Thursday, October 29, 2009

Interesting Times

Let’s just say things are a little tense here. Since the secret meeting of the Sandinista supreme court justices that overnight changed the constitution to enable Ortega to run again, there have been little protests. Eggs were thrown at one of the magistrates, and in retaliation a non Sandinista civil coordinator was beaten up by thugs reported to have been hired by Daniel. She has been saying that the government is deliberately supporting gangs in the barrios. Students protested against the attempt to take over student standards by the Sandinistas. A television reporter was beaten up at the University Rotunda. Right outside the kids school. While they were there. Thank God it has those 12 foot fences and armed guards.

Today, there was a protest at the US Embassy (we got a little email saying it might not be the best day to show up for a passport renewal). The reason was a condescending speech by the US Ambassador condemning the constitution change. He pointed out how long it takes to change the US constitution and I thought of all those years my mother spent on ERA and her bitter disappointment. Young Sandinista thugs were bussed to the Embassy. It is well fortified. The news video shows masked juveniles gleefully scribbling on signs, drinking beer and firing mortars in the air. There were only about 10 police officers standing by doing nothing.

Here in Granada, we heard cars honking and went to the door expecting to see another high school group driving around advertising a party. But it was the Frente. Packed into pick up trucks and buses. They were probably celebrating something. Sandinista black and white flags. Pink hats (the new softer Sandinista colors). It was all young men. I watched them go by and couldn’t help myself and flipped off the boys in the last truck. A big firecracker was promptly thrown on my neighbors roof.

Silvia and Lucia waited a bit and headed home. Silvia mentioned in passing she would do anything to start a new life somewhere else. They are ready to send the boys in the family to Costa Rica to keep them away from what they see as impending military service if Ortega is re-elected.

We discussed having our chele boys roll up their windows on the way to school in the morning so their little bourguoise faces wouldn’t attract attention in Managua.

I’m sad. I wanted so much for it to be a party of the people. All my years of lefty sympathy for socialist governments. What a joke this one is. A dangerous joke.

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