger measures, it is not any less true that he has not been able to break out of the isolation to which he has been submitted, and which will be strengthened if the results of the elections in El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama are contrary to his political and ideological interests.

On the internal level, the regime has had to strengthen militarization in all the municipalities of the country as the only way to contain the popular civic protest, passing in practice to a fascist state, but also incorporating paramilitary armies into the Ortega police, in a vain attempt to avoid prosecution for the crimes committed by them during the months of repression. Once again the Army is settling in the group of Ortega, facilitating installations and instructors to militarily prepare the murders of the people. The repression continues increasing in a selective manner, arrests and murders have not stopped, and even though the latter are sporadic, they indicate a pattern of behavior characteristic of the physical elimination of the grassroots who were in the barricades. The roundabouts of Managua continue to be taken by public employees, in a demonstration of “popular support” for the presidential couple, under the old model of Rosario that whoever does not show up is fired from their job.

The celebration of the “Purisima” is incorporated into the efforts for “normalcy” with the familiar altars on Bolivar Avenue. This time without dissembling nor false squeamishness, the presidential couple compites for prominence with the Virgin Mary herself, who they have already stripped  her blue and white mantle, in itself criminalized.

In the face of this highly discouraging panorama, what is left for Ortega? Negotiate. But in his old style, on the edge of a knife.  With advantage and treachery. With hostages or with his group of friends, He wants to carry forward a negotiating process under the shadow of SICA, the Central American Integration System, and led by his old friend the former [Guatemalan] President Vinicio Cerezo. Part of the business sector, lead by Financial Capital, is willing to join that effort, reviving the alternative of the famous “Soft Landing”, which they have explored with important figures of the Old Sandinista Guard. They want to separate this new version of the Dialogue from the emblematic figures of the Episcopal Conference who have been against the repression, Mons. Báez, Mata and Álvarez, and they are even willing to set up a conspiratorial trap in the best style of the 1980s to take them out of this game.

The Army would be in agreement, as long as the maintenance of the “status quo” is ensured, that is to say the economic interests and privileges of the military leadership. What is missing in this strategy is the external element that would trigger the process, and it is nothing more than an armed “invasion” from Costa Rica, provoked by they themselves, regardless of the actors who may participate, a False Positive, that would place Ortega in the condition of a victim of a conspiracy forged from the neighboring country by Nicaraguan exiles. For this he has displaced a good amount of political and intelligence operators, who have the task of militarily organizing the suckers who fall into the trap, under the protection and auspices of the Nicaraguan Embassy in Costa Rica.

This is what is being feverishly cooked up in the kitchen area of “El Carmen”, and we will have to be alert to the events of the month of December which is rapidly approaching. The Gritería[2] could bring many surprises.


[1] El Carmen is the name of the neighborhood where Daniel Ortega lives

[2] The celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, the night of December 7th, traditionally the most important religious feast of the year in Nicaragua, also called the Purísima.

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