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Thread: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    A relative and a friend complained about the sudden unavailability of certain special medicines. One for Parkinson’s and the other for Lupus. Of course, they point fingers at DOS, but it could be Big Pharma pulling back on the subsidies for a shaky Nicaragua. Or nothing at all. I still find all the generics I’m looking for. Supermarkets are full. Fresh veggies and fruit aplenty. Prices creep up. There are more empty, available taxis on the streets than ever, because the usual fare is now 30 cords/person. (A typical driver pays the owner 600 cords/half-day and must return it tank full & clean.)

    Downtown Leon is being renovated. Some streets off Parque Central will become pedestrian walkways. La Cancha - a youth gathering spot for basketball, street soccer and skate-boarding - will be covered. The university center CUUN, destroyed by fire during the 'crisis', is being rebuilt. During the Easter break, Leon becomes a ghost town. Tourists are still largely absent.

    Eating out it’s getting more difficult to find restaurants with good meals at reasonable prices. ‘Ya Voy’ was once dependably first rate at $15/person with plenty of Nica suds; now the plates look bigger than ever as the food portion on ‘em have shrunk. I love ‘Pan y Paz’, but the ham on their ham & cheese sandwich is a single, translucent slice. Don’t take me wrong, the bread and fixins are delicious, but I can’t taste no ham. McDs is where the beef is. A/C’d and spacious with wifi and free drink refills and a great kids’ party room, McDs is where Leon goes for value. (Including fried chicken whatnots - practically shutting down Tip Top & Pollo Estrella.) McDs - a pinnacle of American consumerism - sits beside the great Cathedral of Leon - a truly living monument to the universal Christian religion, that regularly offers the symbolic blood & body of Christ as sustenance for the faithful. Which is not to say that there’s an on-going competition.

    In Granada I got gouged bad at one joint on La Calzada (Don Alias?). Prices were ridiculously high on common fare, which I made the mistake of not checking beforehand. They even charged me double on what I had asked the price for, and was the reason we sat there. I made a scene. In one place, all prices on the menu were in dollars, but when paying it had to be cords at their rate of 33.8/$ when it was 32.5/$ online. These are hard times. Forget relaxing and coasting along on a few US greenbacks in the old Nicaragua. Be extra vigilant for shysters abound these days. (Are they’re buying up property on the cheap? If so, welcome to the whirlpool named Nicaragua.)

    A month ago, with many nearly vacant spots on las Penitas beach, one was full - of Euro trash. I say that with total respect. My kid & I walked thru the hostal. The clientele were all tall, slim posers in hep attire. None looked us in the eye or talked with us. Only the Nica working on his knees, digging a new path was friendly. The place was full. Felt like a museum of lost souls. Those beaches will be full during this long Easter holiday, of hard-living Nicas. They may go swimming in their underwear, but they’re a lot more real than those narco-wastrels from the lost continent.

    Last week I notice an unusual number of burly-fit men in downtown Leon. Not in groups, singles dressed in plain street clothes. Cuban extras? This tense situation does tend to fertilize my imagination. Saturday in Managua, a group of 7 or so red-beret soldiers stood inside the MetroCentro entrance by Buffalo Wings. They looked sharp. I didn’t see any heavy weaponry. There were no incidents in the mall. The shopping crowd seemed lighter than usual, but the food court was packed (nice facilities). The display of police standing at intervals on roadways and traffic circles was impressive.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    The heat. It's oppressive in Leon this time of year. They call it "la presion". Temperatures at or just below 90F, but it's the humidity, RH hovers continuously at 70%, and the lack of any breezes that create this sauna we slog thru. I shower 4 times a day, having no A/C, without toweling dry - evaporation is a quite pleasant way to cool off. (No hot water here - totally unnecessary.) In a month the rainy season (invierno) begins, where downpours flood & clean streets daily, keep down the dust, and replenish Nicar-agua's vast aquifer systems. Meanwhile it's a nice time to visit cities in the mountains. Lots of people go to nearby beaches - which are quite pleasant - but the undertow is so wicked in many areas that we usually just sit in the shade, sipping cold, golden brew, and stare at the vast horizon toward China, and wonder.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    The traffic returning from the beach (pleasure seekers, casual sinners) backed up as it was forced into multiple detours in Leon due to the religious processions (do-gooders, zealots) marching slowly thru the streets to the death-beat of bass drum & tuba.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Today's weather report in Esteli calls for" 30, feels like 35". That means humidity a/o no breeze. One sucky part of Esteli weather is what I call the humidity inversion--RH often goes up by 25 points during the night. You go to bed comfy but wake up later uncomfy. AC or at least a ceiling fan is a must.

    Woke up groggy from entertaining all day. Not from booze, not a drop, all the big drinkers are in the US or at the beach. Not because I am particularly entertaining, not really my high card!
    Usual hen party, saved only by the SIl and one neighbor. Incidentally, Nicas find "fiesta de gallinas" an interesting concept once they figure out what you are saying. So many social events here are all or mostly women.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Often, walking to & from downtown, only some 5 blocks, I pass by a corner laundry run by a French expat. Soon after opening each day they put a whiteboard at the entrance with a saying, a truism or opinion, a pre-internet tweet as it might be considered, a bit of wisdom to ponder that day. Often it’s been a quote from some notable author rendered into Spanish. Recently it seems to be more homespun learnings. I don’t always agree with the message, but enjoy thinking about it as I walk on. Yesterday’s gave me pause. Here it is (as best I recall):

    Los objectos estan hechos para utilizar.
    Personas son hechos para amar.

    El problema principal con el mundo hoy es que
    muchas personas aman objectos y utilizan personas.

    Objects are made to be used. People are made to love.
    The main problem with today’s world is that
    many people love objects and use people.

    No attribution meant it was by the owner or one of the ladies working there. With practically no tourists, with many hotels shuttered, fewer ladies work there. Hard times, yet they’re obviously well grounded in what’s important in life.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua


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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Into Managua on Monday to get permission from Migracion (visa de salida) for our boy to leave Nicaragua with us on our upcoming trip back to the States. All went surprisingly smoothly with little waiting - no long lines. The customs people were actually helpful, telling us not to pay the sidewalk lawyers more than 150 cords for the boilerplate legal form needed, that they pump out in under 10 minutes. In prior years they'd ask 600, I usually paid 300.

    Then on to Hotel Estrella near the Plaza de Americas mall. It's actually in barrio Union Sovietica and the mall en barrio Venezuela. We had the pool to ourselves. Less than a quarter of the place was occupied, mostly business types with their own car - it's more a 'motel' (USA style, not the auto-motels common here where you take your squeeze and pay by the hour). All enjoyed a traipse around the mall - greatly expanded since we'd visited some 3 yrs ago. We ate/drank in Daiquiris, tender beef steaks - 1 lb for 250 cords ($7.50) with fixins - and a cubetazo de Victoria Clasicas - 6 for price of 5 (200 cords).

    The next night we stayed in the Hotel Europeo in barrio Bolonia. The area was extremely heavily guarded, many streets were barricaded with mini-mazes of stacks of blocks (piedra cantera 4X4X10 high, heavily armed guards and steel barriers, they moved to let us pass. Apparently the Ortegas have a residence in the area. Again we had the pool to ourselves. Almost no other guests. Just a group of 10 or so skinny black couples from Cuba. The gardens around the pool area are gorgeous, but the restaurant was closed, except for our breakfast included. We ate at Plaza Inters' food court last nite. It's sad to see that mall going downhill so quickly - some 7 years back it was a joyful place with live shows in the food court, nice theaters, lots of shops and good coffee and cold beer. There's still plenty of cold beer (no bottles allowed in the court cause of fights). The coffee is so so.

    Today, May day, is a holiday here, international labor day. We'll check out MetroCentro. If the inter-locales (A/C'd vans) going to Leon aren't frequent enough (waiting in line in the afternoon sun is hell), a taxi driver in a newish Yaris offered to drive us (5) for 1400 cords. I'd have to spend more than 400 anyway. $30 ain't bad for a quick 50 mile trip.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Written a couple years ago, this is more relevant re-posting here:

    Noise? I guess I’ve grown accustomed to it. Admittedly the mortar bombs that the church lobs over our heads on religious occasions bothered me in the beginning. Not now. (We had a neighbor - didn’t stay long - who totally freaked out over the church’s rude calls-to-celebrate; he was ex-Blackwater/Iraq.) I came South to submerge in our hemisphere’s third world culture, its humanity, its other worldness. To escape commuter traffic bulletins. After divorce and corporate burn-out. Not looking for a woman - but that turned out to be dessert to my adventurous feast.

    There are times when the sounds of Leon’s streets are like music to me, a kind of never repeating music of life. Some of the street vendors have beautifully resonant voices. The motorcycle & car traffic noise ebbs and, at times, all but disappears such that even doves cooing can be heard. Through it the clop-clop of hooves on asphalt from the horse-drawn wagons of the poor competing with the combustion engines of the rich. Kids gather chattering - punctuated with an occasional girl-shriek - as one session of school lets out and before the next begins. And when it rains, it pours, and thousands upon thousands of fat drops beat the zinc roof ending conversation, overwhelming the soapbox show of tears on the wall, commanding full auditory submersion in a meditation that dissolves
    ego. Nature’s white noise amplified.

    Not to shortchange our other 4 senses, I’ve found living in a city in Nicaragua to be a sensory kaleidoscope worth the necessary trans-cultural adjustments.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Where I'm at it's so quiet at night it wakes you up.
    We fall asleep to the frogs singing. They give it up eventually.
    The church shuts down by 9PM, and they are pretty far away anyway.
    I don't know why we don't have the fireworks and mortars,, people are too poor, maybe.
    Christmas and New Years a bit,, but the farm is so big no one can get really close.

    The only sound during the night is the alarm going off when the dog steals the bowl of pig scraps from the top of the outside counter.
    Or Shelley snoring.
    Last night he made off with the stainless steel bowl as well. We'll find it somewhere on his track back to his residence. I can't be bothered to check,, if it's a true thief,, there will be more soundings,, the dog grabs his booty and runs. And peace and quiet returns.

    I have to feed the pigs so that there is no concentrado left in their bowls overnight,, or the dog(s) eat that too.
    We are almost completely enclosed around the back of the house, so it's less of a problem than it was. The garden too is protected by chain link. It looks like La Modelo in Tipitapa, but we won't see it from the front of the house when we are finished.
    Just the view across the lake over the Rio Coco towards Telpaneca.


    The pigs are fenced by a low electric fence that the dog jumps over.
    I learned that I want to keep them (the pigs) some distance from the house (or at least downwind).
    As they get bigger they won't tolerate the dog,, to the point they will kill and eat him if they catch him.
    I look forward to seeing that.
    They are all big meat eaters. Shameless cannibals. Bar B Q pork ribs their favorite.

    Eventually, I will bring down my own dogs,, but don't feel comfortable at this point leaving them to the tender mercies of the Nicaraguans while I am gone.
    I'm looking at a couple of those Czech border German Shepherds. Nicaraguans are afraid of big dogs.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=czec...FLBEeJM:&vet=1


    La Colonia sells bags of bones with a lot of meat on them for 18 cords the pound.
    Sometimes,, they discount to 15 if they wind up with a lot.
    As I build out,, I'm developing more and more of a compound that the dogs can roam at night.

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    Active TRN Member vern's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    i miss going down from Condega to Esteli. i always enjoyed walking around in Esteli. my niece went to collage in Egteli and we would always drive to surprise her after school. what i miss the most about Nicaragua is life. just watching life. so many people doing so many things. the noise and life.
    my little girl

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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    So much new stuff in Estelí, restaurants, on the streets running off the parque central.

    Last night was a Monday, good restaurant crowd, but Los Arcos was empty. We weren't the only guests, but just about.

    Extremely pleasant evening for walking. Non existent police presence, very different from Managua.

    We wandered into the old Luz y Luna looking for a chocolate bar, La Colonia was closed. The Nicaraguan chocolate is gritty,, not creamy,, I suppose it could be the coarse sugar??? With big Snickers bars pushing $2 at La Colonia,, an opportunity here for someone to figure it out.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Imprisoned for bringing water to the hunger strikers in churches, 16 young Nicas, upon release say they’ve suffered constant harassment and abuse from the police and paramilitary. 1/10/20 HT (Confidential)
    Not only is Ortega not letting up on any dissent whatsoever, hounding them relentlessly, but surveillance technology is undoubted helping. Meanwhile, with the election of 2021 around the corner, has anyone seen the face of any opposition? Even pitiable Venezuela has what’s-his-face, Guaido. It isn’t just the threat of death; Nicaragua, it seems, is like Xi’s China, Putin’s Russia or Castro’s Cuba, politically locked-up.

    On the other hand, life here in Leon, jodido, continues apace, normal, even bustling. Supermarkets are full, stores reopening. Nightlife in the best restaurant/bars is jumping; the places are packed Thurs, Fri, Sat. (La Zona Rosa is practically dead after the last fire.) Free concerts in Parque Central plus rides for kids attract rural & city Nicas alike. (Access streets, blocked to traffic, are now decorated walkways with benches.) The downtown streets are safe night & day. The casual, sharply-dressed Nica ‘tourist’ police are patrolling again. There are many more pale-skinned foreigners, backpackers & yellow-bus-fulls, in town, probably cause of winter holidays in the homeland. Plenty went to the beaches. Most ranchos in Poneloya were full. Ditto Playa Roca in Las Penitas. Suyapa Beach closed early last Sunday cause the kitchen ran out of food. And as icing on the cake of festivities, Leon, which loves baseball, is in process of beating Chinandega in the Nica ‘World Series’.

    Although the USA continues fiscally sanctioning the Ortegas and various fatcat Sandinistas for violently repressing the April, 2018 protestations and corrupting Nica elections, as long as WalMart continues to run the largest and most successful supermarket chains in Nicaragua, I feel Americans will be welcome here. Besides, most Nicas still dream of a chance to go to America, if not just to shop in Miami.

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Ha, I was just about to post something, read this and was near what I was going to post.

    No opposition exist and what does is so splintered that a 100 gallons of glue could not get them back together. And.... the Indians in the North truly believe that their leader can become president ( same chance as snowball in Hell), in South they don't give a shit, on the Main people are tired. Indians are not people to piss off, they are hot over colonist moving in on them, they are pissed about their lumber being stolen, they are pissed at being pissed, they can shut down the gold mines and fisheries in a moment.

    Daniel wins 2021. BUT... some problems between here and there. Trump wins 2020 and anyone that does not like him now is going to like him a lot less. Next yr World pressure will begin on Daniel in advance of the elections, World pressure meaning, no money you thieving POS. Things will get interesting in advance of the election. If he wins, and he will, then you start seeing the World shun him.

    A trade embargo with USA cripples this Country,in about 5 seconds. Daniel likes to play with fire and somehow has not got burned, he might be walking too close to the edge with Trump in power.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    Although the USA continues fiscally sanctioning the Ortegas and various fatcat Sandinistas for violently repressing the April, 2018 protestations and corrupting Nica elections, as long as WalMart continues to run the largest and most successful supermarket chains in Nicaragua, I feel Americans will be welcome here. Besides, most Nicas still dream of a chance to go to America, if not just to shop in Miami.
    Everyone that got tagged knew it was coming, few have houses and such in limbo but their money was elsewhere, 1 I know has a condo in Miami he can no longer visit. A lot of the ones sanctioned have been on USA shitlist a long time, no entry to USA. If they want to hurt these guys, seize their assets in Costa Rica, they all got multiple properties there.

    Been a lot of speculation that the reason the Army has stayed out of this is due to their huge investments in the States. Maybe someone will know, I do not, but seems they run their own retirement fund, separate from government.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Been a lot of speculation that the reason the Army has stayed out of this is due to their huge investments in the States. Maybe someone will know, I do not, but seems they run their own retirement fund, separate from government.
    Probably a secondary reason, but a reason.

    Many officers have very close ties to US military from exchange exercises over the last 3 decades.
    ==================================================
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    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post

    Been a lot of speculation that the reason the Army has stayed out of this is due to their huge investments in the States. Maybe someone will know, I do not, but seems they run their own retirement fund, separate from government.
    Not only do they have their own retirement fund, but also contained in that agglomeration of convolutions are funds for military kids scholarships, medical treatments, business loans, mortgage funds, and various and other sundry financial activities.

    FETESA, the Portezuelos Free Zone and the Portezuelos Industrial Park, the Plaza Del Sol, the Free Zone between San Marcos and Masaya, the twin tower condo development in SJDS, and various and sundry other businesses and real estate are owned by the Army retirement fund. Not to mention what I understand is mid 7 figures in the US stock market plus some other US investments.

    Plus they get, or used to get, a bunch of funding from the US for all kinds of things and have, or used to have as mentioned, very strong ties to the US military. Had a US military officer tell me that the only place in the world, other than Germany, Korea, and Japan, that he felt safe going around in uniform was Nicaragua. He really liked working with the Nicas.

    The Nica military also has been a staunch enforcer of US immigration and dope rules. I am sure there is crookedness and corruption, but for the most part the Nica Military is cuddle buddies with the US.

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    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    From 1990 when Ortega lost the election to Chamorro at the end of the Contra Civil War and when US neocons guided Nicaragua's reconstruction, the army was greatly reduced in size (97 to 15 thousand). The Cordova got pegged (on a slide) to the dollar and some clever sob talked the military into having US banks manage their retirement fund. The army dropped the name Ejército Popular Sandinista and depoliticized. Humberto Ortega stepped down as its leader and took his million$ to CR where he continues to grow fat today. When brother Danny came back to power in 2006 he repoliticized the police and the army as he strove to get all to sing along to the old revolutionary tunes in a largely successful push to make Nicaragua a one-party country. IMO, the US holding the army's pension savings was the major hammer over their heads getting them to stand down during the crisis of 2018 avoiding further slaughter of its citizens.

    The humanitarian awaking of many Sandinistas that led to the creation of the MRS party from FSLN in 2006 likely also gave rise to more military leaders with a civic conscience. (After the election, FSLN banned the MRS.) But the old liberal Sandinistas who lauded the protestors during the crisis (writing or taping from CR) probably got more misguided youth killed.

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    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    The biggest factor in POS remaining in power is the total and absolute WGAS about Nicaragua factor that exists in D.C., at all levels. Nicaragua has basically little if any importance to the US and as long as there are not throngs of Nica's trying to cross bridges, swim rivers, and or trek deserts the US interest, on both political sides is about 0.00. A caveat to this due to the times is cozening up to the Iranians if that were truly the case.

    Back in the mid 00's I developed a very close friendship with the then at the time Palestinian ambassador to the court of POS. Really nice man, or at least that is the face and act he put on to a small circle of friends that we developed in for about 3-4 years until he was transferred to Argentina. This is him: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walid_Muaqqat It was really interesting to speak and get to know him and his insights into things were incredibly interesting. He was tight with the Arafat group in Palestine and hated the Hamas faction. But was always guardedly careful about things.

    Leading up to the 2006 elections, in the first year or so that I met him and when Nica politics were all the talk, he didn't think POS would win, unless the US just had little if any interest in Nicaragua, and when POS won, he said that this proved this out. The fact that POS won and was allowed to win basically showed that US interest in Nicaragua was little if any. The other thing that I took from him in many conversations was that POS and many of the upper level FSLN could not be trusted, in "radical" circles they were viewed as all talk and no action and very probably of being undercover lackey's for the US. They played both sides. I really believe this to be true, as there are too many factors that point this direction. Now, after the 2008 local elections Walid speculated that the only reason that POS had the balls to do what ended up being done was that he, as in POS, figured out that the US didn't care. And I believe he was right.

    Right now Trump and other Pol's may sanction a bunch of Nica's, from the PUMA station attendant to POS, but it really doesn't matter, the ruling cabal of the FSLN and Ortega family has made their path with only caring about the poor fiefdom of Nicaragua, and as long as they do not promote, truly participate in, nor foster true ill will towards US policies then they have figured out they are golden. On the flip side, the opposition or lack there of, or whatever they might be have figured out the same thing. One of the main opposition guys to the FSLN who ended up getting embroiled in the fleecing of the nuns ponzi scheme that basically sidelined the Montealegre family was a former HS classmate of mine, I know him well. He fled house arrest and is now back in Texas bitching about things and trying to earn a living. He relayed that the US policy to Nicaragua basically was WGAS as he fast learned when he underwent persecution, even before, being tied into the ponzi scheme thing via lose association and via marriage. His position is that without external backing, and not even so much external backing just external pressure to ensure fair play and no threat of violence, there is -0- hope that Nicaragua will ever have an organized opposition to the ruling cabal.

    POS figured out, keep the Hoi Polloi off the streets, isn't going to let his ill educated and rabble roused thugs get into a conflict with the pro democracy dogooders and there won't be pillaging and deaths and videos on youtube. So that is what he has done. And as long as there is not that, nobody from Brownsville to Bangor will give a flying flip what goes on in Nicaragua.

    But as human nature dictates those in power will become greedy, they will royally screw up the country trying to appease the masses to support them and any hope for a decent economy to bring the impoverished up will be nil. Sooner or later, and the US knows this, the completely flawed economic policies of Nicaragua will not be sustainable on their own, even with unfettered trade with the US and thus there will be reshuffling of the deck of cards. What that means for US is an option close to the US for cheap labor and commodity exports, because like Haiti they will never reach much self sufficiency.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua


    " . . The biggest factor in POS remaining in power is the total and absolute WGAS about Nicaragua factor that exists in D.C., at all levels..."



    This says it all, and especially in an election year where the current administration is not going to do anything that does not have a guaranteed positive outcome. Let's face it, Ortega will probably be re-elected, and legitimately, in 2021, unless Sandino is miraculously resurrected, hat and all and stands in opposition. At this point there is no one else.

    Ortega has quit killing people, at least in public and if front of cameras, and in response a few tourists, missionaries and medical brigades,, are starting to return. The BCIE is still giving him substantial sums, remittances are strong, and Nicaragua is stable. The economy needs to grow to match the birthrate, but one odd positive,, wages remain low so business and government have no incentive to invest in new efficiencies that would improve productivity and put people out of work.. It's still usual to deal with two or three people to make a purchase: One to find what you need,, one to take your money, and one to check the items against a receipt before you leave the store. Sinsa could fire half their employees, tell the other half to get off their phones and do their jobs, AND improve both the bottom line and the customer experience.

    There is a lot of underemployment in Nicaragua. Graduates with degrees in Business Administration work as bank tellers, and are grateful for the $400 month. They have jobs. The same won't be able to be said for the new crop of graduates unless the economy starts expanding.

    Nicaragua is always one short step from some disaster. We're overdue for a devastating earthquake, another hurricane Mitch or Felix,, or true sanctions. So far only the Ortega family and a few bad actors have been sanctioned. Money is flowing back into the banks. But, a whiff of any true economic sanction fom the US or the European Union will generate a fresh panic. Costa Rica likes that Nica labor,, but only at a steep discount,, and there is clearly a limit as to how many it can absorb. Going Al Norte as an economic refugee is getting more and more difficult.

    So, we probably have another six years of Ortega. This stagnation benefits a lot of people,, keeps wages low. There is a simmering resentment, no question, "but if it's not my head being busted, or not my farm being invaded,, well, maybe it's best to keep my head down, grow my business and hope for a better future" might be the thinking.

  21. #21
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    The contrarian view is that Capitol remains a bit gun shy of returning to Niclandia for the next decade. And with the Sugar daddys of old on the ropes (Alba) and the new sugar daddys up to their eyeballs with other issues (Russia, Saudi block, Iran) that it could be a right lean 6 years...
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    The contrarian view is that Capitol remains a bit gun shy of returning to Niclandia for the next decade. And with the Sugar daddys of old on the ropes (Alba) and the new sugar daddys up to their eyeballs with other issues (Russia, Saudi block, Iran) that it could be a right lean 6 years...


    It's going to be lean, and the situation will generate more income inequality. Existing wealth will be diminished over time.
    I watched Joker last night and thought about both Nicaragua,, and the US.

    I suppose another question is,, after "fixing" North Korea and Iran, will Trump go after the

    Commie Troika ?

    He just might, and if Bernie somehow gets past the conspiracies in his own party to defeat him as the Dem candidate,, the US public will be treated to $100 million worth 30 second histories of Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela, harbingers of what the US will look like if Bernie and the Squad take over.

    In any case, we're going to be living in interesting times, here and there,, and as long as you have your own cash to bring to the party, you're going to be OK.
    Last edited by KeyWestPirate; 01-13-2020 at 03:53 PM.

  23. #23
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post

    " . . The biggest factor in POS remaining in power is the total and absolute WGAS about Nicaragua factor that exists in D.C., at all levels..."



    This says it all, and especially in an election year where the current administration is not going to do anything that does not have a guaranteed positive outcome. Let's face it, Ortega will probably be re-elected, and legitimately, in 2021, unless Sandino is miraculously resurrected, hat and all and stands in opposition. At this point there is no one else.
    The only way Ortega is re-elected legitimately is if there is absolutely no credible opponent. And I think that they will ensure that there is not. The ying and the yang together. No le hace. Yo believe that the majority of the population wants or approves of his rule is wrong, they just don't, but alas there is no other option and thus there is a win by default.

  24. #24
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Voter turnout will be interesting. What percent will bother to show up? If only a hundred vote, and 99 are for POS, he can declare a virtually unanimous win.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Footnotes on being in Leon & Managua

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Voter turnout will be interesting. What percent will bother to show up? If only a hundred vote, and 99 are for POS, he can declare a virtually unanimous win.


    Going to happen to the Dems here, sitting out, if they do Bernie dirty again. Not that Bernie is remotely electable at the moment,, but he might capture some of Biden's votes if he makes Stacy Abrams his VP. The pair will be hard to swallow by the moderates, those union people who will give up their Cadillac health plans to stand in line behind (smelly, drug addled and mentally ill) homeless people to see a doctor.

    You can see why Daniel likes a sure thing.
    Not as much fun,, though.

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